What Is Spackle Used For?

If you’re a fan of DIY jobs, you may have heard the term “Spackle” before. This may have got you wondering, what is Spackle used for?

Spackle (or spackling paste) is used to repair minor dents, holes, or cracks in the wall. The type of spackling paste that should be used depends on the wall’s material and the size of the damaged area.

Read on to learn more about how Spackle is used and the difference between it and the joint compound.

What Is Spackle?

Spackle is a registered trademark of a brand that makes a spackling paste. To clarify, Spackle is to spackling paste as Kleenex is to paper tissues. You’ll hear people referring to the product as Spackle even if it’s not made by the brand.

So, what exactly is spackling paste? This nifty DIY tool comprises gypsum and an assortment of binding agents. There are several types of spackling paste, each of which is specifically designed for use on different surfaces and in different situations.

When you buy spackling paste at your local hardware store, you have the option of buying it either powdered or ready-made.

Ready-made spackling paste saves you the time and hassle of mixing and preparing the powder. However, some people prefer to purchase spackling paste in its powdered form because it maintains its quality and lasts longer this way. Of course, the choice should depend on your wall’s condition.

Uses of Spackle

Spackling paste is typically used to repair minor damages to walls and other surfaces. The different types of Spackle can be applied to a variety of materials, including plaster, drywall, and wood.

How to Use Spackle over caulk: avoid a watery solution

Here’s how you can use the spackling paste to cover up small cracks and dents in your wall.

Even Out the Surface

The first thing you should do is sand down the edges of the damaged area. This will make your

life a lot easier when applying the spackling paste.

Prepare the Spackling Paste

If you’ve bought powdered spackling paste, you need to mix it and get it ready for use. If your spackling paste is of the ready-made variety, you can skip this step.

Apply the Spackling Paste

Using a putty knife, start applying the spackling paste over the damaged area you wish to cover. Be careful not to apply too much as this could create an unwanted bulge in your wall.

Additionally, you’ll want to use your putty knife to make the spackling paste even with the undamaged area of the wall.

Apply a Second Layer of Paste

Once the first layer of spackling paste has completely dried, you’ll need to apply a second one on top of it.

Wipe the Surface

Wait until the second layer of paste has also dried. Then, use a damp cloth to remove any lingering excess paste.

Types of Spackle

When choosing the type of spackling paste to use for your DIY repair project, you need to take a couple of factors into consideration. Those factors are the size of the dent or crack in the wall you’re trying to repair. Plus, the wall’s material.

When repairing a small dent in your wall, the best option for you is lightweight spackling paste. The lightness of this type of spackling paste makes it perfect for cuts that are less than an inch in width.

Additionally, lightweight spackling paste dries in no time, which makes repairing your wall a quicker job.

Another variation of spackling paste is all-purpose, which mainly works for larger damaged areas; it also works best when applied to drywall.

In addition to this, it’s much sturdier than lightweight spackling paste. This makes it a more suitable option when repairing sections of your drywall at a high risk of being damaged again.

Examples of such areas are the section of your wall right behind the door.

The sturdiness of all-purpose spackling paste allows it to hold up against constant knicks and collisions to which these areas of your drywall are susceptible.

For deep holes in your wall, your best bet is to use either vinyl or acrylic spackling paste. They’re both applied in multiple layers until the hole is completely patched up. Both of these spackling paste types are highly versatile and can be applied to a variety of materials.

These materials include drywall, plaster, wood, brick, and stone.

The final type of spackling paste is epoxy. This type is the best to use when dealing with damage to wood.

Is Joint Compound the Same as Spackle?

Although spackling paste and joint compound are highly similar due to their gypsum-based nature, they’re not the same thing.

A joint compound is typically used for large-scale projects, such as installing drywall. It can also be used instead of spackling paste to repair small holes and cracks in walls. However, it’s simply not designed for this.

