Plaster provides a smooth, even finish for interior and exterior walls. It is applied in a range of thicknesses to different types of walls using a variety of methods. Cracked, chipped, and damaged plaster is unsightly. Whether a house has lath and plaster, brick, stone, or plasterboard walls, repairs are fairly easy to perform. Before carrying out these repairs, people should learn how to approach the most common types of plaster damage and they should note the type of products and tools that they need. Shoppers can buy plastering products and tools from DIY shops and online from marketplaces such as eBay.
It is important to prepare the area before plastering a wall in order for the product to adhere fully. After completing the repair, ensure that the surface is smooth. Always put down dust sheets before repairing plaster to protect floors from spills and damage, especially in rooms with carpeted floors.
For a smaller crack, use a utility or Stanley knife to clean the area, creating a V-shaped groove. For a larger problem, use a bolster chisel and club hammer to undercut the crack. After widening the crack and removing the larger pieces of debris, clean the area using a wire brush and vacuum cleaner; filler and plaster adheres better to a clean surface. Use filler for minor cracks and plaster for larger repairs.
Mix the filler or plaster according to the manufacturer's instructions. Filler should form a stiff paste that does not fall off a knife. Dampening a crack using a plant mister improves the filler or plaster's adherence. Use a filler knife or plastering trowel to spread the product into the groove, ensuring that it reaches the bottom of the crack.
When filling a deep hole, apply two layers of plaster. Apply the first layer to half the depth of the hole and scratch the surface after it has partially set. When the plaster has set, but before it has dried completely, apply a second coat.
Smooth the surface to remove any excess product before it dries. If using filler, simply smooth the area using sandpaper. If using plaster, smooth the area to an even thickness, holding the trowel at a slight angle. After 45 minutes, go over the patch again lightly with a slightly damp trowel. After another 30 minutes, splash the surface with clean cold water and gently work to a smooth finish using a damp trowel.
When repairing lath and plaster walls, first dampen the laths and edges of the surrounding plaster before applying coats of fresh plaster to half the thickness of the damaged product. Use enough pressure to push plaster between the laths and leave a plaster layer on them. Once the first layer partially sets, scratch the surface, leave it to set fully without drying out, and then proceed as though plastering a masonry wall.
Damaged plaster corners are more difficult to repair than cracks and holes because creating straight lines and edges can be tricky. However, using the right equipment simplifies this repair. For small repairs, cut away any damaged and loose plaster and clean the area. Use masonry nails to fix a timber batten measuring 25 millimetres by 75 millimetres to one face of the corner. The edge of the batten should sit flush with the plaster on the adjacent surface. Proceed to follow the steps for repairing laths and plaster walls.
When the repair has dried, remove the timber batten carefully and refix it over the newly plastered surface before plastering the second face, allowing it to dry, and removing the batten. This creates a perfect corner. Smooth with sandpaper before applying finishing plaster.
eBay sellers offer a variety of plaster repair products and tools at competitive prices. To find the right equipment for the job, type a search phrase, for example "plaster", into the field, which you can access from every page. Narrow your results by choosing the most suitable category and item features. Repairing plaster is a quick and simple job suitable for most DIY enthusiasts. It is important to prepare damaged sections to ensure that the filler or plaster adhere to the crack or hole. Investing in the right equipment, such a filler knife and plastering trowel, makes it easier to produce good quality repairs.