Can I Use Drywall Spackle as Wood Filler?

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Spackle is a compound that you can use instantly to fill cracks in surfaces like wood, wallboard, and masonry. If you wonder if you can use spackle as wood filler, the answer is yes. But it’s worthwhile to know a bit about this useful substance.

Whether we can use drywall spackle as wood filler is a question that pops up frequently. We use spackle primarily to fill holes, cracks, and joints in plaster and drywall to maintain a continuous smoothness on the surface. But you can easily use spackle for similar purposes on wood with fairly satisfactory results.


A sheetrock or drywall background

Spackle is the brand of a wall patching compound. We use it as a filler compound for a variety of materials like masonry, painted metal, wallboard, and plaster. It is shrink-free, easily malleable, and simple to use.

Unless you apply spackle to an exterior area, you don’t need to apply primer. It is a quick-drying substance that you can paint over after about an hour or two of application.

Types of Spackle

Spackle comes in different types. We name it after the type of use such as interior, exterior, light, or professional. You may also hear it named based on its application. You would be most likely to come across lightweight spackle, vinyl spackle, standard spackle, acrylic epoxy, and vinyl epoxy.

Standard Spackle

Standard spackle usually contains gypsum, the primary ingredient of drywall. Due to this, we use it extensively for repairing heavily damaged walls including walls with one-inch diameter holes. It dries to a considerable hardness and withstands impacts to quite an extent.

Lightweight Spackle

This type of spackle contains sodium silicate and an adhesive. It is a quick-dry variety and exhibits minimum shrinkage on drying. A single coat is all that you require. We use lightweight spackle for small holes and dents.

Epoxy Spackle

You will find epoxy spackle extremely durable but is a bit complicated to use. Like most epoxy compounds, it has two components, the resin, and the hardener. You need to mix both components to make the mixture active. Epoxy spackle is oil-based and well-suited for outdoor applications as it exhibits considerable water resistance.

Acrylic Spackle

This type of spackle serves well for repairing more extensive damage in the exteriors or interiors of a home. You can use acrylic spackle to repair brick, drywall, plaster, brick, and even stone. It will not shrink or crack on drying.

Vinyl Spackle

Here you will need to apply the compound in multiple layers. It is a tedious process as you need to wait for each successive coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

You will find it handy for repairing deeper holes and damage. It contains elastic polymers, giving it excellent strength and flexibility. We use vinyl to cover flaws in plaster, brick, drywall, wood, and even stone.

Spackle is a Wood Filler

You may have deduced by now exterior spackle and vinyl spackle are the two types that you can use with wood. It fills imperfections on the wood exteriors quite nicely. However, for exterior applications, you would do well to apply a latex primer before applying the spackle. It enables the spackle to adhere better to the surface and enhances the durability of the coating.

Here are a few examples where you can use spackle as a wood filler:

Wood Paneling

Wood paneling tends to contain grooves that you need to cover up for a smooth look. It is easy to apply spackle on the grooves in wood paneling. However, you will need to add a coat of primer before applying the spackle. It helps the spackle adhere to the wood surface.

Wooden Doors

Spackle presents a cost-effective option for repairing scratches and dents on wooden doors. All you need is a tin of spackle and a putty knife to apply the compound evenly to the damaged spots.

Painted Wood

You can use spackle to patch up painted wood on the condition that you will repaint the wood after applying it. The normal procedure is to apply the spackle to the required areas and then sand it down before repainting the wood.

Wooden Furniture

image of a drawer and handle made of wood

Spackle makes an excellent wood filler for repairing wooden furniture. You can cover up cracks and holes caused by nails and screws. You can fill holes as deep as ¼” and as much as 1” wide.

Wood Joints

You can also use spackle to cover wood joints. It is particularly important if you intend to apply paint as a final coat. But between spackle and wood filler, you will be better off using wood filler.

Spackle vs Wood Filler

In terms of function, both spackle and wood filler serve the same similar purposes. However, they are different compounds. Spackle is essentially a tougher compound than wood filler. So, while you can use spackle for functions of wood filler, it may not work out so well the other way.

Material Composition

Wood fillers contain various substances like epoxy, polyurethane, and even clay. These components have great repairing capacity. However, spackle has even more capacity to patch up damaged sections in wood and other materials thanks to the vinyl and binders like gypsum powder.

Areas of Usage

The areas of usage for wood filler are restricted to wood. It lacks the toughness that you need for use on walls and other related applications. But in the case of spackle, it is much more durable, resilient, and flexible. So, you can use it on many materials including wood.


The main way that these two substances differ is in their functionality. Spackle works well to restore defects and irregularities in metal, wood, drywall, plaster, masonry, and more. It facilitates a smooth surface, especially if it is to be painted later.

However, the use of wood filler is limited to wood and occasionally drywall. Even wood filler has restrictions in some cases and a few variants cannot be sanded.

How to Apply Spackle to Wood

If you decide to use spackle in place of wood filler, here are a few simple steps you need to take:

Step 1: Mix the Spackle

Empty the spackle into a bucket. Now add the quantity of water in the ratio indicated on the packaging. While adding the water, stir the mixture simultaneously until you get a thick paste.

Step 2: Apply the Spackle

Using a putty knife, apply the spackle liberally to the damaged areas or holes, scratches, cracks, and joints in the wood. Your putty knife should be wider than the hole over which you are spreading the spackle and trying to cover. It makes it easier to spread the compound.

Step 3: Wipe Off the Excess

While the spackle is still wet, use a damp cloth to remove the excess compound. Leave overnight to dry.

Step 4: Sand the Surface

Using fine-grit sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood or a felt block, sand down the surface of the area where you applied the spackle. The direction of the sanding should be against the grain.

Keep sanding until the surface is smooth and there are no high spots. If you feel any low spots (depressions), you will need to add some more spackle and repeat the procedure after it dries.

Now, your wood surface is ready for adding a final coat of paint, stain, or varnish as required.

Note: You can also buy ready-mixed spackle which you can open and use instantly without the hassle of mixing it.


Now, you have the answer to the question of whether you can use spackle as an alternative to wood filler. Yes, you can. But ensure to use the information we have provided to get the best out of this wood filler substitute.

With a little care and using our tips, you can use spackle to get some great results to get smooth wooden surfaces for all your products.