Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I can't find answer anywhere, can somebody tell me why and how to avoid these little dots/holes when I spackle.

I also including the pic of the compound I'm using.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

share|improve this question
Those are due to air bubbles in the joint compound. If you happen to have a vibrating product settler, you could just place the bucket on it for a few hours. – Dan D. Jan 28 '14 at 19:56
I would add to the good answers that: if you're spackling, use spackle. If you're joining wallboard, use wallboard joint compound. They're not the same thing. Spackle doesn't shrink when it dries but is hard to feather around the edges of a large hole. Joint compound does shrink and is intended to be applied over large areas in multiple coats. – Eric Lippert Jan 28 '14 at 23:12
And your initial job looks reasonable. Let it dry thoroughly; maybe aim a fan at it if you want to speed it along. Sand it down and do a second and then third coat, sanding between. Stir the compound thoroughly before you put it on; that will help. – Eric Lippert Jan 28 '14 at 23:14

Actually, @Edwin gave you a good answer. I'll add a bit to it. The bubbles are usually from not mixing the mud well enough or not applying it with enough pressure. It is not unusual to see lots of small bubbles on the first coat. The second coat is going to be thinner and applied with a bit more pressure and wider knife or trowel than the first. Here's a little trick for your third or final coats of mud. Mix a small amount of water and Ivory dish soap into your mud and mix well. It will glide on like soft butter and be as smooth as a baby's bottom!! Also, practice makes perfect, mudding takes a lot of practice, so hang in there.

share|improve this answer
I found an old potato masher works well for mixing the drywall compound. – Craig Jan 28 '14 at 20:46
A potato masher is good for vegies, but a mud mixer on a 1/2" strong electric drill is what you need. they are not real expensive, under $20 anywhere. – shirlock homes Jan 28 '14 at 20:50
@shirlockhomes Not many of us non-pros have 1/2 drills. – Chris Cudmore Jan 28 '14 at 20:59
Thanks, I think that what it is, since when I open brand new basket with compaund, I almost don't have bubbles, and this one is a month old. – bell2041 Jan 28 '14 at 21:01
Can I buy something that works with a regular drill? – bell2041 Jan 28 '14 at 21:01

There have got to be many ways to minimize the bubbles. These kind of problems you deal with when finishing drywall require a certain amount of skill that, for me, comes only with experience. That said, I have a few ideas:

  1. Add a little bit of water. The further along in the finishing process, the thinner the compound should be.
  2. Mix well, even if you add no water.
  3. "Work" your mud with a knife in your pan (or on your hawk) for a few seconds.
  4. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks like your application could use fine tuning. a. Apply the mud to the wall as you have done. b. Remove mud from the knife and, putting pressure on the left side of the knife, go back over application. c. Do the same for the right side. d. With light pressure in the center, go over again. This will help to better feather out our edges.
share|improve this answer
+1 on adding a little water and mixing it thoroughly. – Eric Gunnerson Jan 29 '14 at 5:51

You are getting these because the compound going on is too thick.

My drywall guys start with a small bucket of powder and water and mix to the consistency of pancake syrup and then add the premixed stuff in. Basically to the point where it barely doesn't drive you nuts. It will make a mess no doubt because you will have drop everywhere. But this allows for smaller/wider coats that will require almost no sanding and we hardly ever have bubbling issues.

The fact is the premixed compound out of the jar will start drying so fast that the air will escape during the initial drying process. They sell it this way because it is more usable and you can always add moisture but much harder to take it out.

share|improve this answer

You could just spackle over them with spackle.

share|improve this answer

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.