My wife and I are first time homeowners and are doing a lot of stuff for the first time. We removed some shelves from a wall that left some larger holes, so we got spackle and sealed them up. We painted once over the spots, then again to try to get a consistent color, but even after that, we have two problems:

1) I don't think we sanded enough spackle down, leaving bumps on the wall.

2) The color of the repainting does not match the rest of the wall, even though it's the exact same paint as when the wall was painted 4 years ago.

So... - Should we sand down again to try to get rid of excess spackle, or is this too late now that we've repainted? - How do we get a color match here? Should we try to repaint a third time? Or should we repaint the whole wall? How do we ensure when we repaint it's all a consistent color (do we need to paint white or prime first)?

See pics: Close up[![][1] Farther away[![][2]

  • Just a comment as my own painting experience is both limited and "not the greatest". But the basics are: Prepare - patch and then sand well (which is my weak spot), prime (in a sense "really good white paint designed to cover up stuff", but if you just use ordinary white paint instead of primer, the results will not be as good), paint. Paint does change some over time, depending on light (especially sunlight w/UV) and other factors, so you may really need to repaint the entire wall to get a true color match. But to get the bumps/shiny spots/etc. off you need to go back to prepare & prime. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 15:07
  • Get yourself a drywall sanding board and drywall sanding screen. The flat board will help make the patch flat. If any low spots show up after sanding just fill them and sand again. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 15:37
  • @PlatinumGoose isn't that a bit overkill for such a small job? A simple foam sanding block would be more than sufficient for such a small job. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 16:15
  • The quick and dirty solution for this problem is to just hang something new over the old holes!
    – dwizum
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 20:56
  • Thanks for all the feedback! I'm having trouble sanding down anything at this point with my hand sanding block. Spent about 30 minutes on a spot and either we used far too much spackle or it's very hard now. I'll continue to try to find solutions to sand down with the hopes that I don't need to get an electronic sander
    – tarun713
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 23:51

2 Answers 2


First off, you need to get those patches even with the rest of the wall and that's hard to do if you rely on sanding them down. get a mud knife larger that the patch so you can even them out with one swipe. As far as the orange peel effect, I've had great luck running a small nap roller lightly over the mud after it's had a short time to stiffen up. Then roller prime and roller paint. Good luck

  • When it is a small area like that getting it flush and using a roller or sponge to provide some texture is the best path forward. I would not use spackel but topping mud. Topping mud is very easy (soft) to sand spackel is tough. A small bucket of premix is only a few $ and if you place a layer of plastic film on the mud and close the pail it will last a very long time even years, just mix it up and use in the future on my last move I found a bucket of mud that was on the shelf for over 3 years after mixing it up it worked fine in my new home.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 18:18
  • My challenge at the moment is the spackle is totally dry. We already have spackle on there, so topping mud is not an option. Would a mud knife help with the dry spackle?
    – tarun713
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 23:54
  • @tarun713 It would still help to even out the patches.
    – JACK
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 0:11

It's not the color of the paint that's different, but the texture of the surface, and hence the way that the light reflects off it. Particularly when you have light onto the surface at a shallow angle, from what appears to be window on the right wall, it'll pick out the high points appearing lighter. Rougher spots - are those sanding marks surrounding the patches? - will appear darker.

You could do to smooth out the patches more, but that'll still leave some difference with the surrounding wall. Did you brush paint over the patches? After roller applicaition of paint to the wall, it develops an 'orange peel' texture, that won't be reproduced with the local repainting, especially over a rougher surface. If you can get the patches fairly smooth, then put a couple of coats on with a small roller with a medium nap, you should get close, but on walls with problematic lighting, I've ended up a couple of times skim coating the entire wall to get the texture back to uniform (I'm just an amateur at this, whose time costs nothing to address perfectionist tendencies, pros may have a more time-efficient solution).

  • It's more than just the texture. You need to note that you need to prime all spackle to seal it and after sanding to thoroughly clean the surrounding wall area otherwise you'll get differences in sheen. The texture can also be more than just from a roller will provide. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 15:29
  • The color will almost always differ between brand-new applied paint and 3-year-old wall from the same paint can. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 18:59

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