Nobody likes it, but the prep stage of painting is the most important part when it comes to the quality of your finished paint job.
It’s also the most common step people skip when taking a do it yourself approach.
But while skipping steps might get the job done faster, it won’t get it done right.
Prep work is important, and a big part of that is knowing how to use drywall putty.
We’re PurcellPro Painting in Lansdale, PA, and we’re here to help.
Read on to find out more about drywall putty – what it is, how it works, and what you need to know to use it properly.
Of course, if it’s too much of a hassle, you can always call us today for a free estimate.
In the meantime, let’s take a look.
What Is Drywall Putty?
Drywall putty is a tool you can use to fill holes and scuff marks in your walls.
It works for filling a wide variety of different wall holes, including:
- Nail/screw holes
- Fist-sized holes (we won’t judge)
- Larger holes
In many cases, swiping a bit of drywall putty over the holes in your wall can make it look like there were never any holes to begin with.
However, there are two different types of drywall putty – spackling and joint compound.
What’s the difference?
Spackle tends to come in smaller tubs, though you can get larger ones if you’re doing a bigger job or if you’re a professional.
It’s often pink when wet, but dries white.
It’s made from gypsum powder and some binding agents.
The purpose of spackling is for smaller repair jobs.
It dries in about 30 minutes in most situations, and tends to shrink less than joint compound does.
This makes it ideal for smaller jobs, because you can fix holes quickly and in one coat.
Because it dries so quickly, you can sand it pretty quickly, which means your paint job won’t involve as much waiting around.
Joint Compound Putty
Joint compound, on the other hand, is mostly used for bigger jobs, like hanging new sheets of drywall.
Rather than coming pre-mixed like spackle, it’s mixed on the job site when you’re ready to use it.
If you’re hanging new drywall, joint compound is what gives the wall a flat, seamless look.
You hang your drywall, tape the seams between the sheets, and then spread your joint compound over the tape.
If you’re looking to do this, it’s not a good idea to swap joint compound for spackle.
This is because spackle tends to dry too quickly to get an even coat.
However, you can use joint compound in place of spackle – just keep in mind it takes longer to dry and shrinks more, so you might need to use multiple coats.
How To Use Drywall Putty To Patch Small Holes Before Painting
This next section is a DIY manual on how to use spackling putty.
Because joint compound is more involved, we’ll save that for another day.
You’ll need the spackle itself, and a putty knife.
First, remove any loose drywall that might be flaking or crumbling around the edge of your hole.
Then, smooth the spackle over the hole with your putty knife.
Use a 45 degree angle to do this.
Then, swipe downward until the hole is filled.
Scrape off any extra spackle, but don’t worry too much about it.
Next, wait for your spackle to dry.
Because you’ll have to wait for all your holes, it’s a good idea to spread your spackle on every hole in the area you’re going to be painting all at once.
Once it’s dry, take a look to see if you’ll need a second coat.
If it’s good, spend some time sanding over the dried spackle.
The goal here is to make it so the border between the spackled area and the rest of the wall is invisible.
Then prime it, and you’re good to paint.
How To Use Drywall Putty To Patch Larger Holes Before Painting
If you’re dealing with larger holes or cracks in your drywall, you’ll need to use a sheet of mesh first.
The mesh is designed to provide a structure of support, giving the putty something to cling to.
In some cases you can use spackle, but for larger holes you might want to try joint compound.
First, apply the mesh to your drywall.
You might need to use more than one piece to make sure the hole is covered completely.
Then, smooth on your joint compound, and let it dry.
Apply another coat if you need, and sand it down.
If you have a really big hole, you might want to consider just using a piece of drywall to fill it instead of mesh.
To do that, attach a piece of lumber to the wall joists, which will give you something to attach the drywall to, and use spackle/joint compound around the edge of it.
Call PurcellPro Painters Today
Are you thinking your walls could use a fresh coat?
Tired of the old, dated look, but the prospect of painting it yourself seems way too daunting?
Call PurcellPro Painting today for your free estimate.