How to Use Spackling on Walls to Paint

By Sarah Jae ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Spackling paste
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper or sanding block
  • Rags
  • Primer

Spackling fills small holes, cracks and dents in drywall, wood or plaster. You spackle walls before painting, so the finished wall is smooth and free of defects. Spackling itself is quick and easy, but it can take several days to apply a couple coats and for the spackle to dry.

Place a small amount of spackling paste on the putty knife.

Fill the hole or crack with the paste. Wipe away any extra spackling with the edge of the putty knife.

Wait for the spackling to dry. Larger holes may take several hours or up to a day to dry completely. Dry spackle looks white; wet spackle looks gray.

Add more spackle over the hole. For best results apply two or three coats. Be sure to wait for the spackle to dry between coats.

Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the spackling and wall smooth.

Use a damp rag to wipe away the sandpaper dust.

Paint primer over the repaired area. Primer ensures that you cannot see the spackling through the paint. Now you are ready to paint your wall

Tip

Spackle dries faster in warmer conditions. If the area is cold, use a heater to speed up the drying process.

About the Author

Sarah Jae has been writing and editing Web content and consumer health content since 2000. Based in Minnesota, Jae has worked for Mayo Clinic and other local and regional clients. She holds an English and writing degree from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.