Painting (main) : Painting Articles : Patching plaster holes

4 steps to patching holes in plaster

Prepare the hole for plastering

For smaller holes that are supported by drywall, use a masonry chisel and hammer to create a lip on the underside of the plaster, cutting the edges of the hole. This will create enough space for the plaster to hold. Blow off any debris surrounding the hole and slightly dampen it with a wet cloth for a smooth finish. If you find that your old plaster is crumbling, do not open the hole any wider, but make sure the edges are cleaned.

patching holes in walls

Applying the plaster to the hole

Spread some plaster on a wide putty knife and fill the hole only half-full with the mix. Allow the hole to become firm, but not hard (completely dried). Then you can score the half-hole with the tip of the nail, creating some traction for the next layer of plaster. Once scored, let the 'half-hole' dry completely. Then, dampen the set plaster again, and use the knife to spread another layer of patching plaster into the hole. Again, score it with a nail head and let dry fully.

Creating a smooth finish

With a wide putty knife, apply the finishing layer of plaster to the dried hole. Smooth it out beyond the lips of the hole by several inches. Then, level the plaster using a ruler or any other straight edge, wiping off any excess plaster. Dip the straight-edge in water and again, drag it across the now-patched hole.

Allow the area proper drying time

Once smoothed, let the area dry completely. You will know that the area is dry when the coloration has no darker patches, but is fully white. You can then sand the area lightly to remove any excesses, prime and paint.

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