Top 10 Best Drywall Spackle in 2020 – Reviews and Buying Guide
When I joined college back in 2010, I really hated the small apartment that my dad rented for me in Houston. So, I decided to relocate to another apartment after the first semester.
I had made a small nail hole on the wall in the living room where I hung a picture frame. Going to remove it, the nail left a large hole.
My landlord told me that 100 bucks from my deposit would cover for the repairs. A whole 100 bucks!
I told him I would fix the hole before moving out. He sarcastically responded, “Go ahead by all means. Just make sure I can’t tell where the hole was.”
I called my dad and asked for ideas. He casually replied, “Just get some spackle, Jake.”
I went online and did some digging, and found a spackle product by 3M. I paid just about 9 bucks for it.
When I finished applying the spackle and painting over it, I couldn’t even tell where the damage was. The landlord hesitantly gave me back my deposit – all of it!
Maybe you’re in the same position where you need something that can perfectly conceal damage. Or, you just want to restore your drywall, stucco, or plaster wall to its original glory.
You’ve come to the right place.
I am going to tell you about some of the best spackle for drywall I have come across.
Let’s jump right in.
5 out of 5
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4.5 out of 5
What Is Drywall Spackle and What Are the Benefits of Using It?
Spackle for drywall repair is basically a cream made up of gypsum powder, some solvent, and some binders. There are varieties that comes is the form of a powder instead of a cream.
Also known as spackling compound, the product is typically used for repair purposes. Most folks use it for filling nail pops, cracks, and holes on plaster, drywall, stucco, and a few other building materials.
There are great benefits to having this product in your home, including:
With that aside, let us jump into the reviews.
Top 10 Best Spackle For Drywall: Reviews 2020
1. 3M PPP-3-4IN1T Patch Plus
I first came across this product when I was moving out an apartment in NYC. The landlord would have charged more than 100 dollars for the nail holes on the wall, and I wasn’t ready to have so much deducted from my deposit.
So, I did some digging and found the 3M PPP-3-4IN1T Patch Plus. I have to say this is one of the best spackle for drywall with regards to convenience.
Rather than searching for a sandpaper and a primer for making the paint stick separately, you can just get this product. It comes with everything in a clever all-in-one design.
At the top is a small sandpaper pad that you can use to sand the application once it dries. And mixed with the spackle is a primer, which preps the surface for painting.
No need to get a putty knife when you get this product. One end of the tube is designed as a putty knife, and it works great for spreading the spackle paste.
But convenience is not all there is to this product. Quality-wise, it is one of the top wall repair products I have come across.
In that regard, it is a perfect concealer. It beautifully patches up the hole, becoming totally invisible under paint. If you’re looking for professional results, this is the product to use.
Something that I loved a lot about the spackle is that is doesn’t look dried up and neither is it runny. It is just the right consistency, so working it into the holes is a piece of cake.
Shrinking and cracking are problems I have had to deal with using many spackles. This one, however, doesn’t come with the issue, making it surely amazing.
And lastly – the spackle dries in less than 45 minutes. That means you can return the wall to its earlier glory in a short period of time – this is a lifesaver if time is not on your side.
2. DAP 12330 Dry Time Indicator Spackle
Knowing when the spackle paste is dry and ready for sanding and painting is not easy especially for a beginner. What if I told you there’s a product that tells you when it is adequately dry and ready to be painted?
Yes, that is what you get with the DAP 12330 Dry Time Indicator Spackle. This product is pink when being applied, but when it dries, it changes to a consistently white color. That is how you know it is ready to sand and paint.
One thing I love about this product is that ease of use. That is thanks to the fact that the product is really pasty. Neither dry nor runny. Hence, it goes on as smoothly as butter and is easy to work with your fingers or a putty knife.
For small holes that are not very deep, and that are up to a nickel wide, I found the product to work immaculately. By the time you’ve sanded and painted the application, people can’t even tell where you application went.
Thankfully, the paste conforms to the hole efficiently and conceals the imperfection perfectly.
