Do You Need To Prime Spackle?

A common dilemma when doing a DIY painting project is whether or not to prime a wall before painting, especially after spackling. And you might wonder if you really need to prime spackle. Don't worry as we've researched the topic in-depth and have an answer for you.

It is essential to apply primer to a spackle region before painting the wall. This can prevent the final product from seeming noticeably darker than its surroundings. If you don't apply a primer, the spackle patch will be more likely to show, which is unappealing.

We'll discuss in detail why you need to prime spackle and how to do so. Keep reading this article for everything you need to know about priming and doing a spackle job.

Worker sanding dry wall, Do You Need To Prime Spackle?

To Prime Or Not To Prime Over Spackle

Spackle is a porous material, and it may absorb a huge amount of paint. So applying a primer is necessary.

Hand painting wall in gray

Before applying paint to a surface, you should always prime the area to reduce the amount of paint needed to cover the wall completely.

However, if the surface that's been spackled is minor, you can "spot-prime" the wall by using a tiny amount of your standard paint and directly brushing it on the affected areas. The color will show up just fine. You may simply just paint over the small cracks on your wall since it is not that noticeable.

Paint is incapable of filling small gaps due to its thin consistency, so painting over slightly damaged walls will only leave them exposed. If not addressed immediately, cracks will continue to grow. This may also cause further damage in the long run.

Do You Have To Sand Spackle Before Painting?

Worker aligns the sandpaper wall

The patch will blend in better if you sand the surface and edges, which will make it easier to paint. Compared to the rest of the wall, the spackle typically seems rougher or may be slightly elevated once it has dried. The patched area must be sanded before painting.

Spackle dries firm and becomes unnoticeable from the surface wall after being sanded and painted. Make sure that the texture is the same as the texture of the wall to perfectly hide the spackle spot.

The protruding part of the spackle must be entirely flat with the wall to avoid having an unsightly appearance.

Make sure to give the spackle enough time to dry before sanding. Once completely dry, you can start sanding and then add color to the area.

How To Prime After Spackle

As minor drywall damage, such as cracks, scratches, imperfections, or small holes, is pretty much inevitable, all of these can be easily repaired with drywall joint compound or quick-drying spackle. But the repair must still be painted to match the surrounding wall.

A professional-looking surface is achieved by sanding and priming the repair before painting. Follow the quick and easy steps below to get a better grasp on how to prime after spackle.

Step 1:

When the spackled area is completely dried, sand the patched area using fine-grit sanding paper or a sanding block. The area should be smooth and flush with the rest of the wall. It is best to feel the surface of the wall than merely look at it.

This texture will have a significant impact on the overall appearance of the wall.

Step 2:

It is important that you apply a primer over the spackle spot area before painting the wall. Depending on the size of the patch, apply primer with a paintbrush or roller to the spackled area.

When you simply paint the entire wall, the spackle region is likely to have a different texture than the surrounding wall.

The primer seals the spackle or joint compound and prepares the area for better and smooth painting. The patched area will soak up a lot of paint if not primed. 

Step 3:

After applying the primer, allow it to completely dry before applying paint. Most primers require 24 hours to fully dry before painting while most latex primers can dry in as early as 30 minutes.

Click here to see this primer on Amazon.

The drying time may vary depending on the brand, the room's temperature, and humidity. High humidity and cool temperatures may prolong drying time. 

Step 4:

Once the primer is fully dried, consider taking the extra step of painting the mended portion of the wall first. Applying a thin coat of paint to the patched area first can help to create a more seamless finish.

You may use a technique called stippling to match the patched area texture to the wall. This can be done by dabbing the tip of the paintbrush on the wall. Ensure to paint the entire wall to successfully conceal spackle patches. 

If this is too hard for you, you can opt to hire a professional to do the job.

How Long Does It Take For Spackle To Dry?

Hand repair damaged wall

It may just take as early as 30 minutes for quick-drying spackle to dry. Regular spackle requires 1-2 hours to dry completely. However, sanding or painting should be delayed for at least another 1 to 2 hours.

There are several factors that must be considered to determine the drying time of the spackle. For one, there are different spackle types, which is why drying time may vary. Some are quick-drying, while others may require more time to completely dry.

Temperature and humidity also play a part. Extreme heat or cold slows down the drying process. Furthermore, if you are filling a huge area, you can anticipate a much longer drying period.

To learn more about spackle drying time, you can check out this related post: How Long Does Spackle Take To Dry?

Is Spackle Waterproof?

Regular spackle is not waterproof. It is used to quickly and easily fill in gaps and cracks. It is a type of material that can be spread over holes to seal and cover them completely. 

Nonetheless, spackle when dried turns rough and hard on the applied surface. When splashed with water, nothing will happen. This does not mean that it is water-resistant.

In the long run, however, being exposed to water often may ruin the area that was spot-concealed using spackle. Ordinary spackle is not entirely waterproof but is somewhat resistant to moisture.

If what you are looking for is a waterproof spackle, there are available options on the market. 

Click here to see this waterproof spackle on Amazon.

What's The Difference Between Joint Compound And Spackle?

Joint compound and spackle perform similar functions and are often used together. Both are essential materials that are used when working with drywall. These two products have almost the same properties. Both are white, thick, and have a paste-like consistency. 

Click here to see this joint compound on Amazon.

You can use a joint compound instead of a spackle if needed, but you can't use a spackle as a substitute for a joint compound. Most of the time, spackle is used to fix small holes in drywall or plaster.

Spackle is the best way to fix small holes in the walls, like nail holes, cracks, and wall peeling. It dries faster and shrinks less than a joint compound. Because it dries so quickly, you can sand and paint over it as soon as it gets dry.

Click here to see this spackle on Amazon.

While spackle works better for fixing tiny to large-sized holes in your walls, joint compound is ideal for taping and completing drywall joints.

That's not to say that a good joint compound can't be used to patch holes, but joint compound normally dries much more slowly than spackle.

Wrapping Things Up

Hand with putty knife repair damaged wall

Using a spackle is the easiest technique to repair small wall cracks or holes. It is a great compound because it dries quickly and doesn't shrink much. 

Applying a primer over the spackle spot area before painting the wall is a must. This will ensure that the application of the paint will go smoothly and will last long.

Want to learn more? Check out these related articles below!

How Long Does Spackle Take To Dry?

How To Fill The Gap Between A Ceiling And Wall [Step By Step Guide]

How To Soften Dry Wood Filler?

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