Holes and cracks in walls quickly devalue your home. Additionally, they can lead to further damage, providing a means for pests to get inside your walls and wreak havoc. When you notice a hole or crack in your plaster, it’s best to fix it immediately. But what do you need and how do you do it? Do you need to call a professional plasterer? Or is this a DIY-friendly job? Well, let’s find out.
What you will need
As with any home maintenance job, it’s important to have the right tools and materials. For fixing small holes or cracks in plaster, you will need the following:
- Putty knife
- Wide-blade paint scrapper
- Sandpaper and sanding block
- Jointing tape
- Plaster or plaster mix
- Rag or sponge
When you have everything to hand, you can start repairing the wall. Here’s what to do:
Clean and prepare the damaged area
Use the putty knife to get rid of any loose plaster.Make sure you do this gently to avoid any further damage to the wall.
Scrape away any excess paint around the hole with the paint scrapper. The plaster needs to adhere to the wall, not the paint. You may also need to lightly sand further out around the hole to ensure the plaster sticks properly.
Finally, use a rag to clear away any dust from the area.
Prepare the plaster
Following the instructions on the packaging, mix up the necessary amount of plaster.
If you are using a pre-mixed plaster, skip this step.
Apply plaster to the damaged area
Using your putty knife, apply a generous amount of plaster to the hole or crack. You can use the paint scrapper to evenly spread the plaster if you like.
Apply jointing tape
Put strips of jointing tape over your freshly laid plaster. This may stick out a bit from the wall, but this will be fixed later.
Apply a second round of plaster
Like before, use your putty knife to put the plaster compound over the affected area, as well as the area with the tape.
Let it dry
Let the plaster dry according to the instructions on the packaging. This will typically be around 60 to 90 minutes.
This is a good time to clean your putty knife and paint scrapper of any plaster so it doesn’t set and ruin your tools. You can also have a look on our blog on the Everything You Need To Know About Solid Plastering!
Sand back the plaster
Once the plaster has dried, sand it smooth. Wrap the sandpaper around a sanding block so you have something firm to hold onto.
When you’ve finished sanding, wipe the area with the rag to clear away any dust.
Apply a third round of plaster
You won’t need to apply as much plaster this time. This round is simply to fill in any imperfections the previous two applications missed.
Use your putty knife and paint scrapper to smooth out this round of plaster.
Let the plaster dry again
Leave the plaster to dry once more. Again, clean your tools in this time so they are kept in pristine condition.
Sand back the plaster
Sand the plaster again. It should now be smooth with no bumps or holes.
And there you have it – no more cracks and holes. Of course, the job isn’t finished just yet. The final step is painting over the plaster.
Fixing a crack or a hole in a plaster wall isn’t too tricky, but it does take time and care. If you aren’t a confident handyman, or don’t have the tools or time, a professional plasterer can get the job done for you.