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How Long Does Spackle Take to Dry? Let’s Find Out Right Now!

Written by

Rosanne Jones

Writer, Designer


Steven D. Carrico


how long does spackle take to dry

Walls might be damaged because of several causes, such as holes of hooks or nails where things have been hung, screw holes, or relocating furniture scratches. These and other damages may make your walls look less outstanding. Don’t worry! Spackle is a compound that fills the holes or cracks to fix the drywall, wood, and other minor problems.

Understanding more about spackles can improve the efficiency of your painting work. If you’re wondering how long does spackle take to dry, reading this article can provide you with the answer and assist you in effectively completing your task.

How Long Does Spackle Take to Dry?


Organizing your task is much more manageable when you know the precise time of each step, especially when it comes to art. In regards to spackling, drying time varies depending on whether you get a regular or quick-drying spackle. It generally takes a few hours to let spackle dry if you do not get a fast drying one. Some fast-setting compounds indicate they can get painted after a few minutes or half an hour.

Even though you know the answer to how long for spackle to dry, continue reading this article to have more information about the appropriate sorts of spackle and how you may reduce the amount of time spackling takes to dry for varied objectives.

Spackling Compound Type

The key to choosing the proper spackle for the task is acknowledging various types of spackling compounds in the marketplace. You can also pick the spackling material you want based on the kind of wall you are fixing. The average drying time depends on five common varieties of spackles below.

  • Lightweight
  • Standard
  • Vinyl
  • Acrylic
  • Epoxy

1. Lightweight spackling


Lightweight spackle enables you to paint without spending too much time and money in one simple process. It dries quickly and does not require sand or prime, allowing you to paint in a second with an unnoticeable correction. Furthermore, this type of compound dries hard, so it collapses when pressed, making it best for minor repairs.

Lightweight spackle dry time is just a couple of minutes which is also the quickest drying time compared to the rest.

2. Standard spackling


A gypsum-based solution that repairs bigger holes and cracks on drywall is called a standard or all-purpose spackle. As opposed to the lightweight compound that is easy to be crushed or collapsed, standard spackle is best to patch larger holes and gaps, particularly in the region prone to be banged many times. To ensure it is completely fine to apply paint, you have to wait for at least 1 to 2 hours to let spackle dry.

Have a look at this video to compare a lightweight spackle with a standard one when applied to walls.

3. Vinyl spackling


Vinyl is excellent for deeper cuts and splinter correction as it is usually applied in several layers and left to dry between each of them. Not only that, this kind of chemical comprises elastic polymers, which work well for wood, cement, rock, and brick.

Generally, vinyl spackling takes between 1 to 5 hours to dry based on the temperature, moisture, and depth of the material. Because of being highly flexible, vinyl spack is suitable for drywall or mesh tape, whereas lightweight spackle doesn’t have the adhesion for tapes.

4. Acrylic spackling


Like the vinyl compound, acrylic is perfect for larger troughs and gashes inside and outside the house. Since it will not deform or crumble once it dries, it is versatile and excellent to manage damages on walls, brick, wood, plaster, and stone. Acrylic spackle takes around the same time as the vinyl compound to dry.

5. Epoxy spackling


An epoxy spackle not only provides the most strength and sustainability compared to the other compounds but it’s also considered wood filler since it may patch up wood troughs, grooves, fractures, etc. Even though its texture as the oil-based filler takes longer to dry, it gives better performance for outdoor purposes than other spackles.

Usually, the drying process takes a couple of hours, but it is advisable not to paint on top of spackles until the drying is complete for a whole 24 hours.

Factors That Expand or Reduce Spackle Drying Time


Despite being impacted by several elements, three causes that significantly affect the speed of the drying process are noted below.

1. Spackling compound kinds

This is the main element affecting the drying time. Each type of spackle has a different drying speed, ranging from around 30 minutes to a couple of hours, as aforementioned. The quick-drying spackle, known as lightweight, dries quickest.

2. Size and depth of the filled gap

The larger and deeper the hole is, the longer it will dry up. It takes a small hole only a few minutes but it might take hours or days to dry for a huge patch with several layers of spackling.

3. Humidity

Since spackles are combined with water, it only dries when the water evaporates. Hence, air moisture can prolong the drying period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to help spackle dry faster?

It is frustrating to spend hours or even days just waiting for a coat of spackle to dry before you can do anything else. Therefore, several recommendations are listed below for you to attempt to accelerate the spackle drying process.

  • Dehumidifiers: The best way to dry up is by generating heat because the wetter the room is, the longer it takes to dry, as noted previously. Installing a dehumidifier can eliminate extra moisture and support drying up the spaces faster.
  • Air conditioners (AC): Air conditioners lower the air humidity so the spackle can dry more rapidly.
  • Fans: In comparison to the air conditioners and dehumidifiers, fans are not as efficient. However, the flowing air will contribute to water evaporation around patched spots. Put several fans in the room near the area where you have applied the spackle.
  • Hairdryers: Use a hairdryer and ensure the setting is cool and slow if you cannot access any air conditioners or fans. Even though the hairdryer is portable and straightforward to dry out various places quickly, you must stay and keep it.

Fast drying spackle

Spackle drying time is a significant aspect because applying spackles is one of the first stages and is usually followed by other steps in a painting job. Spackles with fast-dry periods let the artist reach the primary work of painting faster. Obtain a fast-drying spackle if you regard time as the most crucial feature in your project.

It only takes a few minutes for two different sorts of fast-drying spackling compounds to dry compared to their other spackles. To improve your painting work efficiency, let’s explore those two forms of spackles that reduce the amount of time required to dry.

  • A dry powder: Being utilized as a drywall quick setting solution, this kind of spackling is manufactured in powder and must be blended with water in advance. They are more likely to dry faster than others; yet, the drawback is that you must mix them before using them and have a limited period to clean up the area after.
  • A pre-mixed spackling: This type of substance starts to evaporate once contacted to the air. It will not shrink or crack and can be painted in an instant. However, it does not dry as quickly as the powder form and contains other products, like vinyl, that will change the eventual outcome.

Spackle’s lifespan

The dry spackle is available in many other formulations, but neither of them endure permanently. The clay might dry out or become useless because of mold over time. The duration of it has a lot to do with how it is saved.

As regards the shelf life, every spackle is different, but many can last only 30 days when the container is opened and exposed to the air. They are all fine to use as long as they are not ruined by water, fire, etc. So it’s recommended to keep your spackle dry in the container when you’re not using it to maximize the average lifespan of the spackle.

Wet and dry compounds have an average lifetime of around nine months to one year when correct storage procedures are followed.


You might cause harm to your wall or paint by mistake if you’re not sure how long each step is going to take. Learning how long does spackle take to dry has given you not merely an overview of the drying period for several types of spackle but also techniques to minimize the time before proceeding to the next stage.

Choose the spackle that best suits you, and make sure to look for directions in the container. Did you find this article efficient? Leave your views in the comments box and share them with your family and friends if you liked this.

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