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Painting over spackling

I recently changed the color in my living room, and before I painted, I decided to fix a few holes.  I used DAP Crack Shot to fill the holes.  I let the spackle dry, sanded flush with the wall and used a wet rag to feather the edges.  Before I painted the new color, I had to prime my walls.  After I painted the new color (a medium brown) you can see every area that I put the spackle.  I am not sure what else to do to avoid having the fixed areas show up.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Posted 2011-04-29T03:10:07+0000  by patrickrules247 patrickrules247

Hey there patrickrules247,


Sorry to hear about your dilemma. There are a couple of things that might be causing this, so let's see if we can troubleshoot your issue. =)


  • How long after priming did you start to paint the wall?

It may not have been given adequate time to dry properly to help cover your spackle. Make sure to give it around 3-4 hours if possible for best coverage.


It's possible your primer didn't quite dry properly, or that perhaps wasn't mixed properly. I have a lot of luck using products like Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 to properly cover the spackled areas. And then I would usually roll two coats on top of that to make sure I get enough coverage.


  • How did you apply the primer/paint?

I would definitely work with a roller for this to makes sure that it properly blends with the wall.


  • Are you just painting over that area, or the entire wall?

It will help hide better if you go over the entire wall, but isn't necessary. I would try and work with a lower sheen if possible as well, like a flat or eggshell to help hide imperfections. But at this point, it sounds like it just hasn't been sanded quite enough.


Hope this helps with the problem. Let us know some more info based on the questions above and we can see if there is a better reason for why this is happening.


Posted 2011-04-29T13:47:59+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

Thank you for the response, I appreciate the help.  To answer your questions:

  • We painted roughly 10 hours after we primed the walls
  • The primer was a Gripper brand and the paint we bought from Sherwin Williams and I am not sure of the brand.
  • We used a roller to apply both the primer and paint
  • And we painted the entire room - 2 coats on each wall.  I believe the finish was satin.

Let me know what I can do to help cover these spots.

Posted 2011-04-29T15:41:59+0000  by patrickrules247



You're more than likely having a problem with "flashing" as it's called in the paint world. It makes differences in sheen easily apparent, and it sounds like your Satin enamel is whats causing that. When doing flat it's not nearly as noticeable, but the satin displays it easier.


Was the entire room primed as well? It's usually a good measure if you are only priming repair spots, to go over those primed spots with the top coat once, and then roll the entire wall with another coat. If the entire wall wall was both primed and coated, then that sounds odd.


How many times did you go over with the spackle and how much wider of a feather did you make around the hole? Can you still "feel" the patch on the wall? It sounds like perhaps the spackle didn't dry or go on properly if it's showing through that much of the paint. I would resand the area to get it smoother and then reapply the primer and paint to the area, and feather out your top coat so it's less noticeable.


Posted 2011-04-29T19:43:11+0000  by Jay_HD_CHI

Yes the areas I patched look shiny when the light hits it.


Yes the entire room was primed and painted all at the same time.  I just went over the areas needing spackle once.  I applied it a day before we primed and painted.  And the spackle was sanded smooth, I made sure by running my hand over it and did not notice a bump.


Is there anything I can do to reduce this shiny look?  I am afraid to go over those areas again and making them worse.

Posted 2011-05-16T14:12:42+0000  by patrickrules247

Hey patrickrules247,


Sorry about not getting back sooner regarding your question. To reduce the "flashing" as Jay already stated earlier, I would go about it in several ways. He was correct in saying that various sheens do offer you either a greater or lesser chance of the walls giving that flashing look. Several tips you can do to help you out, depending on several things....


  • try a small area and repainting the area with multiple coats in just that bad area(s) with the new brown paint
  • use an oil-based primer in spray or small can to go over just the bad areas to eliminate the flashing, then repaint those areas with your brown paint
  • the last option if the 2 above fail.....reprime and repaint your walls (preferably with an oil-based primer, latex can go on top of it) and repaint. Tinting a primer to a brown-ish hue can (and would of) help out your top coat as well.

Let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.



Posted 2011-06-03T21:03:27+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

This happens to me every time I use spackling, even when I paint with the exact same paint (out of the same can) that was originally on the wall. It is shiny where I put the spackling. This is like a 20 year problem for me and I'm about to do this again and would love it if someone could tell me how to stop this from happening!

Posted 2012-07-06T22:58:16+0000  by statesman


To be absolutely sure that patches will not flash through, first spot prime the patches themselves followed by a general priming of the whole wall. It is generally a good practice to tint the primer toward the finish color.


The flashing problem results from the patch being either better sealed or less sealed than the wall upon which it has been placed. Primers which have super sealing properties, such as BIN pigmented shellac, often create shiney spots when used for spot priming. Here again, a general coat of acrylic primer over the walls will present an evenly sealed surface upon which the paint will dry to an even sheen.

Posted 2012-07-09T06:13:24+0000  by ordjen

HI! Me and the Love of my Life are redoing our bathroom....

We just removed the old school fixtures mirror vanity, sink, and light to find that Some Dickie- 1st spackled the entire wall- ALL OF THEM TOP TO BOTTOM- UNEVENLY than painted Directly overtop with Latex paint and now we are currently peeling it off and it looks ridiculous and now we're like what IN the Hell are we supposed to do now - Now everything is totally Uneven!! And will most likely be -1/4inch(I'm exaggerating & annoyed) than the other 2 walls we Didn't touch WHAT DO WE DO??? HELP would be much appreciated 

Posted 2012-10-26T22:30:56+0000  by Over_It




At some point it is just easier to rip down the dry wall and start over. Short of that, you can try sanding down the high spots and then troweling on a tiin coat of drywall compound over the entire surface. After the compound has dried, sand it using a drywall sanding block, loaded with 1oo grit sandpaper, to get a nice, non-wavy surface. Then prime the whole wall. At this point, you are ready for the paint finish coat of your choice.


Opening the wall up does have other advantages. It gives you the opportunity to add or reroute electrical outlets and fixtures. It also allows you to change the studding to conform to new medicine cabinets and blocking upon which such things as toilet paper rollers and towel bars can be solidly hung.


Hope this has helped

Posted 2012-10-26T23:25:31+0000  by ordjen
Hello again patrickrules247,

Since you originally asked this question, we created this video:

Wall Repair Paint Prep
Posted 2015-11-10T23:48:26+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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