How to Remove Dried Spackling Off Walls

Sanding old spackling prepares your walls for priming.
Sanding old spackling prepares your walls for priming. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Spackling compound allows you to fix holes in walls and prepares the walls for priming and painting. This gypsum-powder joint compound is a staple of home-improvement projects, but filling in holes with spackling and a putty knife isn't the end of the job. Spackling leaves a rough finish on walls that has to be sanded down.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust mask
  • Narrow-blade putty knife
  • 120- or 150-grit sandpaper
  • Sponge
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Latex primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Hand sander (optional)

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Put on a dust mask to avoid inhaling small particles.

Chip off large chunks of spackling with a small metal putty knife. Scrape the blade of the knife gently against any ridges to remove them.

Sand the remaining spackling in a circular motion with a piece of 120- or 150-grit sandpaper. Use a hand sander to make the job go faster.

Wipe the wall with a damp sponge to remove leftover dust. Sweep up any dust on the floor with a broom.

Prime the spot where the spackling was with latex primer before painting over it. Paint the primer onto the spot with a bristle or sponge brush.

Tips & Warnings

  • An electric sander with a disk can make removing spackling compound faster if there's a lot to remove. It also saves your hands and arms from soreness.


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