How to Spackle Drywall Joints

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Hanging drywall is a job tackled by many do-it-yourselfers. However, knowing how to properly spackle your drywall joints makes for a professional grade job. Without seamless joints, your drywall job will look amateurish and your paint or wallpaper will not have a beautiful finish. All of the tools needed for an excellent spackling job can be found at your local home improvement store. These tools are not only readily available, they are also reasonably priced.

Tools and Materials Needed:

• Mud tray
• Spackle knives: 4 inch, 8 inch, 10 inch 12 inch
• Inside corner tool
• All-purpose spackle
• Drill and mixing paddle
• Water

Step 1—Mix the Spackle

According to the direction on the bag or bucket, add water to the spackle. Using the paddle mixer attachment and your drill, mix the spackle until it is a creamy texture. Add a cupful of water on the surface of the mixed spackle. This will stop the spackle from drying out as you use it. This is especially helpful to the do-it-yourselfer because you may not move at the speed of a professional.

Step 2—Fill Nail and Screw Holes

Using your 4 inch spackle knife, fill the nail and screw holes. It is best to do this before you spackle the joints. These small holes will probably only require two coats of spackle. Let the first one dry completely before adding the second. The spackle will look white when it is dry. If it looks gray, it is not dry enough to add a second coat.

Step 3—Spackle Long Horizontal Joints

For these joints you should use a broad 8 inch or 10 inch knife. You will need to apply three coats to these joints and must wait until the previous coat is dry before adding another. The first coat is going to be the heaviest. The second will use less spackle and will fill in. The last coat is going to be a finish coat. It will primarily feather the edges of the spackle already applied. This last coat should be applied with a broader 12 inch knife.

Step 4—Spackle outside Corners

Outside corners are also going to be completed in three coats. The first is the heaviest, the second a filler, and the third a finish coat. The first coat should be applied with an 8 inch knife. When spackling outside corners you will run one of the blade along the corner bead and the other will run over the drywall. The second and third coats should be applied with 10 inches and 12 inches knives respectively.

Step 5—Spackle inside Corners

Applying spackle to inside corners is often the most difficult to get smooth and level. Here you will use the inside corner tool. As with the other joints, apply the first and heaviest coat with an 8 inch knife. Next, use the inside corner tool to get a smooth finish. Once that coat has dried, you will apply a second coat to the outside edges of the corner to fill. You will then follow with a finish coat to blend the edges into the drywall.

Following this process and allowing the coats of spackle to complete dry in between will ensure a professional job.