Damaged plaster needs repairing as soon as possible; otherwise, it can crack and cause the entire wall to fail. The good news is that homeowners can take on this task themselves, rather than having to hire out to have the job done. With just a few materials and a bit of time for the plaster to dry, the wall can be as good as new. Once painted, the location of the previous damage may be entirely unnoticeable.
Assess the damage
The homeowner needs to determine how bad the damage is before he can begin to repair holes in plaster. Sometimes, the plaster just reveals a crack, but it may be broken all the way through. In that case, homeowners must remove all of the broken plaster.
Remove crumbling plaster
Before attempting repairs, the repairer should gently palpate the cracked area of plaster. If any plaster crumbles, removal is mandatory. One must then gently remove any other plaster until the edges no longer crumble and break away.
Repair the lath
If there is any damage to the lath behind the plaster, repair is necessary before repairing the plaster. The homeowner can splice in a new piece of lath, screwing or nailing it to the pieces nearby. Once repaired, the lath is sturdy enough to give a proper backing to the new layers of plaster.
Dampen the plaster
Placed on dry lath, the wood and the dried plaster soak up too much moisture from the wet plaster patch, causing it to dry unevenly. To prevent that from happening, the restorer must spray the lath and the plaster edges of the hole with latex bonding agent. This compound helps to keep the area sufficiently moist, and it assists in helping the new plaster bond to the old plaster.
Spread the plaster for the patch
The homeowner should mix a batch of lime-based plaster according to the manufacturer's instructions. Modern plaster features gypsum, thus it dries differently than older plaster. This newer type of plaster may not match up properly with old plaster, so it is important to read the label carefully to determine if the plaster is the right fit for the age of the home. If the home is newer, built within a handful of years, homeowners should consider gypsum plaster instead.
Build up layers
If the hole is deep, start with a thin layer of plaster against the lath, spreading the wet plaster with a putty knife in an even layer. The plaster should butt up against the old plaster, but not come level with the old layer. Once left to dry overnight, one must score the plaster with the edge of a putty knife to give the next layer something to adhere to.
Each additional layer needs to be thin, while still building up to the edges of the hole. Between layers, the restorer needs to allow the plaster to dry, scoring the top of the layer. The final layer of plaster should match up to the edge of the patched area, but it does not need to bow out at all.
Smooth the final layer
Once the final layer is in place, dampen a sponge and wring it out until almost dry. By pressing the damp sponge against the new and the old plaster, the homeowner can help the new plaster to mimic the original texture. The patch needs to dry overnight, or for 24 hours, in order to harden properly.
Paint the patched area
Once the patched area is dry, the repairer should lightly sand the area with sandpaper. This helps to remove any edges that could show up under paint. The homeowner should choose a colour to match the existing paint, or repaint the entire wall to make sure there is no obvious difference between shades. A paint roller helps to give the best texture for paint over the plaster, which then makes the patched area disappear to the eye.
How to buy items to repair holes in plaster on eBay
Once you know that a plaster wall needs repairing, take inventory of what you already have on hand. Other items that you need to perform the repair are a simple search away. Locate the search box on any eBay page to begin, and type the name of what you need to make the fix. Read the listings thoroughly and look for sellers with excellent ratings to ensure that the materials you receive are certain to meet your standards for the repair.