Spackle vs Putty – Which One is Better for You to Use?

Spackle vs Putty

If you are new to the painting industry, you might get confused when you are choosing spackle vs putty. Most people don’t know which one to use and what’s the actual difference.

You can apply putty on a place of staples, magnets, or such. And the spackle is used on the drywalls like woods or other dry materials. Painters use both to patch up holes so that they can apply the paint easily.

But there’s obviously more that you should know to get a further understanding of this topic. Let’s cover everything you need to know about spackle and putty and what’s so different in them.

Spackle vs Putty: Definition

Before we move on to compare spackle and putty, you must get the definitions down in the first place. That’s going to help you a lot understanding the whole thing even better. So, let’s have a look at the detailed definition down below.


Painter’s putty is widely used among most of the painters. It helps them to seal off small cracks and holes. That is decided to increase the effectiveness of the paint and make it more durable on your wall as well.

It looks yellow or grey depending on the paste that you get. It’s pretty soft and you can use it pretty easily as well. When you apply it on a crack, it’s going to get harsh as it’s exposed to the exterior. It’s going to take a few hours to get it sealed in place.

You can use putty to seal nail holes, dents, or such cracks, and the application is very simple. That’s why it’s very popular among the painters to use putty in their work. Let’s review one of the best painter’s putty that you can get for your money down below.


Spackle is another great paste that painters use to seal cracks and small holes.

It is basically hydrated calcium sulfate and glue, which makes it an amazing fix for smaller cracks. The biggest drawback to using a spackle is that it can’t bend or move. That means if you move it too much after applying and drying it in place, it’s not going to hold.

But overall it’s a great product that you can use to seal up some of the smaller cracks and the best thing is that you can use it in the dry surface. That allows you to patch up wood, drywall, or such dry materials, which is very handy.

That’s why painters love to use spackles in most of their projects as well. It has a lot of use and it’s pretty easy to use as well.

Comparison: Spackle vs Putty 

Now that you have the basic definition down, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to compare these two and get clear on the differences. There are a few different things that you might like to know about the differences between spackle and putty. Let’s cover them in more in-depth in a few sections down below.


The key thing that makes spackle and putty so different is the functionality. Of course, the other things are going to have an impact on it. But first, let’s talk about what are the differences between spackle and putty in terms of functionality.

As for putty, it has a lot of strength as you can use it in so many places. You can use it in staples, magnets, thumbtacks, and many other places as well. That makes it a very versatile option for most of the painters.

On the other hand, spackle is typically used on dry surfaces more than anywhere else. They are best for drywall compounds and give the best service there than any other materials. Spackle dries out pretty quick and it’s like a permanent thing once it dries out. That’s why most of the painters prefer to use spackle over putty.

But that’s totally up to your preference and project type that impacts what you are going to use in that case.


Now that you know the functionality of both spackle and putty, it’s time to look at the different types of those.

First of all, let’s discuss the putty. It comes in a lot of different forms and sizes, and you can find it very easily on the market as well. That’s because it’s a very versatile product and painters all across the world use it. The quality and size impact the price as you can probably tell.

On the other hand, you’ll find spackles in the forms of buckets of bins. They contain the liquid inside them and you can get it out and use it as you like. However, it’s not packaged as the putty and you can already tell that. But it also comes in a lot of different sizes and weights. And the price also differs as you choose between the better quality or cheaper ones.


Let’s talk about the composition or the kinds of ingredients that are used in spackle and putty. Both of them have a very different type of ingredients when you take a closer look at it.

Putty uses some silicon and a lot of other chemical stuff that gives it a soft and flexible glue paste that you see. That allows it to be a perfect fit for fixing the smaller cracks on the walls or the nail holes as well.

Spackles on the other hand contain vinyl, calcium carbonate, clay, and a few other materials that make it a somewhat thick gooey liquid. You can see that these two have very different ingredients, and that makes them differ in functionality and other things.

Uses of Spackle and Putty

When it comes to comparing the use of spackle and putty, they serve pretty much the same function.

Both of them are used to fill up holes and cracks of a surface, and painters all over the world use those two. But that’s not all as it can increase the effectiveness of the paint as well.

However, the spackle doesn’t give you flexibility like putty as it can’t withstand bends. So, you can’t actually use spackle on every place and expect it to work well in every scenario. It can be a great product to patch up holes in the bathroom environments as the moisture helps to make it more effective.

Ease of Use

Now we are going to compare the final factor; the ease of use.

Putty is easier to apply if you compare it to the spackle. But you need to remember that it’s a paste and you can’t use a paper roller to apply it as you can for the spackle.

Another thing that you might find interesting is that putty takes less time to settle, and thus, you can use the surface in a shorter period. That’s great if you don’t have too much time to spare.

That’s all you need to know in terms of comparison between spackle and putty. Obviously, both of them are great and if you use it in the right place, it’s going to give you the best output there.

Our Top Picks : Putty & Spackle

Putty Picks : DAP 12242 Painters Putty Pt Raw Building Material

If you are searching for an affordable but quality putty, this one is a perfect fit for you. It helps to heal smaller cracks and nail holes as well.

It’s very easy to apply and it resists oil bleeding, which is pretty impressive. You can just apply it to the crack and let it dry for a few hours. Once it’s dried out, you can just apply paint all over it. It can’t get simpler than that in any way.

What’s even more amazing is that you can use it for both interior and exterior fixes. So, if you’d like to have a great quality putty that works amazingly, you are going to love this one.


  • Gives a great fix
  • Hassle-free application
  • Very easy to clean
  • Best value of your money


  • Takes a bit longer to dry

Spackle Picks: DAP 12330 Dry Time Indicator Spackling

This one is undoubtedly one of the best spackles that you can get from the market. It’s manufactured from the US and it gives you an amazing experience from start to finish.

It’s very easy to spread and extremely easy to use as well. That way you don’t have to sweat about using it to patch up any holes or fix smaller cracks.

Another great thing about it is that it’s very simple to clean up as well. But the most important part about this spackle is that it works very well on your drywall and gives you a great repair.

So, if you want to get a great spackle that is pretty affordable but works very well, you can go for this one. It’s going to be the best spackle you can get that’ll ensure the value of your money.


  • Very easy to use
  • Gives a great spread
  • High-quality product
  • Best value of your money


  • Doesn’t withstand stretch or bend

Final Thoughts

Now you know all the different uses and functions of spackle vs putty. That helps you to use the right product to patch up small cracks and get more efficiency out of your paint as well.

You see, there’s not a lot of difference between these two in a glance of the eye. But actually, they are pretty different in a lot of ways. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of both of these and you can use the information to get better results with your paint job.