Spackle is a staple of the construction industry. The versatile compound, which was invented by the Muralo Company in 1927, has been used for decades to seal cracks in plaster, drywall and wood paneling. Working with spackle can be very messy. Luckily, a few tools of the trade will make handling spackle much easier.
Spackle or Putty Knife
The primary tool used for handling spackle is the spackle knife, also called a putty knife. The spackle knife is not like a kitchen knife with a long, sharp blade, but rather more like a flat spatula. It is used to spread an even layer of spackle into the area to be filled. A contractor will spread the prepared spackle into the crack, and use the flat edge of the device to scrape away any excess, leaving a smooth, level surface. Spackle knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes for various size cracks and holes.
Spackle Cleaning Tools
Spackle is a pasty substance that can be messy and difficult to work with. Tools are specially designed to clean spackle and make the repair job look presentable. Commercial spackle and putty remover are absolutely essential. Removers commonly have solvents and chemicals that remove the dried spackle without harming the underlying wood or plaster. These solvents are often used with a hard-bristle scrub brush. Cleaning sponges and rags are also necessary to remove spackle before it has a chance to harden.
Spackle can also be used to decorate drywall and plaster. Home builders with an artistic bent can use textured sponges and paint rollers to create unusual designs in the plaster. The sponges or rollers are dabbed or rolled over the plaster (respectively) before it dries, leaving the textured design hardened into the spackle . Builders can also use special craft knifes to create swirl patterns or images directly into the spackle. These images could could be plants, animals, ocean scenes or whatever the artist can imagine and create.
Other Spackling Tools
Some types of spackle come in powdered form and must be mixed by hand before using. Often a large, plastic bucket and a paint stirring stick will do the job unless the powdered spackle comes with its own mixing equipment. Also, a drywall knife is often necessary when working with spackle on drywall in the event that the worker must cut away damaged drywall before filling a crack.
- "Ultimate Guide to Floors, Walls & Ceilings: Build, Remodel, Repair;" Editors of Creative Homeowner; 2007
- "Drywall: Professional Techniques for Great Results;" Myron Ferguson; 2002
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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