Putty: types and their features

Putty: types and their features

Putty is a plastic-type finishing or building material. As a rule, it is used as a base for the facing layer. This is the perfect way to level any surface. In addition, this coating is also used for decoration. Therefore, it is important to study the features of all types of putty before buying a mixture..


Putty or putty is a versatile material. It is always used in construction and renovation. At the same time, disputes often arise as to how to correctly say: “putty” or “putty”. The fact is that now both of these words are used in the same meaning. Some believe that this word comes from the name of the tool – a spatula, since it is with it that this building composition is applied on the surface.

But there is also the word “tow” – that is, to close up the cracks during construction with tow. It is for these purposes that putty is used. Therefore, we can assume that the name originated from this word. In any case, all these words refer to the same area of ​​application, therefore, they are considered correct..

Someone says that the difference between the two is enormous. So, they point out that the putty is a dry-type mixture from a natural composition, and the putty is a synthetic mixture, which is presented in a ready-made form. But how this classification came about is unclear. That is why many experts argue that these are words that have the same meaning and both are valid.

Putty is applied with a special tool, from which it received, in the opinion of many, this name. So, the putty tool looks like a plaster tool, but the spatula has a thinner blade and bends slightly if you press its handle. Thus, the putty can be applied even in a very thin layer, and evenness can be controlled. Applying the composition with this tool assumes a certain pressure and tilt in order to correctly distribute the composition over the surfaces..

The trowel blade is always even and perfectly smooth. There are always a number of requirements for it. For the correct application of the putty, the spatula is cut out with a laser. This makes the blade perfectly straight. Even the smallest roughness on the trowel can lead to incorrect and uneven application of the filler. Together with the putty, grinders are also used in the form of an abrasive mesh or a jointer, a bar.

The putty is a dispersion solution, but the filler makes up a very small fraction of the total composition in it. It also includes adjusters for setting, hardening, and a plasticizer. It is they that allow you to create the necessary consistency of this building material, so that it is convenient to work with it. In addition, it is these components that give it all the necessary properties and quality characteristics..

For the preparation of putty, in addition to the above ingredients, many use laundry soap, chalk, flour glue, gypsum, varnishes and some other components. The variety of compositions is enormous. Often they also include film-forming substances: chalk, talc and pigments such as ocher or zinc white..

The filler in this composition exceeds the amount of film formers and pigments. The composition of the putty differs depending on its type. Each specific variety includes certain components.

Putty as a finishing material has a number of advantages and disadvantages.

  • So, many attribute the viscous texture of this composition to the pluses. Thanks to this, the mass is easy to apply to wall surfaces and distribute it evenly. It does not drip or run off. Therefore, it is not so difficult to work with her..
  • The next plus is the high speed of drying of the composition. In addition, during the drying process, this material completely retains its volume. It does not shrink or change its external properties..
  • The material has good adhesion: it does not peel off the walls and does not fall off. It does not crack and is quite durable..
  • The versatility of the putty should also be noted. It is suitable for many types of cladding materials, therefore it is in great demand. With its help, you can easily independently process the walls, it is only important to learn some of the rules of work.
  • A big plus is the ability to correct a flaw that could have formed in the process of working: if you suddenly putty the walls unevenly, then you can get rid of the irregularities with the help of abrasives. Thus, walls and other surfaces can be perfectly finished..
  • The big advantage of the putty is its budgetary cost. This is especially true for dry formulations. Such a finishing material will have to be affordable for everyone, and besides, its consumption is not so high. In general, you will not spend a large amount on such preparation of walls and ceilings..

But there are some disadvantages of this coating..

  • So, you need to clearly calculate the amount of putty before you start using it. This is sometimes quite difficult to do. If you make the wrong calculations, and you have an extra part of the diluted mixture, then you will no longer be able to use it later. You have to throw it away. After a couple of hours, the putty loses its usability..
  • Sometimes difficulties arise in the process of work. So, you have to wear a thin layer of putty several times in order for the coating to lie better on the surface. This takes a lot of time, as it is necessary to dry each layer before applying the next one. Thus, the work turns out to be quite laborious and time-consuming..
  • The big disadvantage that applies to ready-made wet types of putty is that they have a high cost. It is completely very costly to process the wall with this composition. That is why the ready-made putty is used only for the final finishing in one thin layer..

Many people confuse putty with plaster, but in fact, these materials have a lot of differences..

