So you are getting ready to move out of your apartment and you desperately need to get your damage deposit back. But first you need to fix that ugly hole in the living room wall—the one you covered with the velvet Elvis painting.
There are many causes of cracks, holes, dents, and blemishes to drywall—from careless visitors to nail pops. But there is only one real solution to repair them—with the proper spackle!
You know nothing about spackle. And your wife wants you to repair all the damaged walls this weekend. What is a newbie do-it-yourselfer to do? What is the best spackle for drywall?
The good news is that there several very good spackle products on the market. The right one for you depends on your exact needs. Do you need a quick drying product? Do you need one that covers a large area or a deep hole? Maybe you need one that doesn’t require a primer?
Or maybe you need a product that tells you when it is dry? Or one that can patch wood, cement or tile in addition to drywall? Maybe you need the product in a tub rather than a tube?
So here are the 10 great spackle products that you should seriously consider depending on your needs:
3M Patch Plus Primer
Best For Instant Patching
DAP DryDex Spackling Paste
Best For Professionals
3M Large Hole Wall Repair Kit with 12 fl. oz Compound
Best For Wall Hole Repair
Red Devil 0541 Onetime Lightweight Spackling
Best Spackle For Exterior
Our 10 Best Spackle For Drywall Picks:
Here is our detailed reviews on the top spackling products that you can use for drywall repair jobs-
1. Best Instant Patch: 3M Patch Plus Primer
3M Patch Plus Primer Spackling Compound is a product that packs spackle and primer in one easy to use product.
That means 3M has eliminated the need to cover the area with primer before painting. It is based on the latest 3M technology which is extremely fast drying—much faster than any other spackle. Specifically, it gets ready to paint within 30 minutes of application.
Fast drying spackles means a lot more holes can be repaired in a shorter amount of time.
A unique feature of this product is it prevents paint flashing. So, you don’t need to worry about changing the paint sheen.
Plus, it is lightweight yet very hard that can hold nails and screws when dried. On top of that, the dried up spackling paste won’t crack or shrink. So, you don’t need to worry about cracking or shrinking the surface after a few days of application.
Another thing that made it the best drywall patch is its capability to patch holes up to 3 inches. No matter how deep the hole is, you are covered by this awesome product.
So, if you are looking for the best drywall spackle to repair walls at your home, this is the one that we recommend for you.
Use this for instant DIY drywall patching. It's a small pack, so not ideal for a whole house application.
3M Patch Plus Primer Spackling Compound dries the fastest. Most jobs will be fully dry in 30 minutes or less. If you have a lot of small patching jobs to complete in a short amount of time, it is the best.
2. DAP Crack shot Interior/Exterior Spackling Paste
DAP Crack Shot Spackling Paste is a high-performance professional-grade spackle compound that is well suited for both interior and exterior repairs.
The product is particularly good for patching walls with small dents, scratches, nicks, and holes.
It is a good, basic all-round spackling paste and costs less than most of the other good spackles.
However, the material used in the product makes it pain flash preventing so that you do not see different texture around the patched surface.
Another great thing that made this product one of the best drywall repair compounds is its ability to withstand sanding quite effortlessly.
Because the product dries hard and does not shrink, you can sand over the applied surface without hesitation.
On top of that, the product comes with ready to use formula that allows you to start applying as soon as it is delivered to your doorstep.
DAP Crack Shot is the most economical in the category. So if you are pinching your pennies, it is the best choice.
3. Best Professional: DAP DryDex Spackling Paste
DAP DryDex Spackling is another great spackling compound product that is well suited for both interior and exterior repairs.
But DryDex has one big difference from the other spackling pastes.
It has a patent-pending way of indicating when it is thoroughly dry. When the product is applied it is pink in color and changes its color to white to indicate it is thoroughly dry!
A patch that is painted before the spackle is thoroughly dry will fail. So many users love this “fail-safe” color change mechanism in DryDex to indicate the patch is dry.
Other than the features we have talked about above, this can resist cracks effectively when dried.
Plus, it allows you to sand the surface before painting without any hesitation as it sticks to the surface hard leaving no room for chipping out.
Another great feature of this drywall putty is that you don’t need to apply primer before painting it. It is optimized to get sanded and painted at the moment it is dried up.
DAP DryDex is best for whole house application by professionals. It's easy to apply, so DIY application will result in perfection as well.
DAP DryDex is the best at indicating when it is thoroughly dry.
