Drywall Spackling

Drywall Spackling is an easy fix for incidental damage on walls and ceilings. Spackling paste and lightweight spackle are ready mixed fillers that are widely used for this task

Types of Spackle

Spackling Paste is a heavy bodied paste that usually comes in a pre-mixed form. This type of spackle offers good adhesion qualities allowing it to work well as a surfacing compound for shallow scratches and tears. It is also useful as filler for small holes up to ½ inch. Because spackling paste has a tendency to shrink, deeper voids often require two or more applications. When applying spackling paste, it is best to overfill the damaged areas. Once the spackle has completely dried, it can be sanded to a smooth even surface.

Lightweight Spackle has the ability to limit shrinkage making it a good choice for larger holes and dents. This material has different working characteristics than spackling paste. Many lightweight spackles do not sand well and should be applied flush with the surface of the drywall. These types of spackle also do not work well as surfacing compounds.

Dry Mix Spackle also comes in powder form and requires mixing with water to make a paste. You should only mix the amount of material you need to complete the drywall spackling at hand. The dry mix has an advantage over the ready mixed products insofar as it can be stored for a longer time.

Drywall Spackling - application

Common drywall fix-it items easily repaired with drywall spackling include the following:

  • Pin holes – often the result of thumb tacks
  • Small holes – holes less than 1/4 inches from picture hooks and small screws and nails
  • Larger holes – holes 1/4 inches to 1- 1/4 inches
  • Dents, gouges – minor impact from furniture and other heavy objects
  • Tears – when removing masking tape and other adhesives

Pin holes and small holes less than ¼ inches are readily filled with spackling paste. It is often easier to fill these tiny holes by using the tip of your finger to rub a little spackle into the holes. This is especially true for textured walls where you do not want to disturb the look of the texture. If there are numerous pin holes on a smooth wall surfaces, a 1, 1½, or 2 inch flexible putty knife also works well.

Spackling paste is well suited as a surfacing compound over small tears in the drywall. It can be applied with a flexible putty knife. A 2 inch or larger putty knife is ideal for this task. It is preferable to spot prime the drywall paper before applying spackle. This will help the spackling paste adhere to the drywall.

Lightweight spackle is a good solution for filling larger holes, dents, and gouges. It is best applied flush with the surface of the drywall so as to avoid sanding. Firmly press the lightweight spackle into the void with a 1, 1½, or 2 inch flexible putty knife and scrape away any excess material.

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