  • So, the putty has a special structure. It is considered to be fine-grained, while plaster is considered to be coarse..
  • The big difference, which is considered a feature of the putty, is the drying time. This composition dries completely within a day, but the plaster makes it wait for drying for several days..
  • An important difference is that in the process of work, the putty is applied very thinly, but the plaster, on the contrary, is distributed in a thick layer..
  • Also, these materials differ in their grinding capabilities. It is impossible to process plaster by grinding..

  • Putty, unlike plaster, is used only if the walls have small flaws. Usually, if the differences in height exceed 2 cm, then they do not use putty, but plaster.
  • In addition, different methods of applying these materials are used. So, with putty, unlike plaster, it will not be possible to spray the surfaces, and only then distribute. Due to its viscosity, the composition is smoothly and accurately applied to walls and other surfaces using special tools..
  • These are completely different materials and are not interchangeable. Both of them have a common function – leveling the walls, however, plaster is applied first, and only then putty as a finish.

It is this order of finishing that allows you to achieve perfectly smooth and even surfaces..


Now the use of putty is very common. It is used both for outdoor and indoor work both in the apartment and in the house. The putty has good quality characteristics, therefore it is used in many areas. It is used to fill holes and seal joints on walls and other surfaces..

In addition, it can be used to close riveted and welded seams. As a rule, a thicker layer of putty is used for this purpose. Manufacturers usually indicate the thickness of the layer required for finishing work on the packaging. In general, different putties have different areas of application. So, varnish compositions are used in the field of mechanical engineering, and materials on an adhesive or oil base are used in the field of construction..

The putty allows you to perfectly align the walls and smooth them. In some cases, it helps to avoid spending on expensive plaster. In the process of application, you can redo it several times, constantly level the surfaces, bringing them to the ideal. Any errors can be eliminated while the material is not dry, and the quality of finishing work will not decrease..

Putty acts as a finishing layer after finishing the walls. Almost any coating can be applied after it. It is ideal for thin layers of finishing materials such as wallpaper or paint. It is an integral part of the renovation of premises, without it it is quite difficult to align the walls..

Putty also allows you to improve the adhesion of the decorative coating to the wall surface. That is why this composition is most often used before applying paint and wallpaper. As a rule, to improve this function and for greater reliability of the putty, it is used together with a primer.

It is not always able to ensure reliable bonding of the covering layers to the substrate. That is why it is used after a layer of primer..


There is a huge variety of putty mixtures. They are classified according to different criteria..


The composition of the putty is as follows.

Oil and glue

This is the most budget type of putty. It is based on a substance called linseed oil. This composition is now not so often used, since manufacturers offer higher quality and easier-to-use materials..

In general, such a coating is considered harmful, although it is not human health that suffers from it, but the walls and surfaces on which the putty is applied.

So, it has a special composition that can be absorbed even into the most dense concrete. After application, it can appear as stains even through a layer of applied paint or wallpaper..

The only options she is immune to are oil paints. That is why it is customary to use oil-glue putty only in combination with these compounds. But a big plus is the low cost of putty on olf. Due to this, it is often used for finishing industrial premises..

It has a number of other important functions:

  • The composition has good waterproofing.
  • When applied to plaster, it helps to strengthen the plaster layer and prevent its destruction from harmful influences. Therefore, with its help, bathrooms, sheds, storage rooms, garages are often trimmed. Oil paint is applied on top of this composition in these rooms..

In modern construction and repair, oil-glue putty is also used for finishing wooden surfaces. So, it can protect such materials from decay, and nails in them – from the appearance of rust. In this way, the life of wooden walls can be extended..

Gypsum cement

This type of putty has a higher cost compared to the previous one, but at the same time it is distinguished by its versatility. It is suitable for almost all finishing work. Manufacturers present gypsum cement putty in the form of a dry mixture. During manufacture, it is mixed with water.. The cooking process is different from making plaster, which is dissolved. Putty is exactly mixed.

Such a putty has a marking indicating its purpose and functionality. So, coatings intended for wet rooms are marked with the VN marking, materials for living quarters – with the LR / KR marking. Gypsum-cement mixtures are most often used to prepare walls before wallpapering..

This material has several advantages.

  • Gypsum plaster allows the walls to breathe, creating a good indoor climate.
  • Non-shrinking putty, resistant and reliable. Even after many years, no cracks appear on the walls.
  • It allows you to make a completely flat surface, thus reducing the cost of finishing materials, especially when you plan to use paint.
  • Gypsum putty dries much faster than other types.
  • She has no smell at all.
  • The gypsum composition is fire resistant and hypoallergenic.
  • It ideally prepares surfaces for all types of coatings, even the thinnest. This is due to the fact that after drying, the surface will have a perfectly white color..