That feature alone will save you from the biggest failure of spackle do-it-yourselfers—painting over wet spackle. And of all the spackles, it is the easiest to use.
But buy it in the tub container since it is extremely difficult to squeeze spackle out of the tube.
4. DAP Flexall Wall Repair
DAP Flexall isn’t really a spackling compound.
It is actually a filler that can be used as a spackle. Because it is a filler it dries much harder than any of the other spackling pastes reviewed.
And it can be used on many materials other than drywall.
Of all the products reviewed here, it is the best suited to cover large surfaces and fill deep holes. It can also be used to stop water leaks in skylights, roofs, and rain gutters.
Because the product comes premixed from the factory, it is ready to use as soon as you get it in your hand.
And, you can use this drywall filler both in the interior and exterior surfaces. However, the manufacturer does not recommend using it under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Being flexible when dried, it expands and contracts with the movement of the surface. So, if you need to patch a hole in a moving drywall panel, this is the best product available right now.
DAP FlexAll is the best for covering large surfaces or filling deep holes. It also can be used for more than just drywall. But it takes the longest time to dry.
5. 3M Large Hole Wall Repair Kit with 12 fl. oz Compound
3M has been in the spackling industry for a while now and you’ll feel a lot of comfort when using their drywall patch kit.
This 3M large drywall hole repair kit is an all in one pack for the homeowners who do not want to buy a lot of tools separately to do a simple repair job.
This is a combination of three different packs that you need for drywall cracks repair.
Coming to the main point, this spackle is extremely adhesive so that you can place it on the drywall holes measuring from 3 to 5 inches.
You’ll not see any shrinkage or crack on the surface after it is dried.
A lot of people fear that sanding on the spackle can cause the repair to be vulnerable. Although it can be a problem for the low-quality spackling pastes, 3M Large Hole wall and ceiling spackle can certainly absorb sanding without compromising the strength.
6. 3M PPP-3-4IN1T Patch Plus Spackle for Filling Nail Hole
If you are looking for a small spackling compound pack that can do your job without costing you much, this is the go-to for you.
This small spackle is a great option for filling small nail holes. The package itself acts as a putty knife, so you don’t need to buy a putty knife to get your job done.
Apart from filling nail holes, it can be used for various types of repair such as drywall scratch repair, crack hiding, etc.
The packaging includes a small amount of spackle, primer, sanding pad, and a putty knife for eliminating small blemishes from the wall.
It’s high-quality adhesion and no-shrinkage technology is another thing that made it stand out among thousands of one-time spackle choices.
One drawback that needs mentioning is that you can’t repair a hole perfectly that is more than half an inch deep with this spackling material.
7. Red Devil 658 Patch-A-Wall Spackling Paste
When you have a tiny hole to repair and you don’t want to expense a whole lot of money on it, the Red Devil Patch A Wall spackle is a saver for you.
It comes at a very affordable price, yet provides high-quality results when applied on the drywall holes.
It comes in a squeeze tube pack, so you will need a putty knife to apply the spackle perfectly.
One great thing about this product is that it comes out smooth and can be applied quickly. It also dries fast allowing you to spackle, prime and paints on the same day!
It is manufactured with an extremely adhesive formula to ensure durability and you can sand on the dried surface without any problem.
8. Drywall Repair Putty by Erase-A-Hole
This is a quick and easy solution for the people with little or no knowledge about spackling drywall. The product comes in a compact package and you only need to open the cap to start applying on the drywall. No putty knife or other tools needed!
It’s a perfect shot for the people wanting to hide blemishes from the wall. You’ll also be able to hide small nail holes and small drywall scratches. But deep holes in the drywall can’t be filled with this product. So, when purchasing this, make sure you do not need to fill any hole on the drywall.
9. Red Devil 0544 Onetime Lightweight Spackling
The pre-mixed red devil spackling is a great product when it comes to lightweight spackling. You can easily apply the spackle to fill the cracks, holes or remove the dents from the drywall surface.
It is easy to apply and produces professional-grade repair when dried.
Apart from the drywall, this product adheres to Stucco, wood, and plaster also. So, a great pick for those who need to spackle wood and plaster walls too.
This lightweight compound dries quick and does not shrink or crack when dried. It is made with a formula that can absorb pressures from the sanding tools. So, you don’t need to worry about cracking the spackle after the sanding work is done.
Another important aspect of this product is that it comes in different packaging sizes. So, you can purchase exactly the amount you need to get your job done. No more, no less!
Red Devil is better than 3M or DAP products in this list when it comes to exterior application.
