Why You Should Keep A Toothpick Handy When Painting Your Home's Interior

It's tough to keep those beautifully painted walls in your home looking spotless — they're prone to scuffs, dents, scratches, and other little imperfections. The frustrating part is how these flaws and blemishes tend to stand out. If you need a quick fix and don't have a fine artist's brush on hand, try using a toothpick. Pretty much every home has them. After all, who can tolerate having a bit of food resting between their teeth for a long time? Toothpicks are great for touching up minor defects, rather than taking on a full repaint.

If you have a tiny chip or nick and a regular brush is too big a tool, simply get a toothpick, dip the tip into the correct color paint, and fill the chipped area. The beauty of using a toothpick is its precision — it lets you target just the flaw without going over into the surrounding area. Note that the touch-up job's color may not appear to perfectly match the original paint since it won't have the same wicking rate as your original topcoat. It's also possible that your original paint has already faded over time. But a little touch-up should still make that imperfection much less noticeable than leaving it be.

Other handy ways toothpicks can help in home repairs

Toothpicks aren't just handy for touching up walls — they're great for fixing up cabinets, furniture, and any other painted surfaces around your home, too. Their size also makes them perfect for getting into tiny spots where brushes can't quite reach, ensuring you can keep everything looking neat and restored.

There are clever ways to use toothpicks around your home beyond paint touch-ups — they're also handy for some minor home repairs. For example, toothpicks make excellent wood fillers for fixing small holes in wooden furniture, like those left by screws. Just pack the hole with as many toothpicks as it can hold, then snap or cut them off flush with the surface. After sanding it down, you can paint or varnish the area to make it look as good as new. In the same vein, toothpicks also make stripped screw holes a thing of the past. When the wood fibers around the hole wear out, screws no longer hold tight, causing the hardware to loosen and leading to wobbly doors and other fixtures. A great fix is to mimic what DIYer mercurystardust did: Soak some toothpicks in wood glue and insert them one by one into the stripped screw hole. Once in, trim any excess sticking out, push the ends into the hole, and let everything dry. After that, you can drive the screw back in for a firm hold. Toothpicks are also great for cleaning your shower heads, too.