Somewhere in the world, there’s a room that needs painting, which is so perfect, so well cared for, that there’s nothing to fix, nothing to caulk, not one single hole to spackle. I don’t know where that room is, but there must be at least one. For me, every room I've ever painted has needed cleaning, caulking, spackling, and many times it even needed the trim to be repaired.
So, if all these rooms are so imperfect, I guess it’s a good thing we have spackling paste to fill in those holes, dings, and gouges in our walls. I firmly believe that proper surface preparation is the most important part of any paint project.
Spackling pastes basically come in two varieties, standard and the newer lightweight spackling. Standard spackling can be made with acrylic, vinyl, or epoxy fillers, all of which are designed to add strength to the spackling. These spackling products will work with other materials than just drywall, such as wood trim, brick and even concrete.
The weight of standard spackling causes some serious problems though. You can only put a limited amount of it in a hole, or it will begin to sag, even to the point of running out of the hole. Additionally, standard spackling shrinks as it dries; heavy coats will crack from this. So, if you have any large imperfections in the wall, you can pretty much count on having to apply several coats, delaying the completion of your project.
For interior walls, lightweight spacklings are a real advantage. Since they are lightweight, they can be applied in one heavy coat, as opposed to layering multiple coats. They don’t shrink as they’re drying, so they won’t crack. They are also quick drying, and sand quickly and easily. These lightweight spacklings can also be textured by touching the still moist spackling with a finger.
Overall, lightweight spackling, by whatever brand, is far superior to standard spackling for interior drywall. However, it does have one drawback. If it is applied in a case where furniture, carts, or furniture will bump into it, the spackling can crush faster and easier than standard spackling. It really isn't as strong as standard spackling is. Of course, in those applications, one should have something stronger than just drywall, such as a rub rail to protect the wall.
Remember, we’re talking about spackling paste here, not drywall finishing compound. You can fill holes up to about one inch in diameter with spackling. If you've got larger holes, such as from removing an electrical box, you need to fill it in with a small piece of drywall, tape it, finish it (with drywall finishing compound) and texture it.
This unique product actually changes color while it's drying, giving you a visual clue as to when it is ready for painting. That eliminates headaches caused by painting over not yet dry spackling and ruining it. Read Full Review
Some would say that all ultra light spackling is the same, but those people have obviously never seen Red Devil’s Onetime Lighten Up Spackling. This unique product is pink yes, that’s right; it’s pink. It wasn't done that way for women or for supporting breast cancer research, but rather so that you would know when it was dry. Although the spackling goes on pink, it turns white as it dries. That’s to let you know when it’s ready to paint. Once it’s white, you can paint it without any fear of messing up your spackling. As with other ultra-lights, you can fill even larger holes with it, without having to worry about it sagging, cracking or shrinking.
This spackling product from 3M uses the latest in nanotechnology to create a product which provides excellent finish. It is a spackle and primer in one, preventing problems with shiny or dull spots making the repair job visible through the paint. Read Full Review
3M makes a wide variety of products, all of which are excellent. Their ultra-light spackling is made with nanotechnology, which means that it uses materials that are so fine, they fall into the realm of nanotechnology. This is a spackle and primer in one, so that the paint will go on without showing where the repair was done; with no shiny or dull spots to give it away. The spackle is paint-ready 30 minutes after application.
Dap is one of the biggest names around in caulking and surface preparation products. This product is extremely fast drying, saving you time between application and painting. Read Full Review
Dap is one of the biggest names around in caulking and surface preparation products for the home. This is a personal favorite of mine, which I've had excellent results using. The spackling goes on extremely easily and stays right where you put it. Shrinkage and cracking are non-existent. Although spackling is usually applied with a putty knife, I find that using my fingers with this, especially for filling nail holes, works remarkably well. I’m not sure exactly how quickly it’s supposed to dry, but I've painted over it as little as ten minutes after application.
Patch-N-Paint is designed for use both indoors and outdoors, which is a little unusual for a lightweight spackling. This product dries quickly and sanding is not required. Read Full Review
Patch-N-Paint is another common lightweight spackling, which can be found almost anywhere. This one boasts use for both indoor and outdoor applications, which is a little unusual. Normally, these products are limited to indoor use, but this one can be used outdoors as well; a real advantage. The spackling dries extremely quickly, saving you time between prep and painting. Sanding is not required; unless, of course, you put it on too heavy.
This lightweight spackling is essentially the same as the other Red Devil product listed as number one, but doesn't have the color changing capability. It is also usable both indoors and out, like the Patch-N-Paint product. Read Full Review
This lightweight spackling is essentially the same as the other Red Devil product listed as number one, but doesn't have the color changing capability. I suppose there might be some applications where the chemical used for color changing could cause a problem. This product spreads easily, providing one-coat filling of a large variety of applications. Its water-based for easy clean-up. Like the Phenopatch product, this one can be used both indoors and out.