For larger holes, the paste is not excellent, but still it works. There might be a little bit of smoosh but it’s nothing serious. You can get better results by applying patch tape first and then applying this product on top.
When it comes to the quality, this is definitely a good product. As mentioned before it conceals those imperfections so well that no one will even know they were there in the first place.
It does not crack, and neither does it collapse. When you apply it and leave it to dry, the paste keeps at its original size. And when it comes to sanding, the task is really.
3. Red Devil 658 Patch-A-Wall Spackling Paste
When it comes to the ease of application, I cannot think of a better spackle paste than the Red Devil 658 Patch-A-Wall.
The tube features an innovative design that makes squeezing the paste out such an easy task. It is a mechanical roll up attachment that gets the paste to the nozzle for an even flow.
And because of it, the paste flows out seamlessly. Cutting the flow is also a breeze, thanks to the same design.
I have to say, also, that the design looks really cool.
If you’re looking for a versatile filling product that you can use on almost anything, this is it. It sticks to almost anything. You can use it on wallboard, wood, plaster, ceramic tiles, mosaic tiles, and more.
And you know what amazed me the most?
I had applied some grout on my bathroom tiles that were starting to wear on the edges. The problem was, the grout developed cracks, which reduced the aesthetic value of the tiles.
I gave this product a shot, and it worked! That came as a total surprise to me because I hadn’t come across sealant products that work on grout with such great results.
One thing I really like about this spackle is that it works. It is one of the most effective wall repair units I have come across. Why? It adheres to the surface firmly and hides the hole/dent very well.
Some folks have expressed frustrations when using the product on heavy vinyl wallpaper. And it’s true that the product has issues in this area. A bit of the application sticks up. On the brighter side, you can fix that with a heat gun.
Overall, the Red Devil 658 Patch-A-Wall is a great hole patching product. It works beautifully, it’s easy to use, and it dries relatively fast, in less than an hour.
4. Erase-A-Hole Drywall Repair Putty and Spackle
Lengthy drying time is one of the inconveniences that spackle presents. You have to give the product time to dry before sanding it down and tweaking it as needed. But you can say goodbye to such problems when using Erase-A-Hole Drywall Repair Putty.
With this product, there is no drying time. You just apply it and in seconds, it’s already dry and ready for painting.
Application is straightforward. You just apply the product and wipe off the excess. And that’s all. The upper part of the cap is designed such that it can be used to smooth out the application. The beautiful part is that you can apply paint almost immediately after application.
As the product is fast drying, you have to be careful not to get it on anything else apart the from the intended part that needs repair. Clean up is not that easy.
What can you use it on? Well, the product is not that versatile. It seems to only work on wood and drywall. That being said, the results are professional.
One thing you’re going to love about this product is the performance it offers. You can’t imagine how effective it is.
When used to repair small holes and cracks, the results are so good that it will be hard for anyone will know there was a problem on there.
Something else you’re going to like is that there is minimum shrinking. That goes a long way in ensuring the repaired part remains hidden.
5. 3M 2 in 1 Spackling & Primer
If you don’t want to have to apply a primer before painting the application, then you might want to try the 3M PPP Kit. This product is integrated with a primer, so that you can paint the surface immediately without priming.
If you’re a beginner, you’re better off getting an all-in-one product like this one that comes with almost everything you need. In addition to the spackle, you get a putty knife and a sanding pad.
The included putty knife is 3 inches long and it features a good design, so you might find it really helpful when it comes to smoothing out the patch.
I found the sandpaper to work great as well.
Repairing holes with a spackle takes patience. You fill the holes and give them time to dry. You sand it and re-spackle any uneven areas you see. It’s a process, at least for a beginner.
One thing that makes it easier when using the 3M PPP Kit is that the product goes on smoothly. You won’t have to deal with a mess like I have seen other products create.
And as said, the included putty knife makes smoothing the surface easy.
But there’s one issue that I found annoying – the drying time. Can you imagine you have to wait for at least 3 hours for the patch to dry? If you’re in a hurry, that’s a huge inconvenience. But if you’re not in a hurry, it won’t be an issue at all.