The joint compound has much higher shrinkage than spackling paste. Therefore, if you try to use it in place of the latter, you will have to use more than two layers, which is inefficient in terms of both time and cost.

Additionally, while joint compound is a possible substitute for spackling paste, the same is not true the other way around.

Spackling paste isn’t a viable option for the large-scale projects that joint compound typically works for.

How to wash or remove spackle from your tools and wall: in the sink and down the drain?

Spackle can be quite sticky and hard to remove from your tools. How can you remove it?

Simply fill a bucket with water and get a hard hand brush. This allow you to scrub the spackle off your tools. You can also use a pressure washer (on a low setting)

It is not recommended that you pour this bucket down the drain as the spackle can harden and create clogs in the drains of your bathroom or kitchen sink. A plumber might have to use water pressure to get this removed.

This can be a lot of work and you should avoid these problems;

For this reason, it is better to bring this water to a garbage collection site or pour it down the drain outside (if this is allowed in your area as not every wastewater facility can deal with this).

You can add more water to dillute the solution.

Does spackle expire: how to store it it so that it lasts?

Yes, spackle does expire. You can find the expiration date on the packaging. In general, spackle lasts about 9 months. This can be a lot shorter if you don’t store it properly.

You should keep it in a cold and dark place. Also close the packaging properly. This ensures us that dust and dirt won’t mix with the spackle.

If you receive a new pot of spackle, make sure that the plastic packaging is not damaged. If it has been dropped, the plastic can break and this will make the spackle last less long.

The spackle won’t work as well once it is beyond the due date. You can throw it away and get a new pot of spackle to make sure that you get a good end result.

Storing the content in a plastic bag when you store it in the container can make it last longer. This allows you to remove only the amount that you need.

How strong is spackle: will it hold a screw?

A wall with spackle is not as strong as a standard drywall. For this reason, you shouldn’t insert a screw in it. The spackle will crack and break quite fast and this will affect the paint and wall.

For this reason, you should be quite careful when you try to hang tapestry or other items against a wall that has used spackle.

You have to be careful with a wall that has spackle on it. While the spackle itself can last a long time, it can break quite easily if you start adding screws or other items in the wall.

So overall, spackle is quite strong but you have to make sure that you don’t break it.

Will spackle stick to concrete?

You might have a concrete wall and wonder if you can apply spackle directly on it.

It might be possible to do this but it is not recommended. You should add a layer of joint compound on the concrete wall. This coating makes sure that the spackle will stick to the concrete. If you skip this step, the spackle can break later on.

This can result in tears in your wall or paint falling off the wall and other problems. It can give the room a bad look.

Concrete can be quite rough and not a lot of items will stick to it. If the concrete is very clean and dry, you might give it a try but the end result might not be satisfactory.

It is best to clean the wall and apply the joing compound before you add the spackle. This ensures that your walls will look great.

Does spackle have a smell?

No, spackle shouldn’t have a strong smell. It can smell like chalk but shouldn’t have a strong odor. If it smells bad, it is possible that the spackle has expired or that it hasn’t been stored properly.

It is also possible that you smell something else in the house. While you are renovating a house, a lot of things can smell.

For example, the drains can start to smell if they haven’t been used for a while as the p-trap gets empty. This can release sewer gasses and other foul odors. For this reason, it is important that you use the sinks and toilets often, even when you are renovating a house.

If your spackle smells bad, you should examine what is going on and fix the problem. You might have to use a new pot of spackle to avoid problems later on.


So, what is Spackle used for? Spackle is a DIY tool that allows you to patch up minor holes, cracks, or dents in your wall.

There are many types of spackling paste, each of which can be used for specific sizes of holes and certain materials.

It’s important to note that spackling paste is not the same thing as a joint compound. These two pastes may look the same, but each is designed for different purposes.

While joint compounds can be used to repair small holes, it’s not ideal. On the other side of the coin, you’re likely to be highly disappointed with the results if you try to install drywall using spackling paste.