But gypsum is susceptible to changes in temperature and high humidity, so it is not the most practical. The surface will not be too dense, a little loose, so chips may appear on the wall from mechanical damage. That’s why it is used only in dry residential premises or in heated non-residential premises. The exception is gypsum waterproof solutions, to which special components are added.


This type of putty is also presented in the form of a gypsum-cement composition, but at the same time it is mixed differently. The coating is sold in a bucket and is classified as ready-mixed. It is pre-mixed with a water-polymer emulsion. Such a mixture has a higher cost compared to dry, but you do not have to dilute it before decorating the walls. The mixtures are already ready, you can open the bucket, and immediately apply it on the surface.

In addition, you will not have the opportunity to mistake the proportions when stirring. The composition already has the correct consistency.

But these compounds quickly lose their properties, especially if you suddenly forget to close the bucket. Therefore, such an expensive mixture will become unusable in about an hour..

Although the coating will not harden in an open bucket, in general, the mixture will no longer be suitable, since the coating will subsequently turn out to be brittle and unreliable. Due to its high-quality composition, the water-dispersive putty has an ideal viscosity, therefore it is the easiest to apply. It allows you to create a perfectly smooth surface.

The composition is mixed very well, it does not contain clots and other elements that can spoil the texture of the wall. Even after drying in the process of sanding with a trowel, you will not damage this coating: it is quite difficult to make a hole on it.

Ready-made water-dispersion compositions are great for beginners. With their help, even the one who works with such a composition for the first time will be able to prepare the walls for painting..

Polymer putty

This putty is sold in 25 kg bags. It has good elasticity. The applied coatings are durable and durable. In addition, manufacturers mainly produce waterproof polymer putty, so the walls are well protected from moisture and do not deteriorate for a long time..

Approximate compositions have the broadest scope in comparison with other types. In addition, they have important technical differences: a ready-made diluted solution can be stored for about 12 hours, while its properties will not change. Thus, you can take breaks during finishing work, and the loss of material will be minimal..

But such compositions are of high cost. That’s why you always need to pay attention to the price-quality ratio of this material.

There are two types of polymer putty: acrylic and latex.

Acrylic is versatile because it is suitable for both exterior and interior decoration. Provides better adhesion when finishing, resistant to environmental influences. Acrylic putties are used mainly as a finishing compound, because thanks to its texture, it is possible to achieve a smooth surface..

But the layer of this composition on the wall should be no more than 1 mm.

Acrylic polymer putty can be applied even to wooden surfaces. It impregnates them well. This putty is non-toxic and absolutely harmless to human health. Acrylic mixtures can be stored for quite a long time, which once again confirms the economy of the consumption of this product..

But poor quality paint does not fit well on acrylic compounds, since the walls are too smooth for them. That is why, for such a finish, it is better to purchase more expensive and high-quality paints and varnishes..

Latex polymer composition is used only for interior decoration of residential and industrial premises. It is convenient to use the paint in the apartment. It collapses from exposure to low temperatures and can create cracks. But the material, subject to the conditions of its operation, comes out quite strong and durable.

Due to its plasticity, it is convenient to apply to the wall, it is also suitable for beginners. The composition is odorless and does not emit harmful toxins. The versatility of the latex putty makes it suitable for many surfaces, including concrete, metal, drywall, wood.

Also available with polyester putty and fiberglass compound for exterior finishing.

Classification according to the degree of readiness

Putty mixtures are sold either ready-made, in the form of a solution, or in the form of dry mixtures. They differ greatly in their quality characteristics, price and many other criteria..

Dry mixes

These compositions are presented in the form of a powder, which is diluted with water before use. When diluting, it must be thoroughly mixed with your own hands or using a drill with a nozzle – a mixer. It is important to get a high-quality homogeneous consistency so that the solution fits well on the wall and does not form irregularities.

Although the cooking process can take a while, it is well worth it. You will have the opportunity to prepare a solution of the required density for you by adding more water. Thus, it will be easier for you to work with it. The cooking process itself is pretty simple..

Dry mixes are much cheaper than ready-made mixes. They can be stored dry for many years. Convenience of transportation is also a big advantage. It is much easier to bring a bag home than a few buckets of ready-made solution..

But there are also some disadvantages.. So that the solution does not lose its properties during the application process, it must be mixed in small portions, which takes more time.

