plaster wall repair

It is unlikely that you will be able to plaster a wall satisfactorily starting from scratch, but you might well carry out plaster wall repair to a plastered surface. Cracking caused by shrinkage of the plaster as it dries out, or even by settlement of the building, is the most common fault in a plastered wall. Stop up the cracks with decorator’s filler, applied with a filling knife. This, incidentally, is often confused with a scraper, but the two are in fact totally different. The knife has a flexible blade, whereas the scraper is rigid. Begin by running one corner of the knife blade down the length of the crack, to dislodge any loose material, and also to make the crack wedge shaped narrower at the surface of the wall. Brush loose material from the crevice, and saturate it with water using a brush to make sure that the water penetrates right into the crevice. To start a plaster wall repair, now apply the filler.

plaster wall repairMix it in an old cup or saucer and do not make it too runny – it should be a stiff paste. (Always add water to the filler, never the filler to water; use a wet sponge, so you can then control the flow of water easily). Take some filler on to the knife, and spread it across the width of the crack, flexing the blade as you do so, pushing the filler well into the crack. Draw the knife lengthwise along the crack, again flexing the blade, to wipe the filler flush with the surface and smooth it down. Cracks that are deep and wide should be filled in two stages. When the filler is dry, give it a light sanding and the crack should then be undetectable when painted over. Fill small holes similarly. lf you propose to paint the wall a dark colour, you might have difficulty in obliterating the whiteness of the filler, which could persist in showing through even after two or three coats. To prevent this, add a few drops of the paint to the filler to tint it to about the final colour you have chosen for the wall.

Plaster wall repair in older houses, where the plaster is more brittle, and the surface can become crazed with tiny cracks. Filling each crack individually would be impractical. The best course is to decorate the wall with a material that will cover the cracks: a heavy embossed paper, or even a woodchip paper, which you can paint, can be used. If you want a smooth, painted surface, however, line the wall first. The lining paper to apply as a base for paint has a shiny, impervious surface that does not soak up paint. If you try to lining paper intended for wallpapers, the surface will look like blotting paper.

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