How to Add Spackle to Paint

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Paint-tinted spackle adds unique custom textures to your walls.
Paint-tinted spackle adds unique custom textures to your walls. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Spackle, or joint compound, fills the joints between sections of drywall and fills in holes and depressions on the surface of the drywall itself. The result is a smooth, even finish that's ready for paint or wallpaper. For a custom textured finish, mix spackle with the paint color of your choice. If you combine it in the proper proportions, the mixture can be skimmed on like plaster, rolled on like paint and texturized in ways limited only by your imagination.

Things You'll Need

  • Spackle knife
  • 4.5 gallon container of joint compound
  • 6 gallon pail or larger with tight-fitting lid
  • Power drill with paddle attachment
  • 1 gallon latex paint

Use the spackle knife to scoop about one-quarter of the spackle from its container and place it in the large pail.

Pour about one-quarter of the paint into the large pail.

Work the drill paddles into the paint and spackle mixture in the large pail. Turn the drill on. Mix the spackle and paint at a low speed until it's well combined.

Add the rest of the spackle and paint in roughly proportionate increments. Mix thoroughly after each addition, until the color is even throughout.

Mix additional spackle compound and paint according to a ratio of one and one-eighth part spackle to one part paint.

Store any unused mixture in an airtight container to help it retain its moisture.

Tips & Warnings

  • Thin the mixture with a small amount of water or extra paint if it's too thick to apply using your desired method. Thicken it with additional spackle if it's too thin.
  • Apply the spackle 1/8-inch thick or less to inhibit cracking. If more texture is needed, add a layer and work the texture to the layer below.
  • Adding paint to spackle hastens the spackle's drying time. Apply the mixture in few-inch sections in order to maintain wet edges for proper blending.
  • Do not combine oil-based paints with spackle or other joint compounds. The water in the compound will not mix with the oil in the paint.
  • Mixing the paint with spackle will dilute the color. Compensate by ordering a more saturated version of the paint color you want.

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