It is rare that a product truly delivers.
I discovered lightweight spackle when I had my home renovation business. I was using wood putty to fill nail holes in finish carpentry (or caulk in a pinch) and drywall joint compound to repair small wall blemishes.
Wood putty is clumpy and hard to spread. Joint compound takes forever to dry. Caulk is messy as all get out. It was a dark time.
And then, well, I was delivered. Lightweight spackle was here.
First, it’s really light (truth in advertising), the consistency of good butter cream icing. That’s important for getting into the tiniest cracks where not even joint compound dares go. It also has the perfect moisture content so you can apply it with a putty knife or your finger. Oh the versatility.
Its lightness matters in another way. If (when) you drop a bit on the floor it won’t stick unless you step on it, not even on carpet. How does this magical substance cling to a wall but not the berber? Sorcery? Don’t question it friends.
But what of dry time?
Lightweight spackle dries quickly, like 15 minutes quickly. Also crucial if you want to patch and paint same day (and who doesn’t?). By the time you schmear the last nail hole, the first one is ready to sand.
After its negligible dry time, lightweight spackle is sandable to a silken finish, making it applicable to drywall and fine moldings alike.
As with many precious materials, it spoils quickly once exposed to the environment. It is best fresh, so buy it in small containers, like caviar.
Now don’t use lightweight spackle for big cracks or holes, more than 1/8 inch. It doesn’t want the showy repair, the drywall crevasse. Lightweight spackle is a specialist, the closing pitcher. Literally made for finishing touches and final flourishes.
Am I being dramatic? Maybe. But fill nail holes with caulk or wait 24 hours to paint a small drywall patch and you’ll see. You’ll see.