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Painter’s Putty Vs Spackle – Which is Best for Your Needs?

In the course of painting a building, you will have to join several parts and components. At the same time, you will also have to seal any cracks and holes. The painter’s putty vs the spackle are perhaps two of the most outstanding materials for your consideration.

Generally speaking, these materials share many similarities. For this reason, many people often confuse the two. It is because of this that a distinction is by all means called for. We are here to do just that. We are going to define and thereafter juxtapose the similarities and differences between the two of them.

Definition of Terms in Spackle and Painter’s Putty 

Details about Painter’s Putty

Using Painter-Putty

A painter’s putty is simply a soft and malleable greyish-yellow paste. It is made mostly from ground chalk and raw linseed oil. The paste hardens after a few hours of exposure to the harsh external environmental conditions. The paste is mainly utilized for the purpose of sealing glass in the frames of windows beside filling the holes in wood.

Definition of Spackle

Using Spackle on the wall

Just like the painter’s putty, spackle is also a paste that is used in construction. It comprises hydrated Calcium Sulfate, glue, and gypsum plaster. The paste is mainly used to seal minor surface defects in plaster, drywall, and wood. It cannot seal spots which bend or move after an application given its inability to stretch or contract after drying.

Painter Putty Vs Spackle: In-Depth Comparison


These two materials differ in terms of their functionality. This is further determined by strength and makeup. Putty is generally available in a variety of strengths. With regards to this, the putty is applicable in the place of staples, magnets, thumbtacks, and tapes.

The spackle on the other hand often replaces the drywall compounds. It confers a resurfacing that is suited for painting and filling the holes in the walls. This material dries much faster and cannot be made wet again after the drying process is concluded.


Generally speaking, the putty is available in different forms and sizes, as has already been stated. They also weigh varying amounts of money and possess different dimensions. For these reasons, the putty is highly versatile and may perform a wide range of chores, tasks, and purposes.

The same may not be said of the spackles. They are usually available in buckets or bins which are designed to maintain the material in their original shapes and forms. They too also come in various strengths and weights, just like the putty. As such, they are also applicable to wall-papering and the connection of wood pieces, among other vital chores.


On the whole, different kinds of putty epitomize different kinds of ingredients. Most putties incorporate some silicone and a host of other chemical compounds like the hydrogen polysiloxanes, platinum catalysts, and an assortment of plasticizers.

As for the spackling materials, the vinyl, calcium carbonate, clay, and pre-gelatinized starch are the key constituent materials. A few may also contain titanium dioxide and a bit of quartz dust. Needless to say, these inherent differences have a role to play in the efficacy of these two construction materials.

Uses of Spackle and Painter’s Putty

As stated previously, the putty is mainly used to fill up holes and rectify the peeling and the chipping in the paint. They can also be used to stick posters and paintings onto the surfaces. This prevents the holes which often arise from the screwing and the nailing of the objects to the walls.

Spackles, on the other hand, are mainly applicable in bathroom environments. The reason behind this is that they are unaffected by showers, baths, and the moisture which generally arise out of the showering activities. They are however not usable on drywall joints due to the fact that they are capable of fracturing or splitting apart.

Putty or Spackle – Which One is Ease of Use

Comparatively, the painter’s putty is easier to utilize than the spackle. Even though it is the form of a paste, it is not so thick. As such, you will find it easier to shape and spread out. Moreover, it also takes a comparatively shorter duration of time to settle.

The situation is however different from the spackles. For one, you have to use it in conjunction with the primer. Given that it is not optimized for receiving paint, you will have to put in a lot of effort and wait for too long to have it perform its intended objectives.

PS: Notwithstanding the inherent differences stated above, these two construction materials are pretty similar in almost every other regard. This is to say that they are both handy, and are hence great for use by any contractor.

People Also Ask

This answers sure help you a lot to take your decision and rid off your confisuion.

Do painters spackle?

Painters often use spackle and wood putty to create a perfect finish area before they start to paint. If the drywall of a room has holes where pictures were hung, or other blemishes the painter knows that without repairing these damages their paint job will not look as smooth or appealing.

They use spackle and fill in these holes then sand the spackle so that it is smooth and does not have a ridge where it has been applied. After they paint the wall the spackle is not noticeable and the wall looks like it is without blemish or defect.

If they are painting a wooden surface the painter will use wood putty in much the same manner as he uses spackle on drywall surfaces.

Can you use painter’s putty on drywall?

It is possible for you to apply painters putty onto a flawed area on a drywall surface. Technically the painters putty will adhere to the surface, but painters putty is not intended for use on drywall and will not adhere, or cover damages as well as spackle, or drywall compound will.

Painters putty is intended to be used on plaster surfaces. If you want the best looking finish then use the spackle on the drywall and the painters putty on plaster.

What is painters putty used for?

The designated purpose of painters putty it to fill in holes and cracks in plaster surfaces before you apply paint. Holes and cracks will be highly visible when the new paint dries so a professional painter will apply painters putty to a crack or hole, allow it to dry, smooth it out so it is flush with the wall surface, and then apply primer and paint.

What is the difference between wood filler and spackle?

Wood filler is a substance designed to be used to cover up blemishes like nail holes or cracks in wood before the wood is painted. You would not use the wood filler before staining unless you purchase one that can be used in conjunction with stain.

Spackle is a product like wood filler that is designed to be used on drywall surfaces. It is basically joint compound. What you may not know is that you can sometimes use the spackle instead of the wood filler, and spackle often sands to a smoother finish than wood filler.

What is the difference between caulk and spackle?

Spackle is designed to repair flaws and inconsistencies in drywall before you paint. It is used to hide the holes left by your picture hangers, and to smooth away in small blemishes or cracks. You can even use it to cover up where sheetrock has been gouged, or where the paper covering of the sheetrock is peeling away.

Caulk is a sealant. You place caulk in cracks and in crannies where air might be able to leave or enter your home, or to seal a portion of your home so that bugs and creepy crawlers cannot enter. Caulk is mainly used around doors, windows, and baseboards, tubs, and faucets around the home.

Closing Remarks

The exact kind of material to make use of largely depends on the nature of the task you have in mind. Before deciding which kind of material to settle on, be sure to ascertain your unique requirements and the kind of tool which might be necessary for the exact task.

Generally, In most instances, painters will often employ the putty for application on the wood finishes whereas the spackle for the drywall. A vast majority, on the other hand, will often use the putty exclusively when tackling the surfaces of the furniture.

You seriously would not want to enjoy the benefits of the information we have provided alone, would you? Why don’t you share it as far as wide as possible?

You will, in the course of so doing, aid many more in leveraging the awesome benefits that come along. Best of luck in your next construction process!

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About Lisa Bohrer

Lisa is a native Texan who says she wears many hats. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, farmer, animal lover, fisherwoman, gardener, and college student. Lisa is a sophomore at Liberty University where she is taking classes to earn her Associates Degree in Creative Writing. She and her husband of 35 years fill their days with life on the farm raising goats and chickens, and then most evenings she can be found at the computer writing, or researching a topic that has piqued her interest.

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