And in any case, the price is great. Less than 20 bucks for all these items is a real bargain.
6. US GYPSUM All Purpose Joint Compound
If you’re planning to repair a large area, then you need lots of spackle. Instead of getting many tubes that pack just a few ounces, you could just get the US GYPSUM All Purpose Joint Compound. It is a 12-pound container full of spackle.
When it comes to price efficiency, this is virtually the best drywall spackle anyone can get. Imagine getting all that quantity for just around 20 bucks.
Now, I know what some of you might think – cheap is expensive, in the sense that it might compromise quality. But that’s not the case with the US GYPSUM All Purpose Joint Compound. This product presents great quality as you’re about to discover.
First off, the product is long lasting. As long as you restore the lid firmly each time you open the container, then you can rest assured the product will remain usable. It’s not one of those spackles that expire quickly after opening.
Secondly, the consistency is amazing. If you have used a product that contains lumps and uneven grains, you know how difficult it can be to work with such products.
The nice consistency of this product makes it easy to work with. It applies really smoothly and spreads like butter.
You don’t have to deal with having to squeeze tubes anymore. You only scoop up the amount you need and apply it where you want to repair.
There’s just one thing you have to know before getting the product. It needs at least 12 hours drying time. That means you’re going to have to wait overnight before sanding it.
Generally, it’s a great product.
7. Dap Crack Shot Spackling Paste
If you’re searching for quality spackle for drywall repair, the Dap Crack Shot Spackling is yet another product you should think about. It is easy to use, thanks to its nice creamy consistency that applies seamlessly.
That being said, I found it rather tricky to apply without a tool. But with a putty knife or an old gift card, the task should be easy.
Shrinking is one of the most daunting issues to deal with when it comes to spackle. But not if you’re using this product. When applied, the product does not shrink. Neither does it expand.
What makes it even better is that when applied, the product dries very well, to a nice hard patch. The patch is easy to sand and bring to a level even with the wall.
When it comes to effectiveness, you’re going to love the Dap Crack Shot Spackling. It covers up the hole really well. You can’t even tell where it was.
The product also holds nicely, and is compatible with almost any paint out there.
Before you get it, there’s one downside you have to be aware of. The product dries in the package if it remains unused. If you’re hoping to keep it for future use, you’re likely to be disappointed. I’d recommend buying it and using it within the first week.
I have heard of people that have managed to use a clever trick to extend the longevity of the product in the package – keeping the product in a zip lock and airtight bags. I haven’t tried that myself but I have heard that it works, extending the longevity up to 3 months.
8. Red Devil Onetime Lightweight Spackling
A spackling product that dries fast is more desirable. But at the same time, being able to tweak the application is essential, especially for beginners.
Guess what? The Red Devil Onetime Lightweight Spackling offers you both qualities. It dries quickly but at the same time remains flexible enough to tweak.
That is the factor that I loved most about this product, and I can tell you for sure that few other products offer the same.
Sanding is one of the biggest pains when it comes to working with spackle. The reason as to why I find the Red Devil superior to other products of its kind is that it requires minimal to no sanding.
It’s what I’d call self-leveling, in the sense that it tends to level itself without your effort. A light pass of sanding pad will be enough.
Working with the product is a piece of cake, thanks to the nice consistency. It spreads like butter and fills holes efficiently without much effort.
It does not shrink or crack, and as it is premixed with primer, you can paint immediately after drying.
If you’ve used spackle for drywall cracks before, you have probably experienced problems with clean up. Most spackles are such that when they smear items, getting them off is a hassle.
Thankfully, the Red Devil is super easy to clean. If it falls on the carpet, it collects in a clump that you can just scoop and discard.
Versatility is yet another factor that I really love about this unit. You can use it on a wide range of surfaces from plaster and wood to drywall and stucco.
For a spackle that spreads easily and requires minimal sanding, go for the Red Devil Onetime Lightweight Spackling.
9. 3M PPP-16-BB Patch Plus Primer
Someone on a tight budget will find the 3M PPP-16-BB Patch Plus Primer pretty suitable. This is a 16-ounce spackling product that goes for just about 5 bucks.
