Can You Spackle Over Paint?

Can You Spackle Over Paint?
A Spackle On Paint

Spackling compounds feature gypsum powder and binders that patch cracks, small holes. They also fix other flaws and imperfections like dents on plaster walls, wood, and drywall. Also, the recommended practice is spackling before painting as it repairs the surface before you apply any coat. But, in case you forget to Spackle in advance, Can You Spackle Over Paint?

Yes. It is possible to Spackle over paint. However, ensure that you prime the spackled spot to avoid seeing it after applying the paint coat. Moreover, the priming texture will be different, and the spackled area will absorb paint differently. Thus, the finish will not be similar to what you would get if you spackle before painting.

In addition, be sure to spackle drywall before repainting the wall. It ensures that the surface is in a perfect state, and thus, you get a better, finished surface. But, that is not all about the spackling and painting. So, please read through this guide for more detailed and further information.

Can You Sand Spackle After Painting?

You can sand Spackle after painting to eliminate spackle spots that compromise the final finish. Also, some additional patching after the saddening process will help blend the spots in and deliver a flawless surface.

However, it would be best to talk to your painting contractor before working on the spots. An experienced painter will recommend the best way to handle the issue during the general preparations for the paint job.

How Do You Smooth Spackle After Painting?

Dry-sand the surface with sandpaper until you get a smooth and flawless surface. You can also wet-sand by lightly going over the patch with a damp drywall sponge. However, ensure that the Spackle dries completely before the smoothing process.

Consider the following tips to get a perfect outcome.

  • Always sand each coat before laying the next one.
  • Use a drywall pole sander for full coverage if you have a large wall area to Spackle and sand.
  • Verify if the Spackle is dry by lightly pressing it with your fingertips. Check if the surface is hard and shows any fingerprints. Also, the dry time depends on the spackle brand and the humidity levels.
  • Get 120-grit or 150-grit sandpaper and gently sand the spackled area’s edges. Continue sanding until the surface blends into the surrounding wall. Also, ensure that there is no raised edge.
  • Wear protective clothing to avoid breathing fine spackle dust.
  • Avoid over sanding the surface as you can accidentally tear the drywall paper or go through the Spackle.
  • Remove the sanding dust by wiping the surface with a slightly dampened cloth.
  • Evaluate the wall area to ensure that it is smooth and with no raised ridges.

Will Joint Compound Stick to Glossy Paint?

Although you can use joint drywall compound for most drywall repairs, it does not stick properly to gloss or semi-gloss paint. You have to reprime the wall to provide the necessary adhesion. 

Priming also seals the area you intend to repair and improves coverage. Therefore, you will get more than one benefit by priming the glossy surface.

Below are some guidelines during the gloss removal and painting process.

  • Get the necessary supplies: a sponge, paint scraper, drywall primer, detergent, paint roller, paintbrush, joint drywall compound, 4-, 6- and 8-inch drywall knives, drill, paper drywall tape, work light, wall paint, spray texture, one and a half-inch drywall screws, no. 2 Phillips bit, and 120-grit sandpaper.
  • Sponge the wall with a mixture of warm water and detergent. Use a strong solvent such as trisodium phosphate to clean the gloss or semi-gloss paint.
  • Remove loose drywall mud on seams. Then, puncture bubbles in the tape and pull off the separated paper. Also, use a brush to paint off to eliminate remaining dust and lose mud.
  • Spread the drywall primer coat on all the regions that need repair. Use a roller and wait for the surface to dry before proceeding.
  • Place paper drywall tape on the mud after moistening it with water. Next, coat seams with a 4-inch drywall blade and spread a second coat on the tape.
  • Identify any pooped out drywall nails and replace them with 1 ½ -inch drywall screws. Use the drill and no.2 Phillips bit to dive the screw heads at least 1/16 inch past the drywall’s surface. Then, hide them in a mud coat.
  • Use a mud coat to hide uneven seams that may have remained and scrape the mud with the knife to get a flat surface.
  • Allow the first mud coat to dry overnight and recoat all the areas that need repair. You can also use a 6-inch knife to make wider seams that feather out into the surface. In addition, you can have a third coat, but ensure that the second coat dries completely.
  • Sand all the repaired surface areas with 120-grit sandpaper. Wear a mask during this stage to protect your lungs. Also, shine a work light on the wall to confirm it is flat if the room is dark.
  • Assess the existing texture and apply a similar texture to the wall. You can duplicate a pattern by spraying texture from the can and using a drywall knife to flatten it once it stiffens.
  • Let the texture dry and prime the repairs. Then, touch them up by rolling on the surface’s color.