Some inexpensive ready-to-use formulations should be used within 15 minutes. Thus, not every beginner will master the leveling of walls so quickly. Although the mixture is stored for a long time, it can completely deteriorate when exposed to moisture. After all, the manufacturer produces these formulations in cardboard packages..

Ready formulations

Ready-made liquid putty is sold. It is usually presented as a prepared mixture and packaged in a plastic bucket. Basically, liquid formulations have a latex, dispersion, polyurethane base..

The finished solution is stored much longer than the mixed dry one. This is due to the fact that the composition includes special substances that delay drying. But on the wall, the coating dries out pretty quickly.. You can use this material immediately after you open the package..

The finished mixture has a higher plasticity and provides better adhesion. You don’t have to use stirring tools and waste your time. In addition, if you have a ready-made solution and you seal the package, you can use it again later..


Putty can have different purposes. Moreover, it usually depends on its composition, as well as on the size of the grain..

Starting putty

It plays the role of the main layer before finishing the walls. Its main difference is the coarser grain size compared to decorative topcoats. This structural feature makes grinding difficult. As a rule, after applying a layer of starting putty, the wall becomes rough. That is why this layer has to be finalized with subsequent coatings..

The starting filler allows you to correct unevenness on the surface of the walls, as well as fill in small cracks. It is great if you want to make a brick or concrete wall. It dries much faster than other types of putty and is more durable.. It is this putty that can be applied in a layer up to 2 cm thick..

The starter filler does not always need to be overcoated. It can be used as the penultimate layer before applying wall panels and thick and heavy wallpapers. But if you want to decorate the walls with paint or thin wallpaper, then you need to apply other layers of putty..


The purpose of this type of putty is to complete the preparation of walls for applying decorative coatings. It has a batter-like consistency. That is why it ensures perfect smoothness of the walls. It is applied in a layer of less than half a centimeter, the thinner the layer, the better the coating will look. If you apply it in a thicker layer, then the solution may shrink, cracks will appear on it..

It is simply not possible to apply a thicker layer, because due to the liquid consistency, the mass can float. This composition is convenient to sand, but after that the coating can form a lot of dust. It is not as strong as the starting putty, but it is of higher quality. It is completely unsuitable for patching up cracks..

Usually, such a putty is not applied at one time, each layer is about half a millimeter. Dried coatings will look like a polish, they don’t even have to be sanded always..

Universal putty

It can replace the two previous types of putty at once. Its purpose is leveling and restoration of surfaces. It is suitable for almost all types of foundations and allows you to create several layers: base and finish. Even structural decorative finishes can be carried out with it. It has a medium consistency and a universal composition with a high degree of adhesion..

Composition includes many modern components and is quite expensive. Mostly universal mixes are of high quality.

Specialized putty

It contains special additives designed for specific purposes. So, some mixtures are needed to hide the joints between the panels. They can replace reinforcing tape. There are also elastic type models suitable for so-called breathable cracks.

Specialty putty can be expandable. It perfectly fulfills the function of urgent repairs. These are the strongest and most reliable types of putty, since only high-quality elements are included in the composition. As a rule, the manufacturer indicates on the packaging the specific purpose of this type of putty mixture..

With its help, you can solve a number of problems that arise during the repair process. For example, it can be applied to fiberglass.


Now the composition of the brand is popular among buyers. Semin. Customer reviews show that it is a versatile and flexible putty that is even suitable for applying decorative plaster called “Bark beetle”.

Customers also praise dry putty. “Uniflot”, indicating that it is ideal for flooring.

Customers also like ready-made finishing compounds for brands Novol and Hercules.

Brand formulations are also popular “Tex”. The manufacturer represents adhesive and oil, latex and moisture resistant putties for both dry and wet rooms..

Which one to choose?

If you are going to make repairs, then choose the same brand of putty as other finishing materials. Experts believe that formulations of the same brand are better compatible and work well with each other, complementing and providing good grip. When buying, always try to take into account the purpose that the manufacturer indicates on the package. TAs, in no case should models for leveling walls be used as finishing ones, for this it is better to purchase smoothing compounds to create an even layer.

Also consider the operating conditions of these formulations. For damp rooms, it is necessary to select formulations with the appropriate labeling on the packaging. Also consider the temperature conditions in the room where you plan to apply it. Not every putty will withstand frosty conditions.

