Spackle is commonly used to repair the damage done to walls, but if you just place a layer of paint over it, 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 the spots 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 spackle spots showing through the painted layer is that during the painting process, the paint soaks into the porous spackle and dries there when two areas of a painted surface have been applied differently.
Besides that, these can also be a cause of spackle spots flashing thru the paint during drying:
- Temperature fluctuations
- Heavy moisture, condensations, or dew
- Applying too thin or just a single coat of paint
- Using incorrect paint, like interior drywall paint on outdoor walls
The ugly spackle patches, which were once hidden, become visible in the future on a painted surface, especially 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.
With the presence of these cracks, the spackle or mud beneath starts to become visible again.
This is why it is extremely important to take time to prepare the walls for repair 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 wall repair and painting process ensures that the spots remain well-hidden and unobtrusive.
Step 1 – Ensure the Spackle is Flush
Spackle spots are less noticeable when their texture closely resembles that of the wall.
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 will be more accurate than sight.
So, checking by feeling will help you most accurately detect when it is correct.
Step 3 – Prime the Repaired Wall Area
The spackle is more porous than the materials surrounding it, so if you don’t use a primer before you paint, the spackle will show up as a dull spot on your wall.
Choosing the right primer is also important. If the interior wall is new, use a latex-based primer designed for new construction.
But if you’re repairing an old exterior wall, an oil-based primer is best.
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, take the extra step to only repaint the repaired area of the wall first with a thin coat of paint.
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.
Step 5 – Finish the Entire Wall Surface Now
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.
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.
You could also paint the entire wall one solid dark color – this will help create a cohesive appearance and ensure that the paint job looks seamless.
The bottom line
Spackle spots are inevitable when painting, but there’s an easy fix! By following the steps above, you can make sure that your paint job looks flawless.
And, with a little extra time and effort, you can make sure that the spackle spots are hidden and unnoticeable 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 more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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