Mix small batches with each session for powdered compounds. Mix the material with water for large batches. Remove nails and rough patches before application. Sand the area after the spackling compound has dried.
Pour a thin layer of water over large amounts of compound to prevent the material from drying. Do not mix the water and material. Whip up the compound until the texture resembles peanut butter. Wear gloves and a breathing mask when using the material. It is best to use as much of the material within a half hour.
Before applying the compound, ensure that the area is clean, and sand the surface beforehand. Fine-grit sandpaper suffices as sanding material. Once it is dry and properly smoothed, wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove dust. Areas around the holes should be as smooth as possible. Use a hammer and nail set to push protruding nails into the walls. Remove loose paint or pieces from the wall. Patch holes that are 2 inches or larger before applying the compound. Spackling compound should never be used during rainy or cold weather.
Allow the material to dry for a few hours. Gray means the material is still drying, while white signals that the compound is fully dry. Sand it to match the surface. If there are any dents in the material, apply more of it over the surface.