Have you just moved into a new rented apartment and noticed a few holes on some of the walls? Or are you moving out and need to fix the wall damages in order to get that deposit back?
Whatever your reasons may be, there is one single solution to your damages- spackle!
Spackling your drywall to fill out those holes and blemishes may not be something you have done before, but is an extremely easy task.
All you need is a good quality drywall spackle, a spackle knife, and sandpaper if you have a smooth wall.
Now, if you don’t know how to choose a good spackle, we have got you. Here, we have listed five best spackle for drywall that can make your drywall repair job easier than ever.
Red Devil ONETIME Lightweight Spackling
3M High Strength Large Hole Repair Kit
Best for Repair
3M Patch Plus Primer Spackling Compound
Best for Interior
DAP DryDex Spackling
DAP CrackSHOT Spackling Paste
What is Spackle?
Spackle compound or spackling paste is a mixture of adhesive and gypsum powder. These are great products for patching holes and cracks on the drywall without leaving any repair mark on the wall.
You can use spackle for eliminating minor imperfections like dents in the drywall also.
Our 5 Best Drywall Spackle Picks:
1. DAP CrackSHOT Spackling Paste
CrackSHOT is an excellent choice when it comes to spackling pastes. It is a white-colored, thick paste that allows you to fill those holes effortlessly.
The smooth texture makes it easy to apply evenly. You can also get a more seamless finish by adding a little water to the paste and stirring it thoroughly.
Usually, you would need a knife to flatten it out on the surface, but because this putty is quite smooth, you can use any similar tool or item like a card to spread it evenly.
If you have a textured wall, then you would not need to sand it out. But for smooth walls, you can use fine grit sandpaper for sanding.
Depending on the temperature, CrackSHOT dries off in 1 to 5 hours and is ready to be sanded and painted over. It is a great spackle for smaller holes and blemishes.
- Provides a smooth texture
- Easy to sand off as required
- Can be used to fill up to 1/4 inches holes
- Consistency can be adjusted as per need
- May take a longer time to dry
- Can get saggy if washed
- Can dry out in the packet if left unused for a long time
2. 3M Patch Plus Primer Spackling Compound
3M is one of the most popular names in the hardware industry. And so is its Patch Plus Primer Spackling Compound.
It is one of the best spackle for small drywall repairs, but it can also be instrumental in repairing plaster, stucco, and wood.
The Patch Plus is a primer enhanced compound which makes it easier to hide after applying. It dries quickly and can be painted as early as 30 minutes after applying it.
It does not flash the paint. You can repair holes that are as large as 3 inches in diameter. It gets hard enough to hold screws and nails after drying and does not crack or shrink.
- Can be used to repair holes up to 3 inches in diameter
- Dries quickly
- Can also be used to repair other surface materials
- Does not crack or shrink after drying
- It is thin in density and may require more quantity at once
3. 3M High Strength Large Hole Repair Kit
Another great drywall spackle from 3M is the High Strength compound.
As the name suggests, it is a great spackle to fix large holes. But it is not limited to that, as you can also use it to repair smaller holes.
The kit comes with all the tools necessary to fix drywall damages. It includes a fiber-reinforced spackling compound, a spackling knife, a repair plate screen, fiber tape, and a sanding pad.
If you are repairing your drywall for the first time, you don’t need to go looking for all the other tools.
The plate screen is a perfect material that goes into the hole for a more robust fix. You can fix holes that are 3 to 5 inches in diameter. It is useful for both interior and exterior repairs.
- Provides stronger repairs
- Comes with all the essential tools in a single package
- Can be easily sanded off for painting
- Can fix holes as large as 5 inches in diameter
- Works on interior and exterior repairs
- The fiber tape in the kit has a weak adhesive, and it usually comes off
- Can be tricky to stick the plate screen inside the hole
- Large holes can’t be fixed without the plate screen
4. Red Devil ONETIME Lightweight Spackling
The ONETIME Lightweight spackling from Red Devil is an amazing spackling compound to go for if you don’t wish to spend much on buying a compound. In terms of quality, it is a good product.
