I patched a big hole in my wall with drywall and put spackling over the drywall. Was this wrong? -Yolunda

Hi Yolunda,

While similar in nature, spackling is usually used to fill nail holes and other minor imperfections while joint compound is the best choice for finishing drywall. Spackling is thicker and shrinks less than joint compound, but joint compound goes on smoother and is easier to sand. Both spackling and joint compound should only be applied in thin layers and allowed to dry thoroughly between coats.

Once you’ve cut the drywall patch and nailed or screwed it in place, rough up the painted surface around it with sandpaper and wipe off any dust with a damp sponge. Next, apply either mesh or paper drywall tape over the joints where the two pieces meet to reinforce the seams and keep them from cracking.

Fiberglass mesh tape is easier to use since it has an adhesive on one side which is applied directly to the surface of the drywall. It is then covered by several coats of joint compound and sanded smooth.

When using paper tape, apply a thin layer of joint compound to the seam first then press the tape into the compound with a drywall taping knife. After it has dried, apply additional coats of joint compound and sand the wall smooth.

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Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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