Repairing Cracked Plaster
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated April 7, 2021)
Cracks are a sad fact of life when dealing with plaster walls. Luckily repairing cracked plaster isn't all that difficult of a task to accomplish. While you could always hire a professional to do the job for you, why waste the money when you could do the job yourself? Repairing cracked plaster isn't all that difficult, though you do need to be careful that you follow the proper steps. Do not hurry too quickly when doing this procedure, or you can end up creating a bigger problem than what you started with.
A brief word before you begin your repair work. The method of repair listed here is designed to work for small to medium sized cracks. Anything larger than this (usually something that is about two finger widths in size) will need different repair work than is stated here.
- Create smooth edges. The easiest way to begin repairing cracked plaster is to cut away the loose and damaged edges of the crack. Do this with the help of a utility knife. When doing this you may need to make the opening a little wider than it already is so that you can remove any debris that you can't get out too easily. Make sure that you run a vacuum cleaner over the mess to help remove any particularly stubborn dust or plaster that may still be stuck.
- Mix the plaster. Purchase some plaster-of-paris with some water according to the directions that are located on the packaging of the plaster. Carefully follow the directions so that you don't make the plaster too thin or too thick.
- Apply the plaster. When you have the plaster finished, it is time to apply it. Get the crack nice and wet by running a wet paintbrush over the crack. Pack the crack with some of the plaster, and then make it as smooth as possible with either an old towel or a putty knife.
- Sand the patch. Allow the plaster to dry completely, and then run a medium or fine grade sandpaper to smooth out the edges and the patch work. Repeat steps two through four again, and allow the patchwork to sit and dry for the next twenty-four hours
- Re-sand. Sand the area of the patch once again to make it as smooth as possible. Touch the area with your fingertips to see if it is smooth enough. Be careful that you do not press too hard with the sandpaper or you can create a damaged area that will also need to be repaired.
- Prime and paint. If you are planning on painting the area, apply a small mount of primer to the patch. Once the area has been primed, you can either paint the now patched area (and have a slightly discolored location) or you can paint the entire wall. To get the best possible results, you will need to paint the entire wall though.
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