I spackled this wall, gave it two coats of primer and the first topcoat of paint. Now I noticed when the light hit it this morning that I neglected to smooth down this patch of spackle adequately. It's raised up above the level of the rest of the wall and looks terrible.

Would light sanding before the next coat if paint solve this or make it worse?

Latex paint on sheetrock. The spot is about two inches wide.

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2 Answers 2


It certainly won't get better by itself.

You need to scrape and/or sand it down, and probably spot-prime it and paint it to match what the rest of the wall has had before adding a next coat to the whole wall.

There are no shortcuts other than "leave the ugly patch."

File it under "things to remember to check for next time."

  • Yes indeed, lesson learned! I think that LIGHT was the thing that helped me see it. I did a lot of my work at night on this using regular room lighting but all my sins were exposed when the sun streaked in the next day!
    – nuggethead
    Aug 2, 2022 at 1:32
  • 1
    Paint prep and drywall are where you want strong harsh light directed along the wall/ceiling to show all the defects.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 2, 2022 at 1:38
  • 2
    There's always the tried-and-true "Hang a painting over it" solution... Aug 2, 2022 at 13:18
  • Ha! A great solution if you want a painting hanging six inches above the baseboard...
    – nuggethead
    Aug 2, 2022 at 14:56
  • Mouse art appreciation society meeting in front of the baseboard! 2:22 A.M. sharp!
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 2, 2022 at 14:58

You should probably wait for the paint to cure but...

  • Put an orbital sander on it because doing it by hand will be frustrating as your sandpaper clogs up
    • If you don't own an orbital sander then mesh sandpaper would also suffice
  • Once you're satisfied with the depth then put a sanding sponge to it to take care of loose paint scraps
  • Give that spot a skim coat
  • Don't forget to sand it this time
  • Apply one coat of primer to that spot and feather the edges
  • Apply two coats of color paint to the entire wall

I pray that you're not using semi-gloss on this wall or else this patch in particular will stick out.

I've had good luck with half-inch nap rollers though.

  • That is not large enough to require an orbital sander, just use proper drywall sand paper. The kind that looks like mesh so it doesn't get clogged.
    – Glen Yates
    Aug 1, 2022 at 15:09
  • @GlenYates Thanks! I forgot about mesh sandpaper.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Aug 1, 2022 at 15:24
  • Why "a nice wide skim coat"? Surely just "sand it smooth", then "paint". (I think another coat of primer over the whole lot is pointless: One local spot coat if needed, a coat of local paint, and one coat over the whole lot should be enough with a decent paint.) Aug 2, 2022 at 7:09
  • I concur that an orbital sander is overkill. I would also use a higher grit (i.e. 220) paper to minimize gouging during sanding.
    – Machavity
    Aug 2, 2022 at 12:32
  • I have used a drywall sanding sponge for this type of thing in the past. Is the possibility of an uneven finish too great to recommend that? Perhaps some other pitfall(s)?
    – Darren
    Aug 2, 2022 at 18:56

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