We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. Learn more

Home Improvement

Best Spackling Paste

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.

Red Devil 0574 Onetime Lighten Up Spackling

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.

3M Patch Plush Primer Lightweight Spackling

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 1 Fast ‘n Final Lightweight Spackling

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.

Phenopatch Patch-N-Paint Interior/Exterior Lightweight Spackling

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.

Red Devil Onetime Lightweight Spackling

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. It’s water-based for easy clean-up. Like the Phenopatch product, this one can be used both indoors and out.

Rich the Tool Man

Before embarking on the current stage of my life, I spent 15 years as a Manufacturing Engineer in both the medical equipment field (medical electronics) and automotive engineering (city transit buses). After that, I owned a small construction company, mostly doing residential remodeling and commercial tenant finishes. I am no longer in either of these fields, but still get my hands plenty dirty as a consummate do-it-yourselfer; working on everything from remodeling my own home to rebuilding my car’s engines. My hobby (when I can find the time) is woodworking; making everything from toilet paper holders, to shelves, to music stands for my own home. My wife long ago gave up the idea that a two car garage is for parking two cars; it is my workshop.

While I cannot claim to having worked professionally with all types of tools, I have worked professionally with some. This comes from my previous careers, where I had to specify, buy and at times live with those decisions. Additionally, I would have to say that my engineering background has given me a thorough understanding of the construction of such tools. So, while I may not have used a particular type of tool personally, I have the knowledge to cut through all the advertising hype and statistics; in order to get at the truth of how well a tool will operate and last.

In my current career as a writer, I've written over 90 books. This includes my own titles and those I've written on contract. I've also written a complete website on how to build your own home.

Related
Go to top