10. Fast'N Final Spackling Interior and Exterior
The Fast N Final interior and exterior spackling compound is another great product from the renowned manufacturer DAP!
It is easy to use, extremely adhesive and need not any sanding after the application.
As its name suggests, it can both be used in the exterior and interior walls which is a great feature to have when it comes to repairing materials. Most of the materials are specific to the interior or exterior and you need to buy two different products for repairing the interior and exterior. So, in terms of that, this is a saver in the spackling industry.
Which of these four products is the best spackle for drywall for that hole in your wall? Well, it really depends on your exact needs. With the exhaustive reviews and comments about each product, you should now be able to pick your desired one.
And don’t worry! If you only have a small nail pop, crack or hole to cover, then they all will do a great job!
Best Drywall Spackles Buying Guide
We have provided a detailed guideline on how to pick the right spackle for your drywall repair project, how can you apply, and many other frequently asked questions under this head. Keep reading-
How To Pick the Right Drywall Spackles?
Buying the right spackling compound for repairing holes in the drywall is important to have a perfectly patched surface. We have outlined the criteria on which you can easily find out the best spackle for your patching job. These are the exact criteria that we have followed to pick our top 10 picks of this article too.
1. Final Appearance
The outcome of the patch is our first consideration when buying spackle for repair. This is because we need to apply spackle on a cracked or damaged surface that has already been finished. The texture of the spackle and the wall surface should look alike.
Ignoring the final appearance of the spackled surface in the first place can make your wall look ugly. So, check the texture of your existing wall and then choose the spackle that ensures the same output.
2. Time to Dry
The next thing to consider is the drying time. You can’t wait for days for the spackle to dry out completely before you start proceeding to the next steps of repairing drywall.
Generally speaking, spackles should dry out within an hour to 6 hours at max. However, the drying time may vary depending on the humidity and other weather conditions on which we have little to no control. So, we are not in favor of calling a product ‘bad’ just because it is dried slowly in your house.
When you are purchasing, you should go for the standard products that ensure fast drying in an hour or two.
3. Ease of Use
The third criterion of buying spackle is how easy it is to use the spackle to patch the drywall. We generally recommend products that come with integrated primers and putty knife in the same box. Getting those will allow you to have a comfortable patching job without looking for different application materials in the hardware store.
Products that come in spackle, primer and putty knife combination are the easiest to apply as you don’t need to look for different materials and importantly, you are reducing the workload as you don’t need to prime the surface separately.
Spackles meant to be sturdy, without any movement internally. If the spackle shrinks or expands after it is dried out, the surface may crack again after a few days due to this.
When in most of the products, we want versatility and flexibility, these are not good at spackles. Avoid spackles that are flexible unless you are repairing a corner or a joint that is constantly in movement, like doors, windows, etc.
The last and the most important criterion to check is the durability of the spackle. No one would like to see cracks appearing again on the same surface that was patched a year ago.
So, go for the products that are the best quality. In other products, we try to go for an affordable product, but spackles are cheap. Depending on the quality, it may vary five to ten bucks at max. So, don’t compromise in the quality.
How to Use Drywall Tape?
Drywall taping is an easy job if you know how to do it. If not, it can ruin your day.
The basic is that you have to put drywall joint compound first on the surface and place the patch tape and after that, you need more layers of the joint compound before you sand and finish the work.
We have a dedicated article on best drywall tape now, check that out for detailed guide.
How to Use Spackle on a Wall
Using spackle to repair your wall is easy and fun to do. But when you plan to do the work by yourself, you need to follow these steps for a perfect repair.
1. Prepare the Wall
Before you break the seal of the spackling compounds, you should prepare the wall for applying repairing paste on it.
Remove any damaged cement, debris, sand, paint, or other things which are attached to the wall.
Spackle work best on the naked wall, so try to remove all extra things attached to the wall.
2. Mix the Compound
Almost all of the spackles come with different materials and you need to mix those before application.
Follow the product manual for the effective mixture of the repair material.
3. Apply the Spackle
After mixing the compound correctly, apply the material on the wall. Fix smaller holes first and larger holes later so that you don't forget about tiny holes on the wall in the latter part of the repair work.
4. Polish and Paint
When you finish up with the above steps, you now need to wait until the compound is dried up. This is a really important step as if you proceed further without drying the compound, the patch will not work.
After the wall is dried up, you can now polish the wall and paint it according to your wishes.
