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Choosing Between Spackle, Joint Compound, or Skim Coat: Which is the Best Option for Me?

You know what we’re talking about if you’ve ever seen a wall painted without preparation or repair. The surface has a shaky feel. Indents, cracks, or nail holes may be visible (or even more of an eyesore, painted-over plastic wall anchors). Even unskimmed joint tape has been painted over in some instances. Nasty! Don’t be like that. Learn how to prep and prepare your walls before you begin painting. Choose between joint compound and skim-coating or applying spackle.

Why Prepare the Surface

We commonly visualize slathering a paint product onto our walls and waiting for it to dry. Many are unaware that this is simply the beginning of the process. Preparation is essential, but it’s easy to skip when trying to save time when painting the interior. Preparing your walls before painting them is crucial to reaping the benefits of doing so.

Better Paint Curing

First and foremost, adequate wall preparation is essential if you want your paint to adhere correctly and last longer. A buildup of dirt and marks on the wall’s surface inhibits the paint from penetrating the porous drywall, making it challenging to paint. As a result, it is critical that you thoroughly clean the surface you intend to paint before applying the product to ensure that the paint will endure.

Even Distribution of Color

When you think about how evenly the color will be applied, the importance of prepping your walls becomes evident. For protection and ease of color absorption, paint primers are applied to surfaces. You may have a spotty finish if it isn’t utilized or allowed to dry well before painting over it. Some parts may seem as intended, while others may be darker than you had anticipated. As a result, thorough planning is essential if you want your results to be consistent.

Longer Product Durability

A paint job’s longevity is enhanced when given the proper conditions for drying and adhering to a wall. As a result, the pigment’s quality and color intensity will last much longer. Preparation can also help the product maintain its new appearance by making it less susceptible to cracking or chipping over time.

Smooth & Beautiful Finish

Your end product will look and feel better if you take the time to prepare the walls first. As a result, there will be no divots or dents in the paint as a result of this. In these cases, wrinkly wallpaper and damage are the most common culprits. Because of this, getting rid of them now will set the stage for a more pleasing look in the end.

Tips for Preparing a Wall

You’ll obtain a far more excellent finish if you take time and care while preparing your walls before painting. Prepare recently plastered walls, previously painted walls with a few cracks and holes, and previously wallpapered walls by following the methods provided below. There must be no oil or dust on your walls, holes, cracks, flaky plaster, peeling paint, or fragments of wallpaper, no matter the material.

Mark the Flaws

Stick a piece of tape next to any problem areas where the light shines so you can quickly detect them while applying a joint compound or spackling. Instead of drawing circles around the issues, use tape to keep track of them (which can bleed through the paint)

Remove Protrusions

Nails can be pushed out of the drywall by the studs expanding and contracting over the year. You can’t simply resink the nail and add joint compound over the top—the nail will pop back out. ‘ Drive a drywall screw about 2 inches above or below the popped nail to permanently fix it. Screw-in a 1-1/4-inch bolt (screws hold better than nails). The longer the screw, the more likely it is to come loose than a shorter one.

Seal Tears

Seal the ripped paper to prevent streaks. Cut away any excess pieces to get started. Then apply a stain-blocking primer to the drywall that has been exposed. Using this method prevents moisture from being absorbed into the drywall by the joint compound that will be placed shortly. Sand the exposed drywall edges to remove paper nubs after the dried primer. Feather the joint compound along the wall after covering the gouge with a thin coating. A second layer, feathered as well, might be applied once the first one has dried and sanded smooth.

Deciding the Best Wall Prep

Joint compound, skim coat, and spackle all work wonders when repairing flaws in your home’s walls. It’s hard to say which one to choose when you’re faced with the choice. But we are here to help you out.

Joint Compound Makes Drywall Seams Smooth

To conceal joint drywall tape, contractors apply joint compound (also known as drywall mud or mud). In powder form, you combine it into a cake-like texture (though you can also buy it pre-mixed to speed things up).

A joint compound, when applied correctly, generates a smooth, flawless surface that hides the seams. Joint compound can be used in place of spackle since spackle dries too quickly to be smoothed out adequately. The drying period is more extended, but this is a handy shortcut if you have some leftovers from another project.

Skim Coat Provides a Flat, Even Surface

Skim coats can be applied by diluting joint compounds with water. Using a trowel or drywall knife, a skim coat is applied to ceilings and walls and smoothed down by hand, sprayer, or roller. For painting or applying texture, it’s utilized as a primer. In addition, it rejuvenates the appearance of dated walls. This is a terrific alternative when remodeling but keeping your walls in place.

Some people confuse skim coats with spackling. In contrast, spackling is not designed for this application because it dries too rapidly, does not distribute smoothly, and is extremely difficult to sand* over extensive areas to a smooth finish. Allow the spackle to perform its work of fixing minor damage while seeking a smooth, paintable surface.

Add Sparkle to Your Walls with Spackle

Spackle is an excellent putty for filling minor surface flaws in drywall, plaster, and wood, to name a few. Slight imperfections like nail holes, dings, and dents can be repaired using spackle, which has a spreadable, toothpaste-like consistency.

Allows you to apply it right out of the container without waiting for it to dry. To get ready to paint in around half an hour, you can sand*. Because it shrinks less than joint compound, you can typically complete simple repairs in a single sitting.

Joint Compound & Spackle

There are two types of filler for joints: joint compound and joint filler. While they are similar, each has a distinct function. Besides covering the seams in two sheets of drywall, joint compound is an excellent alternative for filling in significant gaps and cracks. In contrast, spackle is a better choice for smaller chores such as patching nail holes and other minor flaws in your walls’ paint.

Our skilled interior house painters have received extensive training when it comes to wall repair and preparation for painting. Getting a free estimate for house painting is never too early or too late.