I just rented a townhouse and the shared walls must be concrete or something equally hard. I have two large connected bookcases and had them anchored (to prevent tipover) to a stud in my previous house. If I drill into this wall, how I can repair the holes when moving out? What is the counterpart to spackle on drywall? And am I right in suspecting that it will be very difficult to make a seamless, undetectable repair?

Edit: image attached. The walls look like painted drywall, essentially, it's only when you rap on them that you realize they are rockhard. enter image description here

  • 4
    There's a bare concrete wall? Is it painted? Textured? To get credible answers if the texture/color/etc. can be reproduced, you ought to supply a picture. I suggest putting a coin, pencil, or some other commonly recognizable item in such a picture for scale.
    – popham
    Oct 13, 2023 at 1:47
  • Attached image for reference, thx.
    – kongjie
    Oct 15, 2023 at 14:13
  • Making an undetectable repair in any wall surface is difficult. However, most landlords will give you a pass on small holes for mounting things so long as you're not excessive about it. Check your rental agreement or just talk to the landlord about what's acceptable damage for mounting things to the wall. You may find that for this wall no damage is acceptable, while she's fine with mounting holes elsewhere.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 15, 2023 at 14:31
  • 1
    Have you tried drilling into it yet? It might just be 2x layers of 5/8" drywall. Try drilling a small hole, 1/16" and see what it does...does it bottom out and not go in..
    – matt.
    Oct 15, 2023 at 14:48
  • what's wrong with drilling into concrete? (is that poured concrete or cinder blocks? Can you just repaint the whole wall when moving out?
    – njzk2
    Oct 15, 2023 at 21:02

2 Answers 2


On a painted wall like that plaster filler will work just as well as it does on drywall. I would go with the powdered stuff as it sets up faster.

So just drill holes and use concrete anchors, pick a type that does not leave a stud protruding from the wall when you remove your book case. eg: wall plugs, or the expanding nut type of concrete anchor.


There's less leverage at the shelf's base for fasteners to fight overturning, but anchoring down to the floor is an alternative depending on the floor material.

For the wall, that nice closed surface looks very patch-able. Sand the hole edges a bit so there isn't a high ridge around the hole's perimeter. Use the spackle. Dab the surface with a damp (barely wet) sponge to get similar texture. Remember that as the spackle sets up, the sponge's texture will get more and more muted. If the texture is initially too rough, then, wait for it to harden up a little and try again. It won't be perfect, but paint will eventually hide it (with enough coats).

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