Where to Buy Spackle
Since you are here, you already know what spackle is, how it works, and what is the best of the best for the small and large holes.
Now that you are looking for a buying option, you can easily buy the spackle from Amazon.
Apart from that, the other places where you can find a perfect spackle for you are-
1. Online Stores
Online stores like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Alibaba sell all types of products, and you can effortlessly search and buy one for your wall fix.
2. Offline Stores
Just like other home improvement products, spackles can be found in the hardware shops.
Before you purchase one from your nearest hardware shop, ensure the authenticity and check for the product materials for a permanent fix.
Read Also: The Best Drywall Primer For New Drywall Reviews!
How Strong is Drywall Spackle
If you are looking for a parameter of the strength of the spackle, we could not validate any.
But we can give you an idea about the strength and bonding of the spackling paste when it is completely dried.
Spackle paste is a widely used repair material around the globe, but this is not for holding something into it.
For example, if you are fixing a hole in the wall and want to screw-on that hole after the application of the spackle. The screw will fit in as long as you do not pull the nail back with something like curtain rope or other.
The screw can be used as a small photo frame holder or other lightweight material.
The material is itself durable, but it is not that strong to hold tight when you pull or pressurize it.
How To Spackle Sheetrock Joints
The procedure for the sheetrock joints spackling is a straightforward task. Have a look at the video, and you will be good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Spackle Toxic?
No, not really. Spackle is not toxic when you apply that in the prescribed manner.
You should take extra precaution when sanding the dry spackle before painting or for any other work. Inhaling those substances from the air can be harmful to your lungs.
The human lung can filter out a small amount of those substances but exposer to a whole lot of spackle dust can be harmful.
I will recommend using N95 masks when using any type of chemical works.
Is Spackle Waterproof?
In most of the cases, spackles are not waterproof. Exposure to the water or any other liquid material can affect the durability of the spackle.
To be 100% sure about that, you should see the product materials by which it is made. If the manufacturer makes waterproof spackle, he will highlight that feature for sure.
What is Drywall Spackle Made of?
Spackle is made of gypsum powder and other binding chemicals. Different manufacturers use different types of materials for making spackle but the primary material is the same in all.
Gypsum powder along with company-specific binders results in a perfect spackling compound.
What is Spackle Used For?
Spackle is used for various types of works. The primary use of the spackling paste is to patch small cracks or holes in the wall.
Apart from patching defective walls, the spackling paste can be used for hiding dents and defects from the surface.
It can be used as a temporary solution for the cracks and holes which are to be filled with caulks or grout.
Can You Use Spackle Instead of Joint Compound?
Yes, You can use spackle and joint compound inter-changeably.
Joint compound is convenient for sanding while spackle is not quite convenient material for using a drywall sander.
Do You Need To Prime Over Spackle?
Yes, if you want to hide the dent or hole of the wall. Leaving the repaired wall without priming and painting will make your wall ugly. So, you need to apply primer and paint on it to make it good looking.
Some products like 3M Patch Plus come with pre-integrated primer, you'll not require primer in such cases.
What is The Difference Between Drywall Spackle and Plaster?
Plaster is used for covering the concrete walls. This is a mixer of cement, sand and other binding materials. Plaster is a convenient material for using in a massive area.
On the other hand, Spackle is used mainly for repair work. It is convenient for small holes and cracks. Its work is to bind the two separated part together like new. This material is not good for using in a big area like the whole outdoor wall.
How Long Should I Wait to Paint after Spackling?
You can paint over the spackle after 2 hours. For best outcome of the paint, you can wait another 2 hours to completely dry out the spackle.
After the spackle is dried out completely, softly sand over the spackled area and paint it.
Is Spackle as Strong as Drywall?
No, Drywall is stronger than the Spackle.
Having said that, you shouldn't worry about the durability of the drywall spackle as they come with enough strength to bear significant amount of force.
How Can I Speed Up Spackle Drying?
Warm air can do it faster than usual. But it is recommended to let the drywall spackle dry in normal weather condition so that it does not break inside because of the excessive heat.
If you have no time and have to dry it out instantly, you can use a fan or a hair dryer to blow hot air. This way the drying process will be a lot faster than normal.
How Much Does Drywall Spackle Cost?
Spackle is a comparatively cheap material, and if you are doing all the work by yourself, it will cost you around $10 to $80 considering the surface you have to cover and the quality of the spackle.
But if you are not doing the work and hiring handymen for doing the job, they can cost you an additional $70 to $150 considering workload and surface position.