Today’s Project: Spackling Uneven Drywall

This morning, while Clara was doing this:

I attempted to tackle this:

A few days ago I slapped some spackle on the walls in the bathroom (we like Dap Crackshot), because as happy as we were with the big bathroom overhaul, you could tell it was definitely our first rodeo when it came to drywalling. And in our hurry to get paint on the walls we were a wee bit less careful with the mudding and taping than we could have been. But thanks to Operation Sell This House we’re making all those never-got-around-to-them tweaks to get things looking as close to perfect as possible. You know, tackling all of those projects that we’ll never get to enjoy ourselves but that we hope will woo someone else into moving right in (story of a seller’s life, right?).

Anyway, so after the spackle was applied to those cracked and uneven areas of the wall a few days back and I was 100% confident it was totally dry (trust me, semi-dry spackle is not what you want to work with) I finally decided to sand things down. Here are the tools you’ll need for this project:

  • Dap Crackshot Spackle (as we mentioned)
  • 100 grit sandpaper or a sanding block if that’s your thing
  • A bra and underwear (or just underwear if you’re male or anti-bra)
  • A post baby body (well, this one’s optional)

Did I lose you somewhere along the way? It’s actually quite simple. I learned a long time ago that sanding down spackle is a messy undertaking. So if you’re wearing a ton of clothes they all get caked in chalky dust, which flies everywhere when you remove them. So the fewer clothes the better. In fact, if you’re particularly brave or into nudism you can totally tackle this project on in the buff. It’s not like there are sharp tools that you’re using, and heck, you are in the bathroom (or another private room in your own home).

So all this quick fix entails is smoothing on some spackle with a putty knife (I like one with a bit of flex), giving it a while to dry (ideally a few days), sanding it down with 100 grit sandpaper so it looks as smooth and flat as possible, cleaning up all that dust that flies everywhere (we prefer to vacuum it all up while it’s dry so it doesn’t smear all over the floors and fixtures – which it can do when it’s wet), and then hopping in the shower and tossing your undergarments in the wash.

Next up I have to roll some primer and a bit of paint over that sanded down spackle for a cross-your-fingers-that-it-looks-good result (using the same type of roller that we used to paint the whole room should help match the texture for a less obviously “patched” look that a brush can leave). Can you guys handle the excitement? Here’s hoping it works out.

And speaking of works out, here’s an update on that asparagus plant that the dudes at Home Depot swore I couldn’t kill.

Things aren’t looking too promising for him (see what he originally looked like here). Eh, you win some, you lose kill some.


  1. says

    I’m debating hiring out the muding and taping when it comes time to put finishing touches on our future basement reno. Do you think it’s worth it or can a DIYer do it right the first time? Also, there’s spackle (might even be a DAP product?) that goes on pink and dries white. It’s the best invention ever.

    • says

      Hey Mike,

      It can definitely be DIYed to perfection! We just had a long hard road in the bathroom (encountering things like crazy metal flashing in the mortar walls, etc) so we ran out of steam and didn’t do the most thorough job with the mudding and taping.


  2. says

    I totally feel you on plants that are supposed to be hardy! I accidentally killed my succulent, which would be ok except I’ve lost the receipt for the 1 year guarentee. So, I second that “you win some, you kill some” sentiment.

    And I love the fact that you have never-got-around-to-them things, too. You ARE human! ;)

  3. Carol N. says

    My plants all look like that too Sherry. I’m trying now with some succelents to see if I can do any better.

  4. Kelly says

    It looks like your walls are textured. Am I correct? We have textured walls and I have areas that need some spackling badly but I’m not sure how to get the same texture as the original walls.

  5. says

    I believe in the old adage that a house is never truly finished….it’s only abandoned. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But after awhile you do really run out of steam on a home and are ready to move on! More power to ya guys!

  6. Lindsey says

    Hi Sherry-a few spackling tips. Based on your pictures, you might want to choose a much larger spackling blade. Even a small nail hole requires a 8-10″ spackling blade. Get a nice amount of spackle on the knife and “pull the spackle tight” by applying a area about 6-8″ out from the blemish or wallboard line. It seems like a lot but trust me, the larger radius makes the issue of spackle lumps and bumps less of a problem. Also, if you have a nail hole or blemish that puckers when you spackle it, give it a tap with the butt of a screwdriver before you spackle. This makes it more of a dimple and prevents the trapped air that causes bubbling. Good luck.

  7. says

    Aww, your poor little plant : / We have a bamboo plant (from IKEA) in our bath and it seems to have held up very well in there over the past 3 years.

    Also, the previous owners of our house closed up a huge window to add the master bed & bath. You can totally see the outline of the old window if the light hits the wall just right.

  8. says

    I thought about getting one of those asparagus ferns after you did since I have such a black thumb! I have two plants that are alive right now and seem to be thriving on neglect and under watering – a rubber plant and a lemon button fern. I almost feel guilty buying plants since I usually kill them off so quickly.

  9. Snickrsnack Katie says

    Good luck with the spackling!

    As for the plant… I guess I think it is weird to have a plant in the bathroom, anyway. Sort of like…. eating in the bathroom. It just is weird.

    But that’s just me! Maybe try a succulent, like a cactus or something.

  10. Pamela says

    I have a great neighbor who comes over whenever I have a spackling crisis. He’s a DIYer who is completely rebuilding his house from the inside out. Matte paint helps tremendously with wall imperfections!

    As far as that asparagus plumosus goes, the next stage is brown dust. You may want to replace it before that happens.