  • Prime the wall’s surface and paint it with the available color if you cannot access an exact match for the wall color.
  • Also, use hot mud and fiberglass mesh tape to fix cracked seams. The practice also helps to prevent their recurrence, and thus, a durable wall.
  • Place plastic sheeting on the floor to avoid an intense cleanup project after painting.

Can Joint Compound be Used as a Skim Coat?

It is possible to use joint compound as a skim coat. There are two types of this product. First, we have the ready-mixed joint compound and then the setting-type joint compound.

The ready-mixed joint compound is wet and usually ready to use out of the container. It is softer than the setting compound and takes several hours to dry. On the other hand, the setting-type joint compound mixes with water to deliver a very hard finish.

The choice of the product you want to use depends on the surface you want to skim. For instance, the setting product is suitable if you are fixing major damage. It works well for water-damaged drywall and plaster.

Conversely, ready-mixed compound products are suitable for minor wall imperfections and finishing drywall. They are perfect for doing final coats over skim coating jobs. In addition, they are easier to spread than the setting-type products and allow for thinner applications.

Skim coating is an easy process, and as long as the wall is ready for repainting, you will do well. However, ensure that you examine the wall for damage, shiny paint, or water exposure. Then, prepare the surface accordingly.

Before skim coating, ensure that;

  • You clean the surface using a degreaser.
  • Sand slick shiny surfaces with medium sandpaper or prime with flat paint.
  • Repair water-stained walls and allow them to dry completely to dull the glossy finish.
  • Remove all loose material from the surface, eliminate all the dust, and coat with a primer-sealer. This process helps to remove any popping off Joint compound or peeling paint and plaster.

Additionally, it is prudent to have the correct mixing setting for the compounds. For example, use a two to one ratio of powdered compound to cool, clean water. Also, use a mud pan to mix small mud amounts at a time for the skim coat.

Next, add about ½ water cup and mix the mud to make it thick enough to remain on the joint knife. Examine the thickness of the mixture and add more powder if it is thin and soupy.

Collect the wet mud onto the pan, scoop it with a knife, and scrape it on the rim. This move is crucial as it helps to keep the mud under control and does not spread to unwanted areas. 

Finally, cut a portion from the pan’s rim and transfer the mud to your work surface. Then, spread it back and forth as if you are buttering some toast.

Besides that, be keen as you apply the first skim coat to get full coverage. Ensure that you hold the knife at about a thirty-degree angle and lay it on ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. In addition, leave a consistently thin layer as you skim off excess mud. You can also ignore the small ridges between strokes because you can always remove them later.

Moreover, the second coat will not give you problems once you deliver a perfect first one. So, sand the surface to remove bumps and ripples. Then, lightly wipe the surface with a sponge or cloth and proceed to apply the second coat.

Also, ensure that you use the buttering and skimming technique, but this time, use perpendicular motions to stroke and remove the mud. Then, once you have a smooth finish, allow the mud to settle and dry.

You can apply as many skim coats as possible to achieve a perfect finish for the repair area. Also, always alternate the strokes’ direction with each new coat.

On top of that, sometimes you need to skim coat the ceiling or the whole wall. The process can be quite demanding and consume a lot of energy and time. But the following guidelines should help you.

  • Use ready-mixed compound products for large surfaces. Also, use the setting compound whenever you need to in thick texture on a large surface area.
  • Work on manageable swaths of a few feet at a time. It would be best, begin with the ceiling and move to about midway down the wall. Then, apply the mud with strokes and skim the excess mud from top to bottom.
  • Move upwards from the baseboard to the midpoint. Then skim stroking up and overlap the top part. Also, work in small rows.
  • Consider working with three or four-foot rows on ceilings. Break them into manageable segments and stroke back into previously done sections to create overlaps.
  • Start another row across the ceiling and work parallel to the first once you reach the other side of the room. Then, blend the mud along all edges until you get an even finish.