What about the quality, you ask? For the price, the quality is awesome.
First of all, this is one of the easiest to use products I have come across. I didn’t even need a putty knife to apply it.
I used my fingers and the application went on fine, just like I had used a tool. That is due to the fact that the spackle spreads beautifully.
What’s more, you don’t even need sandpaper to even it out. I used the edge of my small finger and it leveled very well. You can’t even tell where I applied it on the wall.
Having to wait for hours for a spackle to dry can be a pain, especially if you’re in a hurry. One reason why many people love the 3M PPP-16-BB Patch Plus Primer is that it dries in less than 30 minutes.
The product dries rock hard, and it doesn’t shrink or expand. It remains the same size. So, basically, you can paint the application in 30 minutes and restore the spot to its previous appearance.
If you feel you have to sand the application, you will see how easy it is to do that, thanks to the rock hard nature of the dried application. The application is compatible with both wet and dry sanding.
One thing you will like it the concealing power of the product. It blends in with the surrounding wall efficiently.
The only issue I found with this product is that the integrated primer doesn’t seem to work. You will probably have to apply primer before applying paint.
10. Dap 12141 Fast'N Final
And lastly, we have the Dap 12141 Fast'N Final. I first came across this product last year. It was a fantastic spackle paste that had a great consistency. It was super easy to spread and it did not shrink or crack.
The product was super creamy and went on smoothly. It covered the crevices and cracks on my drywall beautifully. You couldn’t even tell where the application was by the time I was done painting it.
I had bought it from a local store for 4 bucks, so you can imagine how pleased I was to see such a cheap product offering such great quality.
Later, when the can was depleted, I decided to purchase more, but going to the store, they were out of stock. So, I decided to order it online.
There’s no telling how disappointed I was. Opening the can, I saw what looked like chunks of dried chalk. It was absolutely unusable.
I returned the can and Amazon shipped a replacement. This time, the product was more creamy and not dried up like before. It was advertised as being paintable in an hour, but it was not until three hours before the product became sufficiently dry to paint.
The most annoying thing was that it shrunk as it dried, so I had to keep adding more product. To add to the pain, there were little cracks on the dried patch, making it obvious where the repair was.
I reviewed this product because my valued readers asked me to. I cannot say what happened to the product – whether the manufacturer decided downgrade the quality or online shippers tamper with the product, but I would advise you to get another brand like the 3M PPP-16-BB Patch Plus Primer. It goes for about the same price and its quality is a lot better.
How to Select the Right Drywall Spackle?
If you’re seeking the best spackle for drywall, you want to consider the quality. That’s because spackle products are not the same. While some are nicely creamy, easy to use, and effective, others are unusable for a variety of reasons.
If you’re repairing a smooth wall, you will obviously need a spackle paste with a smooth texture, and if the wall is rough, a rough texture will be appropriate.
But in most cases, smooth textured spackle are applicable. People prefer it soft and consistently smooth without any grainy or lumpy parts. Such spackle is not only easy to spread by also easy to apply with a tool such as a putty knife.
It goes on smoothly.
How fast do you want to complete the repair? Do you have time to wait for the application or is it a task you want to complete urgently?
That is where drying time comes into play.
While there are models that dry in less than 10 minutes, there are others that take at least 24 hours.
You want a primer that dries hard so that it can be sanded.
Integration with primer
It’s more convenient to be able to apply paint straight after applying the spackle without having to apply primer, don’t you agree?
Thus, look for a primer that comes already mixed with a primer.
These are two things you don’t want in spackle for drywall repair. An application that changes either by shrinking or expanding can be hard to work with. One that remains the same size even after drying makes it easy to restore the spot to its original appearance without having to do too much tweaking.
How to Use Spackle on a Wall
Looking to repair a wall using a spackle? Whether it is a hole, dent, crack or crevice, the task doesn’t have to be daunting. On the contrary, it can be fun. Follow these steps:
Prepping the wall
Spackle works optimally on a clean wall.
