Terms of the Trade: What Is Spackling Paste? Terms of the Trade: What Is Spackling Paste?

When prepping walls or other surfaces for painting and various treatments like wood stain, it's important to take the necessary time to create a smooth surface. That's where spackling paste comes in handy. It fills in small holes, dings, cracks, and other surface imperfections to make an even canvas. Spackling paste is actually more like a putty texture instead of a liquid, and it's made of gypsum plaster, hydrated calcium sulfate, and glue. The word spackle first came into use in the 1940s, and is from the German word "spachtel," which means spatula or putty knife—the type of tool you would use to apply the putty to a surface.

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