When choosing, you need to accurately calculate the required amount of putty in order to buy the most appropriate amount of the mixture according to your calculations. Thus, you will save money, and you will not have to throw out the already prepared diluted solution. If you plan to paint the walls, it is better to purchase ready-made liquid mixtures. They allow you to create a better finish layer. If you plan to paste over the walls with wallpaper, then you can save on putty – purchase a dry mixture by spreading it at home on your own.

When buying, try to open the lid and check how high-quality and uniform the composition is if you purchase a liquid putty. If you see irregularities and dry blotches in the composition, then it will lie unevenly on the wall.

Cement types of putty with a certain amount of sand in the composition are perfect for external decoration, but for internal decoration they are not suitable, since they are not so durable.

If you plan to cover the wall with light paints or wallpaper, then purchase only a perfectly white putty. Otherwise, its shade may adversely affect the final color of the finished wall..

If you are painting walls, you may need to increase your paint consumption by applying a few more coats..

If you do not know which filler to choose, then pay attention to the universal composition. Thus, the risk of choosing the wrong product will be reduced. Many masters in construction and finishing work recommend purchasing acrylic compositions for independent use, since they allow you to best prepare the wall for further decoration.

Also, when buying, study the composition of the putty mixture.. It is better if it contains additional substances and elements that improve its characteristics.. When buying, also study what material and color of walls this composition is suitable for, because not all coatings can be used for working on concrete, on metal. For finishing corners and other hard-to-reach places, it is better to use specialized types of putty..


Not all types of putty require preparation. Only a dry mixture will need to be diluted. To properly prepare this composition, you need to gradually dilute it with water. First, fill the bucket with clean water at room temperature a quarter. Then the dry mixture must be carefully poured into the water with a thin stream so that it completely covers it, and a small slide forms above the water surface.

Then you need to wait about half a minute until the composition is completely saturated with water and settles down. It is important that dry lumps do not form during the rash.. After the composition has subsided, it is necessary to stir the composition with quick movements for a couple of minutes.

For this, you can use both handy elements and specialized construction ones. A drill with a mixer attachment is ideal.

After thorough mixing, you must wait 2 minutes, and then stir the composition again for two minutes. This will make the mixture ready for use..

Dry mixes have some nuances during the preparation process. So, they cannot be diluted with water after you have already prepared them. It is also unacceptable to add dry composition to them. If it is inconvenient for you to apply the composition, and it flows down, then you can fix it only with an abrasive or a spatula.. Mixing must be done in portions so that the mixture does not dry out.. Examine the shelf life of the finished compound indicated on the packaging to calculate the finish time.

Application features

The putty can be applied in different ways, including by machine. The method varies depending on what the finishing decorative coating will be. If you plan to cover the walls with wallpaper, then the putty must be applied with a wide spatula in parallel strips, overlapping them by about 20%. The spatula should be held strictly at an angle of 30 ° with equal pressure so that the layer has an equal thickness.

If you decrease the angle of inclination of the spatula during application, the layer will be thicker, and if you increase it, it will be thinner, but torn. After applying an even layer of putty, it is necessary to dry it, and then remove the overlaps with a special grater.

At the end of this process, it is necessary to check the smoothness of the coating. For this, it is better to use a level with a laser..

After that, all the bumps are removed with an abrasive, and the holes formed are also covered. You may need to do two or three approaches in order to finally level the wall. After that, you need to let the wall dry completely, and then wipe it with a jointer with a mesh No. 80. You need to move in a circular motion with a little pressure. After such a final treatment, it is necessary to wait a day, and then it will be possible to glue the wallpaper..

Putty under the paint is applied according to the same procedure, but after the final leveling and grouting with a jointer, it is necessary to additionally cover the walls with a finishing layer of plaster. It should also be wiped and then primed.. Marble plaster can also be the last layer.

Helpful hints

Many people find it difficult to putty the corners. There is often an excess amount of this material left. Experts recommend rubbing it with an abrasive, but this is not always convenient to do..

After applying the putty, leave the corner free. After that, you should carefully squeeze out the putty using a special tool in a continuous movement from the bottom corner to the top. Then you need to use a special spatula. You need to walk them, leaning against the wall to create the perfect coverage. Then you should wait until the coating is dry and get rid of the irregularities..

Experts also give some recommendations in order to properly putty the slopes of the room. So, they are finished with an angled spatula, and then the sagging is removed with an abrasive. But this work is somewhat similar to finishing the corners. The only peculiarity is that the process requires at least two approaches.. Every time the smoothness of the coating must be checked using a building level..

You will learn how to quickly and accurately putty the walls in the following video..

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