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How To Spackle Walls: An Easy Guide To DIY

Spackle walls are the most popular type of wall covering, so knowing a little bit about drywall and how to repair it can be useful. Learning how to hang drywall is no easy task, but learning how to repair it isn’t hard.

What Is Spackling

When it comes to drywall mudding, hire a professional unless your goal is to fail. With spackling, you can start doing your repairs today

What Are Spackle Walls?

Spackling is the process of covering holes and making repairs in drywall with a material known as spackling paste. Spackling paste is made from gypsum powder, hydrated calcium sulfate, and glue.

The term “spackle “is a registered trademark of the Muralo Company from New Jersey.  Today, it is used as a generic term for any type of “spackling” compound. 

When you hear the word “spackle,” assume it’s a type of drywall mud. Drywall mud is different than “drywall mud.” 

Where To Buy Materials For Spackle Walls

It’s easy to buy spackle as it’s sold at all hardware stores and easy to find online. The hard part is knowing what to buy, and this is where we can help. The following materials are the best for spackling walls.

Where To Buy Spackle Wall Materials 

You can buy spackling materials and tools at home improvement stores or online. 

Small Hole Repair Compound For Spackle Walls

Small Hole Repair Compound For Spackle WallsView in gallery

This is a pre-mixed compound for spackling. People prefer this brand, especially if they have spackling experience. It’s available in multiple sizes. When buying online, you’ll need to get a putty knife.

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Fast-drying
  • Strong consistency

Cons

  • Contains harmful toxins
  • Suitable for small projects
  • It dries too fast

Roll-On Repair Putty

Erase-A-Hole The Original Drywall Repair PuttyView in gallery

This putty is one of the simplest solutions and a great place to start if you’re new to spackling. The putty is great for small holes and cracks in walls fast with a quick use applicator. It’s great for repairing holes in drywall, wall plaster, and wood. 

The putty applies just like stick glue and you won’t need a putty knife. And the spackling paste dries, it can be dusted and painted. You might have to gently scrape away excess paint or spackle.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Good price

Cons

  • Shipping issues
  • Limited use
  • Weak seal

Drywall Patch Kit

What Is SpacklingView in gallery

This kit doesn’t even use a compound. It is for very small holes. You just add the sticker and paint it over it. This is very simple and is perfect for small holes but isn’t going to work for larger holes that are irregular. 

Pros

  • Repairs drywall damage up to 1 inch in diameter
  • Impact resistant
  • All-in-one mess free

Cons

  • Instructions aren’t clear
  • Weak substance
  • Too sticky

Drywall Fabric For Spackle Walls

Drywall Fabric For Spackle WallsView in gallery

This drywall fabric makes it easier to mud your walls and works like drywall tape for larger areas and cracks. You put mud under it and over it, smooth it out, and sand it out. 

Pros

  • 100 percent fiberglass mesh
  • No need to pre-apply a joint compound
  • Self-adhesive and great for difficult jobs

Cons

  • Over-priced
  • Doesn’t last long

Multi-Purpose Putty

Multi-Purpose PuttyView in gallery

This putty isn’t just for drywall spackle, but it can work on almost any surface. Use it in hybrid areas like doorframes to repair small holes and cracks. It dries nicely and can be painted over. 

Pros

  • Permanent and waterproof bond
  • Withstands most common solvents and will not shrink.
  • Fast drying

Cons

  • Weak container
  • Consistency issues

Touch-Up Paint Pen

Touch-Up Paint PenView in gallery

Finally, we have a refillable paint pen that can make touch-ups much easier. You can use it after your drywall mud or spackling paste dries and paint the tiny area easily and mess-free. 

Pros

  • Easy to control
  • Not messy

Cons

  • Not long-lasting
  • Hard to open if not closed properly

Spackling Paste Vs Drywall Mud 

Spackling Paste Vs. Drywall Mud

A lot of people tend to confuse these two terms: spackling paste and drywall mud. But the two are not the same and can’t always be used in place of the other. 

Spackling Paste

Spackling paste is like a thick paste you can squeeze through a tube. It is pre-mixed and used to fill holes and small cracks in drywall. It is primarily used for repairs and shouldn’t be used in large areas. 

This paste dries quickly, can be painted over, and has less shrinkage than drywall mud. However, it is only for small areas on walls that have already been mudded. Spackling paste isn’t too easy to use either.

Spackling paste is finishing work. Although it isn’t beginning drywall work, which is crucial. Mistakes will be noticeable unless you’re working in an area that people don’t see very often. Either way, you don’t want to add too much spackle.

