Putty vs. Spackle

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Putty is an adhesive used in various types of construction and maintenance. The substance can also be found in toys like Silly Putty. Spackle is used as a surfacing compound on multiple types of surfaces. The material will not be helpful in spots that will bend or move after application as it does not expand after it dries.


Putty comes in multiple strengths and can be used in place of tape, thumbtacks, magnets and staples. The putties that are used in art or to hang posters do not need to be as strong as putty used on wood and glass. Spackle often replaces drywall compounds and provides a resurfacing suitable for painting and filling holes in walls. Spackle dries quickly and is not re-wettable after it is finished drying.


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Putty comes in different forms and sizes. Dap's Bluestik Reusable Adhesive Putty is blue, weighs 1.25 lbs. and has dimensions of 6.4 by 4.25 by 4.5 inches. Fujipoly Inc. makes thermal putty that is purple, silicone-based and is used in high-power devices like computers. Spackle, on the other hand, usually comes in bins or buckets that keep the Spackle in its original form. Spackle comes in different weights and strengths for various applications, like wallpapering or connecting pieces of wood.



Different types of putty are made of a variety of ingredients. Many putties contain silicone and other chemical compounds like platinum catalysts, hydrogen polysiloxanes and combinations of plasticizers. Companies must be sure to avoid putting flammable substances in putties. Some spackling materials contain vinyl, as well as calcium carbonate, pregelatinized starch and clay. Spackle may also include titanium dioxide and quartz dust.



Putty is used to fill holes in walls and correct peeling and chips in paint. Putty can also stick posters and paintings to other surfaces and prevent the holes that result from screwing and nailing objects to walls. Spackle is a common substance in bathrooms because it is not affected by showers, baths and the moisture that results from those activities. Spackle should not be used on drywall joints, as the movement may cause the spackle to split apart or fracture.



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