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When, Why, and How to Use Wall Putty

Wall putty being applied.

There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to add the finishing touch to your home. Whether you are renovating or simply moving to a newly built house, how you paint your walls can mean all the difference. But, as any reputable painter will tell you, a lot more goes into attaining that pristine finish than just a good can of paint and primer. One element that has proved itself essential in the process is wall putty.

Since it was first introduced to the market, wall putty has been the go-to material for treating interior and exterior walls. According to users, it results in a superior, flawless finish. Ultimately, your wall becomes soft and smooth to the touch.

If you intend to try out wall putty for the first time, you might be wondering what it is and how exactly to use it. In this article, we shall address all this. We’ll get to see what exactly wall putty is good for and how to apply it to achieve the desired results.

What is wall putty?

Wall putty is basically a fine powder comprising white cement and some top-quality polymer. Usually, it is mixed with water and some other additives to make a solution that you apply to your wall before painting.  If applied correctly, it will fill any imperfections, gaps, cracks, and rough surfaces on your wall.

Most professional painters tend to apply two coats of putty before starting to paint. The first coat is meant to fill any imperfections, while the second one ensures that the wall and coated surface are properly lined up.

The good thing is that wall putty is extremely versatile. It can be applied either over drywalls and concrete or plastered walls.

When can you use wall putty?

Because of its unique ability to even out wall surfaces, you can use wall putty on almost any painting project. It is especially effective on walls which are damaged or cracked or have small holes.

There are two types of wall putty:

  • Acrylic wall putty – This putty comes in the form of a paste, which means you can apply it directly to your walls.  Because of this property, acrylic putty is best suited for use on interior walls.
  • Cement-based wall putty – Cement-based putty is the most common kind of putty you’ll find out there. Unlike its counterpart, cement-based putty comes in powder form, so you have to mix it with water before applying.

How to use a wall putty

Now, buying wall putty is one thing, but the way you apply it is what really matters. If you really want to achieve that silky smooth feel, you have to know how to apply it correctly. For this, you’ll need a few materials, including:

  • The wall putty
  • Water
  • An electric putty mixer
  • Sandpaper, wire brush, or putty blade
  • A finishing tool (blade, trowel, or spatula)

Let us go over the process step by step.

Surface preparation

Before anything, you’ll need to make sure that your targeted surface is ready to receive the putty.

  • Start by making sure the surface is either plastered or comprising of cementitious material.
  • Eliminate any fungus, leakages, or dampness from the wall through treatments,
  • Clean the surface completely. Make sure to wipe out any dust, residual paints, oil, loose particles, or any other contaminants. You can use a wire brush, putty blade or sandpaper, then wipe off the loose materials.
  • Finally, wet the wall with ample water and let it dry. The surface should be a little wet but not over-wet.


If you are dealing with cement-based putty, this step is where you mix the powder with water to form an applicable solution.

  • Start by putting it in a pan and adding some water at a 2:1 ratio. This ratio can vary according to your manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Stir the mixture using an electric putty mixer or by hand for around 15 minutes until you get a consistent, creamy paste.
  • Get rid of any lumps by breaking them apart and mixing them.

Apply the putty

  • Before applying the putty, best practice dictates that  you first apply a coat of primer and let it dry overnight (although some manufacturers don’t recommend applying primer first).
  • Take your putty mix and using a finishing tool (trowel, spatula, or blade), apply the first coat in a bottom-to-top manner.
  • Let the first coat dry. This should take about 6-8 hours.
  • Once dry, gently rub the surface using sandpaper to get rid of small, loose particles.
  • Apply a second coat of putty.
  • Allow the surface to dry for about 6-8 hours, then gently rub the surface using sandpaper to remove unevenness. This should reveal a smooth, glossy finish.
  • To prevent cracks, try and limit the thickness of the putty to a max of 1.5 mm.


As you’ve seen, wall putty is key to accentuating the beauty and finish of your wall painting. Hopefully, now, by following a few of the steps above, you’ll be a step closer to achieving that smooth appeal. As usual, it is always best to consult with professionals, especially if you are dealing with a large project.

At Painter Bros, we have all the tools and expertise to serve all your painting needs for both residential and commercial properties. For any inquiries, feel free to call (844) 509-2313 and book an appointment today.


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