How to Sand Spackle

  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
fine sandpaper
soft cloth

Repairing damaged drywall or similar materials using spackle is just about the easiest way to do it. As long as you do not rely on spackle to do things outside its job description, it is a great material to use around the house. Spackle, when used on superficial damage to drywall, can fill in any small holes, cracks, or dents easily. When combined with a new coat of paint, it will leave your walls looking as good as new.

However, spackle is not perfect, and may require a little bit of extra work in certain situations. If you use too much spackle to solve a problem and allow it to dry, you may find yourself with a noticeable lump of material on your wall. When this happens, it is possible to remove the excess spackle from your wall by sanding it off. What follows should give you everything you need to know about how to sand spackle.

Step 1 - Setting Up

Hopefully, you have realized that you have used an excessive amount of spackle before it has dried. If so, you are in luck. You can probably remove a lot of the excess spackle by simply wiping it away with a soft cloth. Spackle is very soft and does not hold together very well.

If your spackle has dried already, that is unfortunate, but it is not a serious problem. However, you should deal with it immediately, and you should definitely not paint over it temporarily. This will create extra work, and also make the extra spackle harder to remove.

Step 2 - Sanding

Select a small amount of sandpaper. Use the finest sandpaper available, as coarser varieties of sandpaper will not work as well.

Gently sand away the excess spackle. Work slowly and carefully. You want to avoid removing any surrounding paint, or sanding too much spackle away and having to start over and apply more spackle to a hole in your wall that you just made. Check your work frequently and do not press too hard, as you may cause the spackle to crumble or break.

If you are concerned about damaging your spackle or removing too much for any reason — for example, the amount you want to remove is very small — there is a less harsh way to do it. You can still use your soft cloth to remove spackle, it will just take more time. Again, be sure not to press too hard, and check your progress regularly.

Step 3 - Painting

Once you have removed all of the excess spackle, it is time to finish up fixing your wall so it can look its best. If you were using spackle on your wall already, you should have an appropriate color, type, and amount of paint available already. However, if you don't, choose a paint that matches as closely as possible. Next, apply anti-stain primer to the location of the spackle, and blend it as well as possible. Next, do the same thing with the intended color of the wall. Your drywall should look as good as new.