How To Repair Holes In A Plaster Wall

Patch both large and small holes and hide the damage of plaster walls.

Plaster walls, although popular homebuilding materials, are notoriously easy to damage by even the most careful homeowner. Bumps by furniture, door handles, or anything solid that comes in contact with the walls are likely to leave unsightly dents or holes that stand out against the smooth surface. These disfigured areas can, however, be patched or filled to restore the wall to a more solid state.

First of all, small holes such as those caused by nails or other pointed objects can be filled in with materials like spackle or wallboard compound. Scrape around the inside edge of the hole to remove any loose plaster and dampen the area with a wet cloth. Fill the hole with the patching material and let dry for several hours before sanding the area flush with the wall. Prime the area for finishing and paint as desired.

For a large hole use plaster as your patching material and prepare the area as you would a smaller hole. Take a piece of wire mesh larger than the hole and thread a length of wire through the center. Place it inside the hole and use the wire to pull it against the inside. To hold it there, find a thin piece of wood longer than the width of the hole (paint stirrers or pencils work well) and twist the wire securely around it to pull the mesh backing tight against the opening.

Wipe the inside and mesh lightly with a wet cloth and apply the first coat of plaster, forcing it through the mesh and covering the edges of the hole to anchor it. After the first layer is dry, untwist the wire and remove the wood piece before applying the second coat to fill in the hole completely. Use a straightedge to scrape away the excess plaster and sand flat once the area has dried. Prime and paint.

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