Finally, it would help if you sanded the final coat. However, ensure that the surface is fairly smooth and the final coat has been set. Also, leave the ready-mixed compound overnight to dry before sanding.

Use 120 sandpaper for the setting compound and 220 for the softer, ready-mixed compound. Ensure that you use light pressure and wide arching strokes when sanding. Then, feather the mud edges to deliver a smooth blend to the surrounding surface.

You can also get a sanding pole and sand the whole wall. It helps you cover the whole surface area front the ceiling down to the floor. In addition, it would be best to vacuum up the dust and wipe the surface lightly with a damp sponge or cloth.

Is Joint Compound and Spackle the Same Thing?

Joint compound and Spackle are different products, and they also have varying functions. For example, joint compound is suitable for finishing and taping drywall seams, while Spackle works best if you want to fill in small or large-sized holes in the wall. Also, the joint compound dries much slower than Spackle, and it would be best to give more drying time before sanding or painting.

On top of that, unlike Spackle, joint compound shrinks so much, and you need multiple applications to get full coverage. Thus, the application process is more time-consuming and tedious.

Conversely, Spackle comes in a convenient package and is usually ready to use. You will get it in pre-mixed containers, and so you just begin applying paste immediately. The product is also a thinner paste and spreads more easily on the surface. Thus, it is a much better option if you want a slim layer.

How Long Should Spackle Dry Before Sanding?

Spackle takes a few minutes to dry if the weather conditions are super favorable. However, normally, it will need one to two hours to cure ‘to the touch.’ Also, it is recommended that you wait for another one to two hours before sanding and about 24 hours before applying paint.

How Do You Spackle Perfectly?

The best way to use the Spackle compound is to give enough drying time before sanding or applying paint. Fortunately, the product dries quickly and delivers a minimal shrink. Therefore, you can patch on minor damages without waiting for a whole 24 hours before applying paint.

Check out a quick summary of how to spackle your surface perfectly.

  • Use pre-mixed Spackle for repairing small holes. Consider products with acrylic.
  • Prepare the repair area by cleaning it and removing loose debris around the surface’s perimeter.
  • Use slightly angled and downward strokes to lay the Spackle into the hole/
  • Scrape excess product once you get full coverage.
  • Sand the wall’s surface with fine-grit sandpaper and wipe off any dust with a sponge or cloth.

What Is the Best Way to Sand Spackle?

The best way to sand Spackle is by using a flat sanding block or sponge. First, you will work on the Spackling build-up. Then lightly work sand as you get close to the surface. Also, ensure that you continue sanding until the patch blends with the surrounding area.

In addition, it would be best to avoid roughing up the surface too much. This move will protect the paper from scuffing up and keep the paper fibers intact. Also, you will avoid using additional drywall compounds to tighten the fibers.

Run your fingers over the wall to check for depressions or bumps. And sand any raised spots until they are flat. Also, ensure that you have some Spackling or drywall compound for indentations.

You need the following supplies to complete the work:

  • Sanding Sponges

They are a perfect way to do light sanding, especially on drywall products. The sponges consist of synthetic material and form a grit on the surface. Also, they come in many sizes that can fit on your palm. In addition, the sponges have block-like shapes that help you to keep the surface flat.

  • Sand Paper

Standard sandpaper also works for Spackling. However, ensure that you select the correct grit because a coarse one leaves scratches on the Spackling patch and the surrounding area. On the other hand, if the sandpaper is too fine, you will have to work harder to get a perfect finish.

Consider 100 to 150 grit sandpaper for spackling patches or drywall. Also, avoid pressing down the sandpaper with your fingers as you will create pressure points. This occurrence will create spots that sand away easily more than others, and you will have grooves and depressions on the surface.

Besides that, get a sanding block to keep the sandpaper flat against the wall’s surface or ceiling.

  • Sanding Screen

Use a sanding screen for new drywall before painting. The grit range for this accessory is 80 to 220, but you can also use the 100 to 150 range for finished walls. The sanding screen can also fit on a drywall pole sander, and thus, you can get full coverage easily.

  • Sanding Blocks

Sanding blocks are available in multiple sizes and shapes. Hence, you will get a suitable one for your project. The accessories also accept ¼ sandpaper sheets, and thus, you can sand small spots during repairs.

