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Plaster Walls


Plaster finished walls are usually found in older homes and while they look great, they’re not the strongest interior walls around. If you’ve ever knocked furniture while moving things around, or even if you have kids playing around the house you might find a hole in your plaster wall before too long.

According to the guys over at The Log Home Inspector, Fixing a hole in a plaster wall is relatively easy once you know what to do. It can be accomplished by anyone with a little bit of patience and the right tools. The best part is that if you follow our instructions carefully, you’ll be able to achieve results that look as good as those from a professional.

  • What You Will Need
  • Plaster (specialized plaster can be purchased for patching).
  • A Sponge
  • A Chisel
  • A Hammer
  • A Box Cutter (Retractable Utility Knife)
  • A Putty Knife (Plaster Spatula)
  • A Carpenters Square
  • Drywall compound
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • A small wood block
  • Repairing Your Wall

Plaster walls will have a backing on them known as lath, usually made of thin plywood. Using your chisel and hammer, remove the excess plaster from the damaged area. Pull out any debris and then using your utility knife, cut the inside edges of the hole to achieve a uniform shape that is slightly wider at the base.

Mix your plaster by following the manufacturer’s instructions, and then dampen the inside of the hole on the lath surface with your sponge. Now, taking a small amount of plaster at a time, fill in the area with your putty knife. At this stage you are building up a foundation layer, leaving around a 1cm recess to the surface of the undamaged wall. After applying the plaster, leave it to dry for 24 hours.

For the next step, mix a new batch of plaster. This time dampen the foundation plaster with your sponge. You can now apply another layer of plaster, this time filling out the rest of the recess. Once the hole is filled, use your square (or a metal ruler) to level the plaster to match the undamaged sections of the wall. Once it’s smoothed off you’ll need to allow another 24 hours for drying.

Once the area is dry, use fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the section to remove any bumps. Wrap the sandpaper around a woodblock to achieve a smooth result.

Using drywall compound, apply a thin layer to the area, making sure that everything is flush with the undamaged section of wall. Allow another 24 hours for drying.

Your hole is now repaired and you’ll only need to smooth off the surface again using your sandpaper and woodblock. After this you can paint the patch to match the rest of your wall.

Take care throughout the steps to ensure the area is smoothed and completely dry before progressing. Matching paints carefully will ensure a professional looking result with a repair that’s barely noticeable.

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