It comes in a 1-gallon tub which lasts long, and is ideal for painters and handymen. It is handy for repairing small holes, cracks, dents, and blemishes on drywalls and ceilings.
It can be used on multiple surface materials like stucco, wood, and plaster. It dries off in a matter of minutes and is ready to be painted over.
Only one layer of compound application can provide a great finish that doesn’t need to be sanded. You can also clean the surface with water after the compound dries off without worrying about sagging.
- Provides great finish with just one coat
- Dries up in minutes and is ready for painting
- Can be cleaned with water without sagging
- Can be used for repairs on multiple surface materials
- Difficult to spread evenly
- Prone to cracks upon drying
5. DAP DryDex Spackling
The last one on this list is another product from DAP. The DryDex spackling compound. It is one of the top-selling spackling compounds in the U.S. DryDex comes with a patented Dry Time Indicator, which changes color when the compound is dried.
It is pink upon application, and when dried, it turns white. This allows you to know when it is ready for sanding and painting.
It can be used on small drywall damages as well as other surfaces like plaster, wood, and even brick and stone. You can use it for both interior and exterior repairs.
Just like the CrackSHOT, you can adjust the texture by adding a little water for smoother finishes. You can usually sand and paint it over after only one coating, but if it requires a second coat, you can do it after the color of the first coat changes from pink to white.
- Patented Dry Time Indicator
- Can be used on multiple surface materials
- Ready-to-use formula spreads fast and easily
- Can even be used on brick and stone surface repairs
- The consistency right out of the box is very thick and can be tough to squeeze out
- May take a longer time to dry
Making Your Decision
Fixing up drywall damages is not as difficult as it seems. In fact, with the right product, you can repair the damages in a matter of minutes, without asking for anyone’s help. These are some of the best drywall spackles available in the market. Depending on the type of damages you have on the walls, you can choose from the spackling compound listed.
For smaller repairs, DAP DryDex can be a magnificent spackling compound. Whereas, for larger repairs, 3M High Strength Large Hole Repair Kit is the best.
Best Drywall Spackle Buying Guide
How To Choose The Best Spackle For Drywall?
Now that you know what are the best spackles on which you can rely on for patching your walls, here is the process that we followed to pick those amazing products for this buying guide-
Spackles are made in two different forms, i.e. textured and smooth. Whether you need a smooth or textured spackle depends on the texture of the wall you are going to apply it. If the wall is smooth, get a smooth spackle and for a textured wall, you should get one that dries textured.
Following this rule will ensure that the repaired and unrepaired portion of the wall looks exactly the same when you paint on the spackle.
2. Drying Time
How much time it takes for the spackle to dry out is an important question to ask. Good spackles dry out within 30 minutes to an hour at max.
Spackles that dry quickly allows you to finish up the patching process quickly and efficiently. As you need to sand and paint after spackling the hole sometimes, it is good to do all the work in a limited period of time.
3. Primer and Spackle Combination
No one wants to spend extra money when combination products are found in the market. For making the drywall patching and repair work easy and effortless, you should get a spackle pack that is pre-integrated with drywall primer.
Using this type of spackle will save your time, effort, and money. So, go for it.
We search for flexibility in most of the products, but you shouldn’t get spackles that are flexible after dried out. Spackle should dry hard without any shrinkage or expansion due to the weather.
Most of the standard spackles come with absolute hardness, but it is good to check before you buy drywall spackle.
5. Size of the Hole You are Repairing
The size of the hole you intend to repair with spackle is a factor when it comes to choosing the right type of spackle. You should have already seen spackles with “Lightweight” or “All-purpose” words printed on the body.
In a sentence, lightweight spackles are great for patching small nail holes or cracks in the drywall whereas all-purpose spackles or the standard ones are good for comparatively larger holes.
