We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Spackle?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are numerous places throughout a home where spackling becomes necessary. The need for spackle generally becomes evident when a room undergoes a new paint job, but other instances may warrant the need to cover up small holes in walls and trim as well. If you are repainting a room, rearranging art work, installing new trim, or have discovered small holes or chips, such as from nail pops, in your walls or ceilings, you can disguise them with spackling before painting or touching up the surface.

Spackling compound is a moist, thick, putty-like substance that comes in resealable containers and when applied to a surface, which exposes it to air, will dry out to allow for sanding and painting. Before preparing to spackle your walls or ceiling, you will need a quality brand spackling compound, a putty knife, a damp cloth, and fine and medium grit sandpaper. Gather your supplies and then identify all the spots that need spackling.

To spackle over a hole caused by nails or screws, lightly sand off any rough or tattered edges around the hole with medium grit sandpaper. Using the corner of your putty knife, scoop a small amount of spackling compound from the container onto the blade. Placing the top edge of the blade against the wall, apply the spackling compound to the wall in a downward motion using a fair amount of pressure to work it into the hole. Using less pressure, run the blade back over the area to remove excess compound and smooth the surface.

If you need to make several swipes over the surface area, it’s OK, but when you spackle, less is more. Leaving too thick of a layer will make it more difficult to sand down once the compound has dried. Before you sand the area, make sure the product has thoroughly dried. Use fine grit sandpaper and smooth out the spackled area to level off with the wall. Once you have a smooth surface, you can apply paint.

The objective of spackling is to disguise smaller holes and surface damage in preparation for painting a surface. Keep in mind that though you can easily spackle smaller holes and chips, larger holes or dents, such as those caused by door knobs or accidental damage, may require a more durable bonding compound, like drywall mud, or may even require complete drywall repair.

Also keep in mind that if you are attempting to spackle over holes left from the nails in wood trim, be sure you plan to paint the trim and not stain it. If staining wood trim, fill the holes with wood putty in the same way before applying stain. You can purchase spackling compound, wood putty, and other surface repair and preparation products at most any improvement or hardware store.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon159720 — On Mar 13, 2011

how do i fix claw marks on drywall where my cats clawed?

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.