Putty vs spackle is a versatile material that can use for various home improvement projects. However, there are some key differences between the two that should be considered before choosing which one to use.

Composition and Ingredients

Putty is typically made from a mixture of materials, including linseed oil, calcium carbonate, and clay. It may also contain additional ingredients such as turpentine or solvent. Putty is generally softer and more pliable than spackle and is often use for filling gaps or cracks in woodwork, such as window frames or baseboards.

Spackle, on the other hand, is usually made from gypsum powder or another type of plaster, combined with water and sometimes other ingredients such as glue or acrylics. Spackle is a harder, more solid material than putty and is often use for filling holes or dents in walls or ceilings.


Putty commonly use in woodworking projects, such as filling gaps in wooden frames or molding. It can also use for sealing and glazing windows. Additionally, putty can use to patch holes in walls, although it may not be the best choice for larger holes or areas with heavy wear and tear.

Spackle is primarily using for repairing small to medium-sized holes in drywall, plaster, or other wall surfaces. It can also use to smooth out rough surfaces, such as joint compounds or wallpaper. Spackle is a popular choice for DIY home repairs and is often use to prepare walls for painting or wallpapering.

Drying Time

Putty generally takes longer to dry than spackle, which can be an important consideration if you are working on a time-sensitive project. Putty may take several hours or even a day or two to dry completely, depending on the thickness of the application and the humidity level in the room.

Spackle, on the other hand, dries more quickly, often in as little as 30 minutes to an hour. This can be an advantage if you are trying to complete a project quickly, but it can also be a disadvantage if you need to make changes or adjustments after the spackle has dried.


Both putty and spackle can be applie using a putty knife or similar tool. However, the application process can be slightly different depending on the type of material you are using.

When applying putty, it is important to work in small sections and apply the putty evenly to ensure a smooth and seamless finish. Putty is also relatively soft, which means it can be more difficult to work with if you are trying to achieve a precise or detailed result.

Spackle, on the other hand, is often applie in several thin layers to build up the repair gradually. This allows for greater control over the final result and can help to avoid overfilling or creating uneven surfaces. Spackle is also harder than putty, which can make it easier to work with if you need to sand or shape the material after it has dried.


The finish of putty and spackle can also differ, depending on the specific product you are using and the application method.

Putty generally dries to a smooth, matte finish that blends in well with wood surfaces. However, the finish may not be as smooth or seamless as spackle, particularly if the putty is applie in thicker layers.

Spackle typically dries to a hard, smooth finish that can be sand or painted over. It often use as a base coat for paint or wallpaper, as it provides a consistent surface that helps to ensure a professional-looking result.

In summary, both putty and spackle are useful materials for home repairs and renovation projects. However, putty is generally softer and more pliable, making it better suited for woodwork repairs, while spackle is harder putty vs spackle.