Drywall Mud

Drywall mud is for hanging new drywall. It’s meant to cover joints and anything that isn’t smooth. You can apply it to  large areas and is thinner than spackling paste.

Drywall mud can be found in pre-mixed containers or in dry powders that you add water to and mix yourself. You can use drywall mud instead of spackling paste if you need to but you can’t use spackling paste instead of drywall mud. 

It takes drywall mud a long time to dry, sometimes an entire day. But spackling paste can dry in less than an hour. However, because of the thinness, drywall paste is easier to use so it is often preferred overall. 

How To Spackle Walls

How To Spackle Walls

Spackling walls isn’t all that difficult once you get used to it. But it does take a little time and a few mistakes to learn the ways of spackling. Learn how to spackle walls with this simple step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Prep The Area

It’s important to make sure that the area of drywall you are spackling is dust-free, dry, and free of any gunk. Use fine grit sandpaper to sand the area and make it smooth. After that, dust it with a cloth, but don’t get the wall wet. This will help achieve a seamless look.

Water can damage drywall, and when this happens the spackling paste won’t stick. If necessary, wipe the area with a damp cloth.  

Step 2: Prepare The Putty

This will depend on if you’re working with a premixed spackle. For spackling walls, people prefer premixed spackle, but you may need to add water if it’s too thick.

Stir it well before applying it to the wall surface or damaged area as it can separate. If you’re working with powder, read the instructions to find out how much water to add to make it paste form. 

Step 3: Fill Holes

Fill the holes in the drywall with the spackling compound using a putty knife. Then, tilting the knife at an angle, smooth it out. It doesn’t have to be perfect as you can sand it later, so make sure you add enough.

For cracks and smaller holes, apply the same method, focusing on smoothing the wall surface. You can use the compound to cover nail holes that weren’t covered well earlier. 

Step 4: Round 2

After a few hours, check your work. Everything should be completely dry. If there are holes or places that weren’t completely filled, add more spackling. For holes that are deeper, you’ll need to fill them.

The spackling will shrink as it dries. Don’t be surprised if it looks different than what you applied earlier. This is normal and requires a second coat to make up for shrinkage. 

Step 5: Sanding

After the spackling has dried, use fine-grit sandpaper and in a feathering motion, start sanding around the hole. Make sure to overlap so that you can make sure it is smooth over the entire wall, not just the area you added spackling. 

After the sanding is done, you can repaint the wall. Unless of course you decide to do any stomping or add unique drywall patterns, in this case, you can move onto that step to match the rest of your wall. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How Do I Spackle My Wall Before Painting?

Spackling before painting can help smooth out the area. It is best to use a very thin layer unless there are holes in the wall and then sand it until it is smooth after the spackling dries. Just make sure you don’t sand the spackling all away.

How Do I Spackle A Hole In My Wall?

You can spackle a hole in the wall by using a thick spackle that can fill the hole. After the first round is dry, check it for imperfections. Then go back over it, let it dry, and sand it down. Taping can be done for certain types of holes. 

How Do I Texture Walls With Spackle?

You can add texture to drywall with drywall mud but not with spackle. Drywall spackle is made for repairs not for textured walls. We have a guide on texturing drywall that you can follow and find the right pattern for you. 

Can I Make A Faux Brick Wall With Spackle?

Again, spackle is not for texturing drywall. But you can use a joint compound that is similar to create the bricks. This can look really amazing, so make sure you follow a tutorial to get the most out of it. 

What Grit Sandpaper For Spackle Walls?

Most of the time, you want to stick with either a 120-grit or a 150-grit for sandpaper. This is the best way to get your area smooth without wearing it away or without leaving room for the paint to stick to the walls. 

Should I Hire A Professional To Spackle Walls? 

That depends. If you feel comfortable spackling your own walls, then you shouldn’t let anything stop you. It isn’t a difficult job if you learn a bit before you do it. But that said, you should feel comfortable hiring a professional too.

These contractors are trained and experienced and can make the job go very smoothly. For repair jobs, you will probably only pay for about an hour of work because they can get it done in no time at all! 

How To Spackle Conclusion

When applying spackle to cover a hole in the wall or over nail holes isn’t hard. The method is an ideal DIY technique that’s easy to learn. When working with drywall compound, you can fix most holes within a few hours. The trick is not to use too much spackle, but if you do, gently scape the excess spackle from the surface and wipe away the area with a damp cloth.

When painting a repaired area, before you apply a second coat, the first thing you want to do is wait until the paint is fully dry. Most people forget this step after they apply spackle and paint to a damaged area.

Now that you know the basics of applying spackle, start with a small project and go from there. The DIY aesthetic is a never ending journey. It doesn’t matter where you start, because the path never ends.