Can You Spackle Over Paint?

We get how depressing it is to live in an apartment with walls full of blemishes and holes. You should often spackle on the blemishes and paint the walls with some bright colors to light up the place that will set your mood right.

So, the question is, can you spackle over paint?

You sure can spackle over paint without any hesitations and you do not need any extra preparations to do it. You just need to grab sandpaper and clean out the dirt and debris on the wall before applying the spackle to it. 

Let’s read below and learn about all these in detail. 

Can You Spackle Over Paint?

Yes indeed. You can spackle over paint and it’s very easy and budget-friendly to get it done. 

You can spackle over the color paint to make it easier to see blemishes. But only if you’re planning to use a spackle that matches the color of the paint.

But you can’t put the spackle over the paint without any preparations. You should use sandpaper to remove dirt and debris from the paint before applying the spackle. Also, avoid putting sparkles on top of glossy or semi-gloss paint. This isn’t an ideal process to do it.

How Long Does Spackle Take to Dry Off?

It’s best to allow enough time for your walls to dry before spackling them. This will ensure that the patched areas remain in good condition for a long time, saving you money.

You should allow sufficient time for the paint and spackle to cure thoroughly before applying another coat. However, the time it takes for the spackle to dry is determined by three key factors.

Type of Spackle

The dry time for spackle differs based on whether you selected a normal or fast-drying spackle. 

Some quick-drying spackles claim to be ready to paint in 30 minutes. Other brands of spackle should be left for a few hours. Check the spackle’s package for the specified dry time for optimal results. 

Temperature and Humidity

If you use it in a humid environment, the drying time may be extended.

It will take longer to dry if you do the job in a humid place. Some spackles are ready-to-use and can be put directly on the wall, while others are powders that must be combined with water. 

But even ready-made spackles contain water. This is why air moisture can cause longer drying times.

Size of the Wall

If you want to spackle on a bigger wall, you will need more spackles to cover all the blemished areas and vice versa.

So, when you will be covering bigger areas, you will need more coats to cover the blemishes. And it will need more time to dry off completely. 

Spackle takes at least a couple of hours to dry. And if you’re not sure how to tell when it’s ready to sand and paint, you should consider buying a spackle that changes color once it’s finished.

How to Spackle Over Paint?

It can be an unnecessary expense to get your wall spackled by someone else. Because spackling is very easy and you can totally do it by yourself. You just need some pointers and a guide on how to spackle over paint. 

That’s why we kept this section for your benefit. Now, let’s see the following instructions on how to spackle over paint. 

Step 01: Take Preparation

  • First, identify all the spots on your drywall that require repairing. 
  • Now find a metallic putty knife to apply spackle on the wall. To get the best quality putty knife, visit your nearest hardware store and ask for recommendations. 
  • After getting everything you need, get a plastic bucket to blend the spackle mixture. Follow the proper instructions written on the spackle can. 
  • Now add a little water to the mix so that you can spread it easily on the wall surface. 

Step 02: Apply Spackle

  • Apply the spackle mixture to the repair area and press it down with a putty knife. This makes it more manageable to get the mixture into the deep cracks.
  • Apply a generous amount of the spackle mixture. Remove any excess spackle material with a scraper. Try to smooth out the spackled surface with the putty knife.
  • Two coats will do the work to even out the surface. But if you see a dent after hours when the spackle has dried off, then apply a small amount again to even out the surface. 

Step 03: Sand The Spackled Sites

  • After the spackle has completely dried off, you need to sand the speckled spots. Start with low sand grit sandpaper to sand the surface gradually without impairing the spackle layer. 
  • Lastly, re-sand the speckled spots with fine sandpaper for a smoother finishing. It ensures to conceal the patches that tend to soak paint after applying it. 

Can You put Joint Compound Over Paint?

Yes, you can. But it will require some prepping before you can apply them on your wall. 

Joint compound is a low-cost plaster product that may be used to texture walls as well as hang the drywall. You can apply the plaster on painted walls, but it will require some prepping to ensure that it adheres to the surface. 

You can coat the joint compound with latex paint and glaze it for extra dimension once it has dried. But make sure this is the appearance you want before you start texturing your walls. It is extremely tough to remove the texture of the joint compound.

What’s the Difference Between Joint Compound and Spackle?

Joint compound and spackle are almost the same thing and are used in very similar prospects. But there are some aspects that create distinctions between them. 

Now let’s take a look at the following table to know the differences between joint compound and spackle. 

Comparison ParameterJoint Compound Spackle
IngredientsGypsum and limestoneGypsum and binding agents
Usage Used in large scale wall projectDesigned for small wall repair
Selling quantitySold in larger quantities Sold in small quantities
ConsistencyThinner Thicker
Cost Cheaper Expensive 
Shrinkage when dryHigh Low
TextureHarder to smooth outEasy to apply

Joint compound possesses gypsum and limestone. But spackles on the other hand contain gypsum and some other binding agents. They are pretty much replaceable except for a few cases. 

A joint compound is usually used in large-scale wall projects. That is why they are also sold in higher quantities. But spackles are mainly designed for small wall repair. So, they are sold in smaller quantities. 

The joint compound has a much thinner consistency than spackle. But even though spackles have a thicker consistency, they are very easy to apply to the wall. Joint compound on the other hand is kind of harder to smooth out. 

The joint compound usually takes quite a time to dry off and shrinks a lot upon drying. Whereas, spackle dries off quickly but doesn’t shrink as much as the joint compound. 

Joint compound is comparatively cheaper than spackle. You need to buy them in a larger quantity but it costs much less than spackle as you need to buy them in a smaller quantity. 

You will find normal or ready-to-use spackles at the market. But you will need to mix your joint compound after buying. They aren’t sold in ready-to-use form. 


How can I make spackle dry faster?

As spackle is combined with water, it may take longer to dry if there is water in the air. You can place a dehumidifier in the room to control humidity and help the spackle dry faster. Turning on your air conditioner is another approach to help spackle dry faster. 

How many coats of spackle do you need?

You need at least three coats if you want to cover a long joint. First, fill the gap between your drywall and the tape with a thick application of spackle. Your first coat should be the thickest and heavy-duty. Now level the joint with the second coat after the first one has dried entirely.

Will spackle stick to glossy paint?

Drywall joint compound is used in almost all drywall repairs. But gloss or semi-gloss surfaces do not hold the paint effectively. A layer of primer provides adherence, and you should apply another layer before painting.


Thanks for coming this far reading our article. Hope we could help you with the answer to the question: can you spackle over paint. Now that you learned about the whole procedure, you can apply spackle to your wall without making any mess. 

But make sure to choose the best product from the market. Otherwise, all your effort will be down the drain. 

Leave a Comment