So, before you even open the container containing the spackle, you need to make sure the wall is ready for repair. Do that by cleaning the area. Remove all the debris from the spot – things like paint, dirt, dust, sand, and other grime.
Prepping the spackle
If you got a cream model that came premixed and ready for use, there’ll be no mixing to do. You can just open the container and apply the spackle immediately.
Otherwise, you’ll need to prep the compound as directed, perhaps by adding a solvent. Mostly, it’s the power units that need prepping.
It helps to look at the specific instructions for application on the container.
Depending on the unit you’re using, you might have to:
Whatever the case, you’ll need to flatten the application using a tool such as a putty knife or a credit card.
If you’re working on many holes, focus on the small ones first and work on the larger holes later so as not to forget the smaller ones.
Sanding and painting
Once you’re done applying the spackle paste, give it the required amount of time to dry.
And when the application is dry, go ahead and sand it to achieve a smooth and perfectly level surface even with the surroundings.
After that, go on and paint the surface to blend it in with the surroundings. You might need to apply primer first if the spackle did not come premixed with primer.
Painters Putty Vs Spackle: Which One to Select for Repairing Drywall
Both spackle paste and painter’s putty are products used in property maintenance. If you’re wondering which one to use, I’ll talk about some of the differences between the two products to help you decide.
Putty is available in a range of strengths. There’s weak putty for hanging posters and there is super strong putty for joining wood or glass.
Spackle, on the other hand, is generally the same strength – tougher than drywall when dry.
Putty can generally be rewetted if there is need to tweak the application.
Spackle, on the other hand, cannot be rewetted once it is dry. That is why spackle comes in such sturdy containers or tubes to keep it in the original form.
Putties mostly contain silicone and platinum catalysts in addition to plasticizers. Spackle, on the other hand, mostly contains vinyl and calcium carbonates in combination with binders like clay.
Both products are used as binders and fillers for covering up small imperfections on a variety of surfaces including wood and plaster.
They cover up holes and cracks mostly.
But note – spackle is the most appropriate for areas exposed to moisture, especially the bathroom and kitchen.
Putty is more appropriate for areas where there’s movement, such as drywall joints, as it is more resistant to splitting or fracturing.
Common Questions and Answer
What is drywall spackle made of?
Spackle is made of gypsum powder mixed with binders and solvent. It comes in the form of a powder or more often as a paste.
Can spackle for drywall cracks hurt me?
If you’re asking whether spackle is poisonous or toxic, the answer is not really. Most spackle don’t cause irritation to the skin and they generally don’t pose any threat.
It is, however, essential to be cautious when sanding the dry application. Take care not to inhale the dust as it can harm your airways, just like any other dust.
Is spackle for walls waterproof?
If you’re talking about spackle that still has not been applied, the answer is no. The spackle will absorb water and go bad, becoming unusable.
But when spackle has been applied to a wall and allowed to dry, the patch is normally waterproof.
How can I make the spackle patch dry faster?
Some spackling compounds can be annoying with regards to their drying time, taking more than 24 hours to become ready for sanding and painting.
If you’re looking to speed up the process, one way to do it is to apply a heat gun. The hot air will accelerate the drying process and reduce the drying time tremendously.
You can use a blow dryer or a fan in place of a heat gun.
It is, nevertheless, good to note that using hot air to accelerate the drying time can result in cracks.
How is spackle different from plaster?
Plaster is a mixture of sand, cement, and binders. On the other hand, spackle is made of a mixture of gypsum powder and binders. While plaster is used to cover concrete walls, spackle is meant for doing repair work.
Plaster is for use on large areas but spackle is for covering up small areas.
Do I need to prime the spackle patch before painting?
That depends on the spackle you’re using. Some spackling compounds come premixed with primer, so you don’t have to prime the surface before painting.
Whether you’re moving out of a rented house and need your full deposit from the landlord, or you just want to restore your home to its earlier beauty, spackle will come in handy.
With the right product, you will be able to cover up those holes and cracks so beautifully that no one will tell where the imperfections were.
One of those products on my list (except the 10th), will serve you efficiently. Look at the features and figure out which is the best drywall spackle for your needs.