Step 43 - A Guide to Plaster Wall Repair

Plaster Damage

A Guide to Plaster Wall Repair

Common plaster holes and cracks are mostly caused by structural problems or bumps from furniture. This is a common problem in households that people usually do not hire a contractor to fix. People find it easy to repair plaster walls compared to other household problems and most of the time, they do not do it properly and get poor results. It is true that it is easy to repair a plaster wall but learning the right way to do it will yield better and lasting results. Knowing how to construct a plaster wall would give you a better idea on how to repair it and a guide to plaster wall repair would definitely help.


Plaster walls, especially in old houses were made using a lath and plaster process. Laths are narrow strips of wood where plaster is laid. If a hole in a plaster wall is deep, the lath will be visible. Repairing a hole from a plaster wall also needs a lath in order to adhere.

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Hairline cracks and small holes are easy to patch. The crack must be widened so the plaster or patch compound can be provided with a good seat. Use a utility knife to widen a hairline crack. Bigger holes also need to be widened to create an even surface inside the hole by using a cold chisel. Loose plaster around the hole should be removed.

Cleaning the surfaces of the hole and crack is very important. You need to remove the dust and loose plaster to allow the plaster or patching compound sit properly. Use a water spray and wipe it with a damp cloth.

Properly mixing the plaster is vital to get a smooth and lump-free mixture. Fill half of a container with water then add the plaster until it forms heaps on the surface of the water. Mix it immediately to avoid lumps and add more plaster while mixing. Test it with your trowel. If it can form a heap without running off, then it is ready to use. Clean the tools you used for mixing immediately.

Spackling paste can be use to fill small holes and cracks. You can use your fingers or a putty knife. However, large and deeper holes will need a few coatings of plaster or patching compound to finish the job. You must ensure that every coating will adhere to the previous one by scoring the surface with a nail to form a wire mesh pattern before letting it dry. Some would use a wire mesh to provide a good seat for the coating. When applying the last coating, make sure you put enough plaster or patching compound on to overlap the existing plaster around it.

Allow the plaster or patch to dry for 24 hours. Scrape off the uneven surface with a putty knife and apply joint compound if necessary to make an even surface. Use a sandpaper to smooth then apply primer and paint.

Not all household problems are solved in a do-it-yourself way. If plaster wall cracks seem to appear from time to time then it's time to hire a professional to determine the root of the problem.


The Land






Framing Phase

Rough-in Phase

Drywall Phase

Interior Carpentry

Flat-work Phase

Paint & Stain

Finishing Phase