The pains of plastering walls have been largely erased due to
the arrival of drywall. However, some still choose to plaster due to the
benefits of increased soundproofing and sturdiness. Even if you didn't choose
plaster, you may have purchased an older home with plaster walls.
home has plaster walls that are damaged, repairing them is a much simpler and
cheaper option than replacing them. Read on to find out how to take on this
project by yourself:
Before you get started on repairing your plaster
walls, gather the materials you'll need to make the project a success:
- Spackling knife and putty knife
- Paper drywall tape
- Plaster washers
- Coarse-threaded drywall screws
- Setting-type joint compound
- Mud pan
- Fine sandpaper
- Potato masher or paint-mixing drill
Also, remember to wear a dust
mask and goggles.
Fixing Small Holes
Small holes are the easiest to fix. Just
apply some Spackle™ with a putty knife and let it dry. If, there's still an
indentation in the wall after it has dried, apply another coat. Once the
Spackle™ is dry, sand the spot with fine sandpaper. Finally, touch it up with
primer and paint.
Fixing Large Holes
Repairing larger holes can be a little
trickier, as there are a few more steps involved. First, you should:
- Mix the joint compound. Follow the instructions on the package for mixing to
ensure you have mixed it correctly.
- Place some compound in a mud pan.
- Using a spackling knife, fill a hole with the compound, leaving an
indentation of about 1/8 inch.
- Using the edge of the knife, scratch the surface of the patched hole and let
it dry before applying a second, smooth coat. The scratched surface will help
the second coat bond to the first.
If the area is too large to fill in
this manner, you'll need to cut a piece of drywall to fill the hole.
- Screw the piece to the lath (wood backing of the plaster wall).
- Apply the joint compound around the edges, spreading it out to about two
inches onto the surrounding surface.
- Lay paper drywall tape into the compound and smooth it all out with the
- Let it dry and then add two or three additional coats of joint compound,
smoothing each one out as the first.
Repairing Loose Plaster
Small pieces of loose plaster can be
removed and filled in the same way you would fill large holes, but larger loose
pieces should be reattached with plaster washers.
- Screw plastic washers, spaced a couple of inches apart, around the hole in
concentric circles, working from the outside (the most secure) in towards the
hole (the least secure).
- Fill the hole using the methods described in the previous section, and cover
the entire area with joint compound.
- Cracks can be reinforced by installing screws at six-inch intervals along
either side of the crack. The screws should be placed about one inch away from
the crack itself.
- Cover the entire area with joint compound.
Once all the holes are
patched, the loose plaster secured, and the Spackle™ and joint compound are dry,
you can sand everything smooth with fine sandpaper. Then, the wall will be ready
for priming and painting.