Spackle is commonly used to repair the damages done to walls. But if you just place a layer of paint over it quickly without knowing the process, the spackle would stick out and be very noticeable after a time period.
Being less bright than the surrounding wall, spackle spots are really an eyesore. And also, due to their porous nature, they usually create problems with texture and appearance after general wear and tear.
Taking a few easy steps can, however, help in hiding spackle spots and also prevent them from sticking out later in the future.
Why Do Spackle Spots Bleed Through Paint?
Many DIYers are unsure why the spackle spots (also referred to as “flashing” or the “halo effect”) commonly show through the coat of paint layer in the first place.
The main reason for the spackle showing through the painted layer is not preparing it correctly before painting.
Spackling compound (a kind of putty) is a more porous substance than the surrounding wall where it’s used to repair holes, small cracks, and other minor surface defects.
If you quickly proceed with the painting process after applying the spackle, the paint soaks into the porous spackle and dries there fast, creating a visible spot or difference in the color.
Besides that, the spackle spots flashing thru the paint can also be caused during drying because of the following:
- Temperature fluctuations
- Heavy moisture, condensations, or dew
- Applying too thin or just a single coat of light-colored paint
- Using incorrect paint, like interior drywall paint on outdoor walls
The problem gets worse when the ugly spackle patches, which were once hidden, become visible in the future on a painted surface when viewed at certain angles and lighting conditions.
As time goes by, the paint continues to shrink, which causes tiny cracks and crevices to form in the dried paint layer and the spackle or mud beneath.
This is why it is extremely important to take time to prepare the walls for repair, let the spackle dry, and then use the right paint supplies according to the material the wall is made of.
Hiding Spackle Spots – Easy Step-by-Step Process
Fixing spackle showing through paint isn’t easy, but a few extra steps during the drywall repair and painting process ensures that the spots remain well-hidden and unobtrusive.
Here are a few tips you can follow…
Step 1 – Ensure the Spackle is Flush
Spackle spots are less noticeable when their texture closely resembles that of the wall materials. This also means if the spackle is not flush with the wall and sticks out, it will be more obvious.
To make sure the spackle is flush with the wall, begin by spreading it out further from the repair edges (than necessary) during the application process.
Step 2 – Allow the Spackle to Dry and Then Sand
Give the spackling compound ample time to dry. When completely dry, sand the area thoroughly until its flush with the surrounding wall.
Use your fingers to feel the area around the wall – in this case, your sense of touch and feel will be more accurate than sight to detect the area and whether it’s correctly sanded.
Step 3 – Prime the Repaired Wall Area
As I already mentioned above, the spackle is more porous than the materials surrounding it, so if you don’t use the correct primer before you paint, it will show up as a dull spot on your wall.
For new interior walls, you can use a Kilz latex-based primer that’s designed for new construction. But if you’re repairing an old interior or exterior wall, an oil-based primer is the best deal.
Step 4 – Apply the Paint on the Repaired Area First
If you try to match the old paint job by painting the entire wall, it is highly likely that the newly plastered spot will have a much different texture than the surrounding wall.
This varying texture will create an unfinished and flawed look.
To avoid this problem, take the extra step to only repaint the repaired area of the wall first – with a thin coat of paint applied using a paintbrush.
Doing so creates a seamless repair job and greatly improves the final product’s appearance by ensuring a more cohesive appearance as you finish the surface.
And like the primer, the appropriate choice of paint supplies is very important to achieve a finished product that looks natural and clean. You can choose the one based on whether the wall surface is inside or outside.
Step 5 – Finish the Entire Wall Surface Now With a Roller
Once the touch-up paint on the repaired area has had enough time to dry, you can now finish the job by painting the rest of the wall using a paint roller.
If you only paint part of the wall, people will still be able to see the spackle spots in the room.
To make sure the paint matches perfectly and hides the spots, you should paint the entire wall surface using a roller or a brush.
A much better approach is to paint the entire wall one solid dark color – this will help create a more cohesive appearance and ensure that the paint job looks seamless.
The bottom line
Spackle spots on drywall are inevitable when repairing and painting, but there’s an easy fix to make them unnoticeable.
With a little extra time, effort, and the steps above, you can make sure that the spackle does not bleed through and remains hidden in your room for a long, even after the walls have sustained damage.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.