Having said that, you can use the lightweight and all-purpose products interchangeably if you have a pack in your home. But for a new purchase, try to follow the rule for added efficiency.
Why Drywall Spackle?
A lot of people get confused among spackle, joint compound, and tape. Since we have separate articles for all three of these products, we’ll only cover the benefits of using spackle for drywall here-
Spackles are great patching compound when it comes to drywall repair. These come in cheap and dries faster than the joint compound.
So, for a small repair that is limited to an inch of your wall or a bit more, we recommend using spackle for getting the best result. When it comes to the durability of the patch, spackles are more durable in small patching jobs while the others are for a bit different objective.
How to Use Spackle on a Wall
Using spackle to patch drywall is not hard. You can apply spackle on the surface following these simple steps-
1. Surface Preparation
Surface preparation means preparing the cracked or damaged drywall surface to apply the spackle. Use a soft scrubber to remove any foreign elements from the hole. This is an important step as the adhesion between the surface and the wall can be weakened because of the interfering material between these two. So, carefully remove all dirt and debris from the surface.
2. Mix and Apply the Spackle
After the surface preparation is complete, you need to open the spackle pack and mix the compound vigorously for a minute to get an even solution. Once the mixing process is complete, use a putty knife to apply spackle on the damaged drywall surface.
Use the knife to make the surface even and smooth. Don’t wait after application as most of the spackles typically harden within minutes and completely dry out within half an hour. So, be proactive after application to get an even surface.
3. Allow it to Dry
After you are done with the application, you now need to allow the surface to dry out. See the product packaging for the exact drying time of your product. And please keep in mind that the drying time can vary depending on weather conditions.
So, we recommend waiting for a bit more than the manufacturer’s recommendation to be fully sure about the adhesion.
4. Sand and Paint the Surface
Now that you have a patched surface, it should look weird for its inconsistent color and texture. So, you need to make the surface smooth enough with a drywall sander, if you have one. If not, use a piece of sandpaper to polish the surface until perfectly smooth.
After polishing, apply the same paint you used for decorating your interior so that the patched surface becomes unnoticeable.
Painters Putty vs Spackle
A lot of people get confused between these two! Why? Because both work almost the same and the outcome we get from these products also come out identical. So, what makes them different?
Simply, painters putty is made for patching any type of wall that is to be painted. So, when the surface has any nail hole, crack or other dents in it, paint putty makes the surface even and smooth.
On the other hand, spackles are gypsum powder specifically made for using on the drywall surface.
But for their adhesion and materials, you can interchangeably use those on any kind of surface.
Can Spackle for drywall cracks hurt me?
Is spackle toxic to the human body or not is a common question to us. Generally, spackle is not toxic thus it won’t hurt you.
Having said that, you shouldn’t inhale spackle dust that comes out of the surface when sanding. Since spackle is made of gypsum powder, sanding dried out spackle gives them their powder form once again. So, you need to be cautious with spackle dust flying on the air.
A good respiratory mask should be enough to protect you from any harm. If you don’t have one, don’t worry! Hold a cloth against your nose to prevent inhaling drywall dust when you sand the patched wall before painting.
Is spackle for walls waterproof?
Generally speaking, no. Don’t expect spackles to be at the same strength after exposure to the water. Dried out spackles can withstand splashes of water when the water is properly removed within moments.
But once the water is soaked in the surface, it will definitely penetrate the adhesion of the spackle resulting in a weaker bond.
Nowadays, some manufacturer’s come up with newer technologies that make the spackle more water-resistant than before. So, it is better to check your product package for getting the appropriate answer.
How Can I Make the Spackle Patch Dry Faster?
By purchasing fast-drying spackle. If you have purchased a product that dries slowly, you can make it a bit faster by controlling the temperature around the patched surface.
