Pros: Ready to use, easy application, changes color when dry, elastic
Cons: Potentially hazardous
So when last we talked, I had just finished removing all the wallpaper from the kitchen. For the most part the walls were looking pretty smooth but of course every now and then I’d see a gouge that would need repair. On the doorway between the kitchen and the main foyer there was an area missing some plaster near the floor and some exposed mesh was visible. Clearly, some spackling was in order before I could start painting.
For the last couple of years I have been using DAP CrackSHOT Spackling Paste for this type of work and usually have some handy. But, when I got to my paint cabinet I found that “someone” had left the top of the tub of paste ajar and it had all dried out. So it was off to the hardware store to purchase some more.
Sitting on the shelf next to the CrackSHOT I noticed a similar 32oz. tub of DAP Dry Dex Dry Time Indicator Spackling. “Goes on Pink! Dries WHITE when it’s time to sand and paint”. A good idea I thought.
I don’t know about you but I have on more than a few occasions thought an application of spackle dry only to begin to sand it and feel it deform under my sanding pad indicating that it hadn’t sufficiently dried. It’s usually not a problem associated with the filling of small nail holes but rather deeper gouges and applications that form an edge. On applications such as these, unless you leave them overnight it’s not necessarily obvious that your patch is dry and ready to sand. That’s where DAP Dry Dex Dry Time Indicator Spackling comes in.
DAP Dry Dex Dry Time Indicator Spackling
Like CrackSHOT, Dry Dex comes pre-mixed in a 32oz. tub. Upon opening the tub you’ll note that instead of the expected white elasticized paste there is a hot pink mixture of similar dense consistency. Being an elasticized compound it is non-shrinking and will usually fill smaller holes and gaps in a single application. Drying time varies between 1 – 5 hours depending on the thickness of the application and climatic conditions. But with the dry time indicator, all the guess work is removed.
Using DAP Dry Dex Dry Time Indicator Spackling
As with other spackling products the surfaces to which it is applied should be clean, dry and free of foreign material.
In the tub (1/2 pint, 1Qt, or gallon) it is a thick yet creamy paste that should be stirred before each use. You’ll note that before being stirred there will be some darker pink pigmentation floating in the crevices of the paste. I find stirring with a common wooden paint stirrer until it is a uniform “hot pink” to be most effective.
For small holes a putty knife is ideal for applying. On larger cracks it can be applied with a putty knife then spread and feathered with a wall compound blade. I prefer using a 3” blade. The manufacturer suggests dipping the knife blade into water and lightly smooth the spackling. This results in the smoothest finish. I’ve done this, it works, but honestly it’s most often unnecessary. On smaller holes (up to ¼ inch), a swipe or two with fine wet sandpaper once dry is all that was necessary.
For larger or deeper holes and cracks multiple thin layers of paste works best, allowing each coat to dry before adding an addition. To ease in obtaining a professional appearing finish I recommend that each coat be sanded.
For nail holes and those left by picture hooks it’s probably easiest to apply with a fingertip. If used in this fashion I recommend wearing a pair of latex gloves.
Once the color of the compound has changed from its original pink to pure white it is ready to be sanded and painted. It couldn’t get much easier than this.
Immediate clean up of tools (and skin) with water is recommended. When I remember to do this, clean up is quick, simple and painless. But if you let this creamy goop dry a bit it is more difficult to clean than ordinary plaster based spackle. It’s easier to follow directions.
DAP Dry Dex Dry Time Indicator Spackling contains the following:
Calcium Carbonate, Ethylene Glycol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate and Crystalline Silica.
The user is advised to wear a respiratory mask and to wet sand when necessary to reduce inhaled dust. We are warned that “over exposure may cause adverse kidney, cardiovascular and liver effects.” This product may be harmful if ingested or absorbed through the skin.
I can honestly say that prior to my experience writing for Epinions I probably never would have looked for that warning or read it. My advice? Use precaution.
I generally wear latex gloves when applying and use a disposable painter’s mask while sanding.
If it weren’t for the Cautionary Note on this product I’d rate it 5 stars. It’s really that versatile and the Dry Time Indicator makes it all but fool-proof to use.easy to use. While there are many ready mixed spackles on the market, DAP Dry Dex Dry Time Indicator Spackling is among the best, especially for the inexperienced user.