Painters Putty Vs. Spackle- the 2 Best Diy Repair Formulas

As a homeowner, you’ll inevitably encounter small holes or cracks in your walls or ceilings at some point. Whether it’s from a picture frame or accidental damage, it’s essential to know how to effectively repair these imperfections to maintain the overall appearance of your home. When it comes to DIY repairs, there are two popular formulas to choose from: painter’s putty and spackle.

Both painter’s Putty and Spackle are great formulas to have on hand. They are designed to fill holes, dents, and cracks in walls before painting. However, you should know some significant differences between the two products before deciding which to use.

This article will delve into the distinctions between painter’s Putty and Spackle, including their composition, ease of use, application, and the specific repair needs each one addresses.

Painters Putty Vs. Spackle

Painter’s Putty Vs. Spackle- Which one is better?

When choosing between painter’s Putty and Spackle, several factors need to be considered before making a decision. These include the type of surface being repaired, the size of the hole or crack, the drying time needed, and the level of paintability required.

Ease of Use

Both painter’s Putty and Spackle are relatively easy to use, but Spackle tends to be easier to apply due to its smooth consistency. On the other hand, Painter’s Putty may require more effort to apply and smooth out due to its thicker texture.


Spackle is generally more versatile than painter’s Putty as it can be used on various surfaces, including drywall, plaster, wood, and metal. On the other hand, Painter’s Putty is typically recommended for use on wood surfaces only.

Drying Time

Painter’s Putty typically takes longer than Spackle, which can dry in as little as 30 minutes. Depending on the repair size, the painter’s Putty may take several hours or overnight to dry thoroughly.


Both painter’s Putty and Spackle can be painted over once dry, but painter’s Putty tends to be more paintable due to its smoother finish. Spackle may require sanding before painting to achieve a smooth finish.

Painter’s Putty: An Overview of its Properties and Uses

A filling material called painter’s Putty is used to fix minor surface flaws on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces, like dents, cracks, and nail holes. It is a flexible, malleable material that is simple to shape to fit any size or shape of the hole or crack.


Painter’s Putty is primarily made of linseed oil and whiting, a natural mineral compound. This combination creates a putty that is easy to manipulate and has a smooth, creamy texture. Some modern formulations also contain synthetic polymers to enhance their adhesive and bonding properties.


Painter’s Putty is the best option for filling in tiny holes, cracks, and gaps in painted or untreated surfaces. This versatile application is suitable for various materials, including drywall, plaster, wood, metal, masonry, and several others.

Pros and Cons

Painter’s Putty has several advantages, such as its ease of use, versatility, and ability to fill significant gaps and cracks. However, it can take a long time to dry, and it may shrink or crack over time if not applied correctly. It is also not suitable for use in large or deep holes.

Suggested Products

In the current market, there are multiple high-quality painter’s putty products to choose from. However, two of the most widely used and preferred options are:

DAP 211442 Painter’s Putty is simple to apply, dries quickly, and can be sanded and painted over after it has dried. It’s perfect for patching small cracks and holes in walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.

MH Ready Patch 2098 is an optimal solution for fixing deep or wide cracks and holes. Its quick-drying nature, along with its high-quality adhesive properties, allows for easy sanding and painting over. Additionally, it can be applied to various surfaces with great effectiveness.

Spackle: An Overview of its Properties and Uses

If you’ve ever done some DIY home renovations, you’ve probably encountered Spackle. This versatile material is used to fill in holes and cracks in walls before painting or wallpapering.


Spackle is made up of gypsum powder, water, and binding agents. Gypsum is a soft mineral used in construction for its ability to harden quickly when mixed with water. The binding agents in Spackle help to give it a smooth consistency that can be easily applied to surfaces.


Spackle is often used to patch tiny to medium-sized holes and cracks in walls and ceilings. Before painting or wallpapering, it is perfect for filling dents, nail holes, and other flaws. Furthermore, gaps around door frames, baseboards, and crown molding can be filled with it.

Pros and Cons

One of the major advantages of Spackle is its ability to harden quickly, making it a fast and convenient solution for repairing small holes and cracks. It is also easy to apply and sand, and it dries to a smooth finish.

However, it is not suitable for use on larger holes or for repairing damage to wood surfaces. It may also shrink over time, which can result in the need for additional applications.


3M Patch Plus Primer is a popular spackle product that contains a primer, which makes it an all-in-one solution for repairing holes and cracks. It is easy to apply, dries quickly, and can be painted over in as little as 30 minutes.

Elmer’s Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler is a wood-based spackle product that changes color when dry, making it easy to tell when it is ready to be sanded or painted. It is ideal for repairing damage to wood surfaces and can be sanded, stained, or painted once it is dry.

Which DIY repair formula is best for fixing dimples in an epoxy job – painters putty or spackle?

When it comes to fixing epoxy dimples, both painters putty and spackle can do the job. Painters putty is oil-based, while spackle is water-based, so the choice depends on the specific epoxy job. Painters putty is better for larger dimples, while spackle is best for small, fine dimples.

Tips for Using Painter’s Putty and Spackle

Whether you decide to use painter’s Putty or Spackle for your DIY project, it’s essential to know the proper techniques for application to ensure the best results. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Preparation Before Using

Before you start using either painter’s Putty or Spackle, it’s essential to prepare the surface you will apply it on. Clean the surface and remove loose debris, paint, or other coatings. Make sure the area is dry and free of moisture.

Tools Needed

To apply both painter’s Putty and Spackle, you will need a putty knife or a spackle knife. The knife size should correspond to the area you need to fill. Additionally, if you plan to paint over the repaired area, you will need sandpaper and a paintbrush.

How to Apply

To apply painter’s Putty, scoop a small amount out of the container and roll it into a ball with your fingers. Press the Putty onto the surface you need to repair and use the putty knife to smooth it out.

To apply Spackle, use the spackle knife to scoop a small amount out of the container and apply it to the surface with a smooth, even stroke. Repeat until the area is completely filled.

How to Clean Up

After applying the painter’s Putty or Spackle, clean the excess with a damp cloth or sponge. Be sure to clean your tools immediately after use to prevent the Putty or Spackle from hardening on them.

Safety Tips

When using painter’s Putty or Spackle, following safety precautions is essential. Wear gloves to protect your hands and avoid inhaling any dust or fumes. Additionally, read and follow all instructions on the product label.

Best DIY Repair Formulas: Painter’s Putty & Spackle


Painter’s Putty and Spackle are excellent DIY repair formulas but differ in composition, uses, pros, and cons. Painter’s Putty is ideal for filling small holes, gaps, and cracks on wood surfaces, while Spackle is perfect for repairing drywall surfaces.

When choosing between the two, consider factors such as ease of use, versatility, drying time, and paint ability. Additionally, proper preparation, tools, application, and safety measures are necessary for a successful outcome.

Both Painter’s Putty and Spackle can be viable when considering options for achieving a smooth and polished finish in your DIY repair project. With this information, you can approach your next project with assurance and confidence in your ability to achieve a professional-grade result.

Leave a Comment