Note: It would be best to avoid power sanders on Spackling as they cause more harm than good. Spackling paste and putty is quite delicate and fairly soft. Therefore, the power sander will easily dig in too deep and ruin the patch. So, you will end up with more repairs to do.

Lastly, it is prudent to consider dust during the Spackle application. Spackling paste and other drywall compounds produce fine white dust that is harmful to your health. Thus, ensure that you have protective clothing when working on a large wall.

How Many Coats of Spackle Do You Need?

Generally, you need about three coats of Spackle to get accurate results. The first coat is the heaviest and needs more Spackle than the others. Then, the second one comes in after the first coat fully dries and levels the joint.

Finally, the third and last coat feathers the joint edges and makes it invisible. It also requires you to use a 12-inch wide knife to get a smooth finish.

Do You Have to Sand Between Coats of Spackle?

Yes. It is best to sand between coats to get rid of any bumps. A screen sander will do a perfect job. The process also helps you avoid sand after the painting process as it evens out the surface as the mud is still drying.

Do You Need to Prime Over Spackle?

A primer is incredibly important as it keeps the surface from appearing duller than the surrounding area. Also, when you do not use a primer, the spackle spot will stick out, and you will not have a uniform wall.

In addition, Spackle is more porous than the materials making up the surrounding surface. Therefore, you need a primer to ensure uniformity.

How Do You Revive Spackle?

You revive Spackle with water. Spackling compound resembles toothpaste or a slightly off-white brand. Therefore, adding some water will revive dry spackling paste.

Use the following procedure to add some spark on Spackle.

  • Add a moderate amount of tap water.
  • Mix and try to break down dried clamps.
  • Put the container in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
  • Put it back in the microwave for about thirty more minutes.

Why Is My Spackle Not Drying?

Moisture is the main reason why Spackle takes too long to dry. So, the more moisture you have in the air, the more time the product needs to dry completely.

In addition, some Spackle products are ready-made, and you apply them directly from the can, but some are in powder form and need water to form a mixture. Thus, moisture can interfere with the drying time.

When Can I Apply a Second Coat of Spackle?

Fast-drying Spackle takes a few minutes to dry completely, but normal Spackle will require about one to two hours. Also, it would be best to wait for one to two hours before sanding and about 24 hours if you want to apply paint.

In addition, Spackle coats need to rest on a dry surface. So, you need to wait for 24 hours before adding another Spackle coat.

How Do You Spackle a Second Coat?

The first step is to test whether the first coat is completely dry. Then, apply the second coat gently without pressing the surface. Also, ensure that you do not leave excess Spackle on the surface while waiting for the coat to dry.

In addition, the process is pretty much the same as applying the first coat. So, you only need to ensure that you have a dry surface. Also, you can sand the first coat to get an even surface for a second coat.

How Do You Know if Spackle is Dry?

You will know that Spackle is dry if it does not retain fingerprints when you touch it. Also, check if the surface is hard as you touch it. This exercise is essential, especially if you want to apply additional coats on the surface.

In addition, check out the drying guidelines on the Spackle container.

How Do You Sand Spackle Without Making a Mess?

One of the ways to ensure that you keep a clean workspace is by covering other parts of the room. Tape plastic on the floor as you only need to roll up the residual dust in the plastic surface and remove it from the house.,

You can also tape the doorway, but it would be best not to seal it. The bottom will help to allow airflow into the room.

The other strategy involves putting a box fan in an open window for blowing the air out. Also, open a window in the adjacent room and allow more air to circulate in and out of the house.


Your drywall will require repairs after some time, and it would be best to have a few tips on your sleeves. So, one of the products you will need then is Spackle. The product fills small holes and patches cracks, and fixes imperfections such as dents on the surface. But, we have a few concerns on how best to apply Spackle. Like:

Can You Spackle Over Paint?

It is okay to Spackle over a painted surface, but it would be best to prepare the wall properly. So, prime the spackled spot and allow it to dry before you proceed to the next step.

Unfortunately, the spackled area will absorb paint differently than the other surface areas. Thus, you will get a slightly different finish. But, even so, you can comfortably work on small wall areas and achieve a uniform look.