Jul 8, 2010

Spackling, The Unappreciated Art

Spackling is a pretty thankless job. Yes it makes the walls so much smoother for painting, but it looks quite unfinished after a lot of work. It takes at least 2 coats of spackle plus a skim coat to finish it off - that's 3+ coats just to make a wall smooth but still unfinished. Yes it looks so much better when the walls have been primed and painted, but at that point the wall color gets all the credit. If anything, all that shows is your spackling mistakes - little divets and marks you missed. The best spackling job in the world is just invisible.

Obviously I've been doing a lot of spackling recently. Mostly in our master bedroom and closet, where we don't have a lot of traffic. I can't get the walls smooth enough for the more public spaces of our house, but I can do minor spots in our bedroom and big spots in the closet that will be hidden by clothes. At least spackling mistakes are easy to fix with sandpaper (to smooth things out), another coat of spackle and a damp sponge. This weekend we're painting in anticipation of the carpet installation on Wednesday. I'm so excited, we'll actually be able to move back into our bedroom next week!!


  1. Kiddo, you have plaster walls plus spackle. You want to be careful about driving nails to hang pix and mirrors. For drywall you use anchors and mollies but mollies won't work where you are and I'm not sure anchors were designed for plaster. What was the base used to hold your plaster? Wire, screening, wooden laths? To hang a really heavy object, read mirror, you probably should use a battery stud finder (assuming you have 2x3 or 2x4 studs) so you can drive a screw into the wood.

  2. We're definitely using a battery operated stud finder to hang anything heavy (in fact we just did it for our closet). The only problem is that our walls are so uneven in parts and have strange things inside them that the stud finder has a hard time. It takes a lot of time to find where the studs really are. They also make a special kind of anchor for plaster walls that goes into the wooden lath (what we have), though I definitely prefer the security of using at least one stud in the wall.