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Repairing a Plaster Wall

How to Repair a Plaster Wall

Occasionally plaster walls need to be repaired, whether it is because of a crack or a hole in the wall that has developed due to a home aging and settling. Sometimes plaster walls can become damaged through accidents with remodeling, furniture or the removal of light fixtures. That is why it is a good idea to learn the techniques involved in how to repair a plaster wall.

If you have a damaged plaster wall, you will need to start with a set of plastering tools and materials particular to plastering. When you are learning how to repair a plaster wall, you will want to remember that fixing the damage quickly or carelessly will only cause more problems in the future. So learning the proper techniques is very important when repairing your plaster wall.

When beginning your plaster repair project, you will need to have spackling compound, paste or powder. Water-based plaster powder will harden in the plaster bucket, so be sure to only make a small batch at a time. Otherwise, if you make too much it will most likely waste a lot of the powder since it will harden and be unusable. You will also need a 3-inch wide putty knife for applying the plaster to the wall. The putty knife should be strong enough to apply the pressure you need and flexible enough that it bends as you move it back and forth and up and down across the hole.

Other items you will need to repair a damaged plaster wall are a chisel, sandpaper, plasterer's trowel, plasterer's brush, bucket of clean water and a bucket for the plastering mix.

Determining how to plaster the wall that is damaged will depend on how big the area is that needs to be covered with new plaster. In order for a strong bond to be achieved, you cannot simply begin laying plaster over the area. If the hole is relatively small, you will need to widen it a bit with your chisel so the patch can be inserted.
On a smaller hole, you will use a small brush to wet the area before you dip your putty knife into the plaster mix. Once you have enough plaster on your putty knife, you can begin applying it over the damaged wall area. Be sure to fill the entire hole remembering that the plaster will shrink a bit once dry. So put enough plaster on there so you get a solid bond on the wall.

Make sure there is no open space between the old plaster and the new. Then use the sandpaper to sand down the plaster until it is on an even level with the wall.

When figuring out how to plaster your damaged wall , you will want to know what to do when it is a large area that needs to be repaired. For larger holes, you will need to use your chisel to undercut the area and remove soft or broken plaster. You may even need to chip away down to the wall lath, but do not be alarmed by this as it is normal when dealing with larger repair jobs. Once you've cleared away all the old plaster, wet the entire area with the paintbrush. Apply small amounts of plaster at a time over the area, making sure the first coat completely covers every little opening in the hole. Once you have completed the first coat, use the wire mesh to rough up the patch before it dries. Plaster works best when it is on a rough surface for bonding purposes.

After the first coat is completely dry and hard and the hole is filled with plaster, you are ready to apply the second coat. Use your brush to wet the surface area again, then begin the process of applying plaster again, using the trowel to fill and spread the plaster.

Smooth out the final patch before it dries by using your paintbrush to brush the wet surface smooth. While doing this, use the trowel in your other hand to apply pressure to the area that has just been brushed. Learning how to plaster walls is not difficult if you give yourself time to learn the proper techniques. There are a variety of ways to learn plastering in the UK. From beginner courses to intensive certification courses to home-study plastering DVDs, whatever you choose will be a worthwhile investment.
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