DIY Smooth Plaster Wall Damage Repair For Homeowners

While the smooth plaster walls of your older home give it a unique look, making repairs is much different than patching drywall. Many homeowners are intimidated by the idea of fixing a damaged area on a plaster wall because it seems complicated. But, if you have a bit of a DIY experience and a willing spirit, then this repair is actually fairly straightforward to complete.

To patch the plaster damage, you need these tools and supplies:

  • a chisel
  • a hammer
  • a shop vacuum or broom/dustpan
  • plaster repair putty
  • plaster bonding material
  • fiberglass tape
  • a trowel

Follow this simple procedure to patch your home's smooth plaster wall:

Remove the Damaged Plaster 

Any plaster areas that are crumbling must be taken out to make room for the new plaster repair putty. You need to remove the old plaster material completely and down to the lath boards. 

The easiest way to remove broken plaster is to use a sharp chisel and a small hammer. Place the chisel against the plaster and strike the back of it with your hammer. Chisel out the plaster until there are no more broken pieces stuck to the lath.

Clean the area well with your shop vacuum or a broom. The more of the plaster dust that you remove, then the better the repair will adhere and ultimately look.

Apply the Plaster Bonding Material

Using your trowel, apply the plaster bonding material on the lath and plaster around the area you previously removed. On top of the bonding material, place sections of fiberglass tape. Make sure you cover the entire void and inside of the surrounding plaster edges. 

Apply the Plaster Repair Putty

Clean the bonding material off of the trowel and then use it to apply the plaster repair putty to the dried bonding material. Apply the repair putty so that it is a bit recessed. This will allow enough of a void to apply the final layer of plaster putty.

Apply the Plaster Putty's Second Layer

Finally, to achieve the smooth surface of the plaster wall, you need to apply a second, thin coat of the plaster repair putty. As soon as you have troweled in the material and smoothed it out, then take a moist sponge and gently rub down the surface of the plaster patch. The moisture will create the smooth skim layer of water on top of the plaster, will result in a patch that will not require sanding, and will be invisible once you have painted the wall. Click here for more information on plaster repair.