Increased heat and less humidity make the drying process faster than normal. So, do give it a try. But don’t expect the surface to dry out fast like fast-drying spackles. Giving excessive heat on the surface can crack the newly applied spackle giving you more problems than before. This is why I recommend leaving it as it is until the surface is fully dry out.
Spackle vs Plaster: What is the Difference?
Plaster is not for repair only rather a basic material for building concrete walls. On the other hand, Spackle is a repair material that is not at all a basic part of drywall. You need a spackle for repairing, not for installing drywall.
But when it comes to repairing concrete wall, you can do the job with concrete patch and plaster interchangeably.
Do I Need to Prime Over Spackle Before Painting?
This depends on the product you are using. Some good products come with primer integration that does not require an additional primer coat on the spackle patch. But if the spackle does not come with a premixed primer, then you need to apply drywall primer separately to get a perfect surface.
Where to Buy Drywall Spackle?
Any hardware shop should have spackle in their shelf. You can get your desired product from online stores as well.
Since this is a common product for repairing drywall, you should easily find a perfect fit in online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, etc.
Is Spackle Strong Enough?
Yes, the spackle is strong enough to patch small holes in the drywall. But not as strong as the drywall itself. Since you are attaching the compound on the drywall surface, expect the spackle to be weaker than the surface itself.
Spackle can hold tight on the surface withstanding decent amount force. Exactly how much force it can withstand can vary depending on mixture, the application process, and weather conditions. So, make sure not to stretch it much.
What Ingredients are in Spackle?
Spackle is a combination of gypsum powder and adhesive. Different manufacturers use other chemicals as well in a small amount for increasing strength and durability. And some are pre-integrated with primer and paint. So, you should check the product package for a more precise answer.
What is Spackle Used For?
Spackle is a drywall repair material. So, it is used for patching holes and cracks in the wall. Other than using on the drywall, you can use spackle for patching concrete, wood, plywood surfaces as well. But it is not recommended to so as you will not get a good result using spackle on such surfaces. Use spackle on these surfaces on a temporary basis.
Can Spackle Go Bad or Can I Save for Later?
The answer depends on the way you preserve the spackle for future usage. If you keep the product following the process the manufacturer written on the product label, it should last longer. Otherwise, expect the product to harden after a few days of the opening of the spackle pack.
If you are worried about the spackle already applied on the drywall surface, I can assure you about the durability. Spackle will last long if you have used a high-quality product and kept the surface dry.
How Long Should I Wait for Painting After Spackle?
See the spackle pack for the exact answer.
Generally, fast-drying spackles dry out within an hour and become ready for painting after an hour or two. In case you have spackle that is not so fast in drying, it should be ready to take paint after a day or two.
How Much Money Do I Need to Spackle Drywall?
It completely depends on the length and depth of the surface you need to cover. Spackles are extremely cheap products that do not require a lot of money. So, for one or two drywall hole or crack, you should get away with spending 10 to 20 bucks for purchasing spackle, putty knife, and sandpaper.
Wood Filler vs Spackle: Key Difference
Wood putty alternatively known as wood filler works like spackle. The key difference between wood putty and spackle is wood putty is for repairing holes and dents on wood and spackle is for doing the same on the drywall.
Is spackle good for the exterior?
Not all spackles are good for outdoor usage. So, make sure to purchase a drywall spackle that can be used for patching exterior surfaces.
If you are having difficulty finding the one labeled as outdoor spackle, simply go for the water and heat resistant products. These are the key differences between exterior and interior spackle products.
Can I Sand Spackle after Drying?
Yes, you can. In fact, we recommend sanding the surface after the spackle is dried out so that the paint sits well on the surface leaving no hint of repair on the surface.
Should I Paint the Full Wall or only the Patched Portion?
It depends on your preference. Generally, we recommend painting the whole wall if the wall has not been painted for long that the paint on the surface becomes dull or blemish.
On the other hand, if the paint on the wall is in good condition, you don’t need to spend hundreds of bucks to paint the whole wall. Buy a small pack of paint and paint the patched surface.