When it comes to spackling drywall, a little patience goes along way. Drywall spackling material is easy to maneuver, making it easy to fix mistakes. However, it takes some practice to get the right technique down perfectly to get a professional-looking result. With most things in life, practice makes perfect.
Step 1 - Assess the Size of the Hole
If you are dealing with a hole the size of a fist or larger, you will need hole patches to support the spackle. Drywall hole patches are made of mesh that looks similar to a tennis racket. They can be purchased at your local home improvement store.
Step 2 - Choose Your Spackle Wisely
There are different varieties of spackle to choose from. The smaller hole you are dealing with, the lighter weight spackle you will need. If you have a wide variety of different sized holes, choose a medium weight spackle. This is important due to the bubbling effect spackle can have when a hole is filled. If you put a heavy weight spackle into a small hole, as it dries it will create a bubble on the outer surface of the hole.
Step 3 - Clean Up the Area
If there is wallpaper covering the wall, it is important to remove it from the section of wall you are repairing.
Use the utility knife to remove any excess drywall hanging from the hole. Any of the drywall gypsum in the immediate circumference that has been weakened when the hole was made needs to be removed as well. Be sure not to enlarge the hole more than necessary.
Step 4 - Repair the Hole
It is important to stir the spackle before using it. You can use the trowel (also sometimes referred to as a spackle knife) to do this.
If you are covering a hole that requires a patch, hold the patch with your non-dominant hand while you apply a small amount of spackle with the trowel. Apply a thin layer to the patch, ensuring enough is applied to hold the patch in place. Apply several more coats until the patch is completely covered. Allow this to dry. It is best to apply several small layers than one thick one. Applying one heavy layer can cause air to get trapped in the spackle. As it dries, it will begin to bubble.
If you are filling a small hole, simply scoop a moderate amount of spackle onto your trowel, smear it over the hole pressing hard and at an angle, scrape the excess off the wall, and repeat a few times. If it begins sagging in the hole, it needs more. Continue this process until about 1/8 of an inch slightly bulges form the hole. The spackle will shrink as it dries.
Step 5 - Sand and Paint
Allow the spackle to dry at least 24 hours, or as long as the manufacturer recommends. Once it is completely dry, sand down any rough edges. Large holes will need to be covered with a primer before paint is applied. Small holes, on the other hand, will be fine without primer.