If the plaster walls and ceilings of your older house have cracks, holes, sags or water damage, you will need to get them restored to their initial state. If you don't mind a good DIY challenge, repairing damaged plaster is a job that you can handle properly. There are many different approaches to fix damaged plaster walls and ceilings. Regardless of which repair strategy you take, you will want to achieve a great result.
Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when repairing damaged plaster.
Failing to Encompass the Damage
A common blunder that many DIY plaster repairers make is to remove the deteriorated plaster before marking the damage. Encompassing the damage helps to prevent the damage from progressing to the rest of the plaster when you're removing loose plaster. You can use a chalk line to mark out the damage, and then cut the damaged plaster out with a scraper.
Not Reinforcing Loose Plaster
Plaster that is still properly attached to the lathe should remain firm when you are cutting away the deteriorated sections of the plaster. If you notice that the remaining plaster is flexing while you're removing the deteriorated part, this means that your needs a reinforcement. Patching up the damaged section without reinforcing the loose plaster may result in further damage to your sound plaster.
Not Cleaning the Work Area Properly
Ensuring the damaged area is clean and clear of debris after you've scraped out the deteriorated material helps to ensure the new plaster and patching compound adhere well to the rest of the plastering. You can use a soft-bristle brush and a clean rag to remove any dust that may remain behind.
Not Applying Enough of the Patching Compound
For your plaster repair work to be effective, you need to make sure you apply a sufficient amount of the patching compound on your plaster. The thickness of the compound should match that of the existing plastering. Otherwise, the damage will resurface after some time. Keep in mind that you may need to apply multiple coats of the patching compound to achieve the desired thickness. Make sure each coat dries well before applying the next one.
Skipping the Primer
Some DIYers paint their patched-up plaster without applying a primer. Priming helps to improve the adhesion of paint to the substrate material. Skipping the primer will reduce the quality of paint finish achieved.
For more tips on the dos and don'ts of plaster repair, seek advice from a plaster damage repair specialist.