Spackle is a quick and simple way to fill in any dents, dings, holes, and cracks; however, it leaves behind a unsightly finish that needs to be treated. So what’s the best way to hide spackle spots?
To hide spackle spots, you first need to prime the area so that the paint can adhere properly. The next step is to paint several layers over the spackle with paint that has been thinned slightly. Finally, you’ll need to repaint the surrounding area so to match the color and texture.
Hiding spackle isn’t a difficult task, but it does require a fair bit of work. Don’t be tempted to skip steps or rush the job, as you won’t get a professional-looking finish.
Why It’s Important to Hide Spackle Spots
You may notice that as your spackle dries, small air bubbles trapped in the compound pop and leave behind small holes. These pits will create an irregular texture on the surface of your dried spackle. And these spots may be too large to fill in with primer or paint.
If you try to paint over large pits, the air beneath the paint will pop, and the paint will follow the same problem as the pop marks. When the paint dips and drips dry over a spackle spot, nothing will be flush. And as the paint pops, it will either dry and leave a crater around the whole or start to run in drips down your wall.
These spots will become even more obvious if you have any lighting in the room that comes in against the side of the wall. Filling in spackle spots will improve the appearance of the final coat of paint and use up less paint and primer. The voids caused by spackle spots can also come back to haunt you later if you choose to ignore them, as they will be starting points for peeling paint.
If you have gone as far as repairing a hole, you may as well go a step further and fill the spots before you paint over them. Hide spackle spots with the following procedure:
- After you apply your spackle, let it dry.
- Sand the spackle to bring the level back to that of the wall and to release any air bubbles beneath.
- Brush the surface off with a rag and add a final thin coat of spackle to fill in the small pits.
- Let the spackle dry and give it a final sanding with 220-grit sandpaper to blend the coating in with the original surface.
3 Steps to Hide Spackle Spots
It’s important not to skip any of the following 3 steps when attempting to hide spackle spots as failure to do so will mean that the spackle is still visible on the surface.
1. Prime the Spackle Spots
Spackle is a porous material and will suck the moisture right out of the paint faster than the surrounding surface. This all-surface primer will fill in some of the smallest of holes and help to blend the spackle in with the rest of the surface. Primer will also level off the sanding marks left behind and cover the variations in color where the repair joins the older material.
Drywall patches are obvious marks of discoloration left from the spackle mixing with the paint. You want to prevent drywall patch marks from showing through the paint. To do this, you want to seal the spackle to prevent rapid absorption of your paint.
When priming the spackle, you may want to paint on a single coat over the exact area of the repair:
- Let the spackle dry, then add an overlapping coat to further blend in the repair to the old surface.
- After sanding, paint the primer over the exact area of the repair and let it dry.
- You may find the primer releases some unburst bubbles resting beneath the spackle, causing small spots. Give the primer a quick 220-grit sanding and then prime-coat over.
- If you are satisfied with the texture, leave it and apply the first coat of paint.
- Otherwise, sand again and add another coat of primer.
2. Paint Over Spackle Spots
If you have small and unnoticeable spackle spots, you may feel that you can paint over the spackle without priming and move straight to painting. But you may still want to cover the spackle first with a few layers of paint to hide the patches of color that spackle tends to leave behind.
A coat of paint on the exact area of repair will level out the surface and give you a better transition from the spackle to the original surface. Make the paint thinner than normal so that it soaks into the spackle and gives you a better base when painting the entire wall.
Water-based paint will struggle to make a decent adhesion direct to the spackle. And you may find that, without priming, your paint starts to peel and crack off from the patch. This is because the spackle contains water-resistant ingredients such as glue and silicon.
Save yourself from disappointment and use a primer first. If you forgot the priming step and see that the paint is now peeling, you will have to go back a few steps:
- Sand the paint back to the spackle and remove any loose paint. You want to sand the spots level.
- Smooth over a thin coating of spackle if needed.
- Sand the spackle and reapply a primer.
- Then proceed on to painting your patch.
3. Paint the Entire Wall
The only way that you are going to have your entire wall match after a repair is to paint the whole thing. Before you move on to painting the entire wall, first follow the guidance above. Thorough preparation ensures that your surface is smooth and offers the best possible adhesion to your paint.
No matter how well your hole repair went, the texture will look different. Only painting the repair will highlight the area where the spackle was applied and any little differences in height and grain. When painting the entire wall, clean the surface with a broom and even give it a once-over with sandpaper to remove any old paint.
You can also clean the wall with a damp sponge to loosen dust and prevent the paint from soaking into the wall so fast. If you still see patches after several coats of paint, it could be because you did not use a primer, and the spackle is seeping through your paint.
Follow the below steps if your spackle is leaving patches on your paint:
- Rough up the surface with 220-grit sandpaper. If possible, get down to the level of the spackle.
- Use a primer to cover the patch and any spackle that has gone over the line of the repair.
- Rough up the dry primer with 220-grit. You are giving the primer light scratches, not deep ruts. You just want to make the primer feel coarse.
- Paint another layer of primer.
- Apply a single coat of your paint over the repair.
At this stage, the spackle should be hidden behind the paint. But you may still decide that you need to paint the entire wall or ceiling to help blend in the colors.