Expert advice on how to touch up walls when moving home, including how to repair small cracks and holes and how to touch up paint.

touch up walls

In this article, we offer a round-up of expert advice on how to touch up walls when moving home.


If you’re moving out of a rented property, you may need to touch up walls to ensure you get your deposit back.


You might also want to touch up paint before selling your home or before moving into a new one.


How to repair small cracks and holes in walls

Before sprucing up the paint, fix any small imperfections caused by hanging pictures or from normal wear and tear.


Minor cracks and holes are usually cosmetic and easy to repair. All that’s required is a:

  • multipurpose filler
  • palette knife
  • soft brush
  • fine sandpaper.

To get started, chip away any paint or loose edges. Slightly widen the crack using a palette knife. This allows the filler to adhere to the plaster more easily.


Brush away any dust, wet the palette knife and apply the filler. Start from the centre of the damaged area and pull outwards.


Leave the filler to dry overnight. Sand the area to achieve a smooth, even surface.


Larger cracks may require more than one application of filler. The correct technique is to slowly build up the layers, allowing the filler to dry between applications.


Most fillers are premixed and contain special binders to guarantee adhesion. However, you must apply pressure when adding the layers. Some builders and decorators advise cross-hatching each layer with the knife to promote better grip.


How to touch up paint before moving

When the wall surfaces are prepped and repaired, it’s time to touch up the paint. For the best results, use the left-over paint and the brush or roller used in the original application.


If that’s impossible, buy a tin of the paint manufactured by the same brand. Failing that, chip off a sample of the original paint and take it to a hardware store. Technicians can match and mix the precise colour and finish you require.


The first step is to prime the areas with a good quality primer. An undercoat ensures the paint adheres properly to the surface and blends in with the existing wall paint.


Once the primer has dried, apply the paint in light, feathery strokes. Extend slightly beyond the edge of the touch-up area. Work from the centre outwards. Smaller touch-ups are best achieved by dabbing paint onto the affected areas with a foam applicator.


When it’s best to get professional help

Available time and your DIY experience – as well as the size of the job – will determine whether professional help is required. Generally, large, jagged or diagonal cracks, and wall damage that is due to rising damp, are likely to need professional repairs.


At XtraSpace, we don’t offer professional home repairs and can’t help directly with touching up walls when moving home. If you are moving or renovating, however, you might be interested in our affordable self-storage. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.


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