Patching Plaster – Everything You Need For Perfect Plaster Repair

February 25, 2021

Although you may not notice it, the plaster in your walls is an important part of your wall’s structure. It gives your walls a smooth facade and improves the strength and stability of your walls. Without plaster, you would have rough walls that are difficult to paint or wallpaper. It even holds up your accents and homey touches, allowing you the freedom to enjoy your home and decorating. But over time, it can show signs of damage or age. When you start to notice problems, it’s important to hire a plasterer and take time to focus on patching plaster around your home.

Whether it’s a crack, crumbling plaster, or even water damage, patching your plaster is a sure way to return your wall to a pristine state. However, it can seem like you’re undertaking a huge task! It’s important to take it one step at a time to get the job done right. Patching plaster isn’t an impossible job, but you’ll want to be prepared before you begin.

Patching Plaster

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Common Problems With Plaster

Before you start patching plaster on your walls, determine what type of problem you’ll be dealing with. This way, you’ll have the right tools on hand for the perfect fix!

Plaster Wall Repair

Your project’s first step is identifying the problem. Take a look at your plaster to see what you’re dealing with. Is it a single crack or a series? Is the crack crumbling and making a hole? Examining your walls will help you get the right tools and techniques to fix the problem.


Your house settles over time, causing stress to the surface of your plaster. This is perfectly normal, but it can cause unsightly cracks that you’ll want to deal with. Cracks can also be a sign of weak spots in your plaster, such as the areas around your windows or doors. But it can also be a sign of larger issues, so be sure to investigate your foundation if several cracks develop in your home’s plaster. Whatever the cause, you’ll want to fill the crack and strengthen it to prevent it from reappearing.


Your plaster could also become damaged from activity inside the home, such as a collision when you were moving a piece of furniture or an accident with a football. When you notice the damage, you’ll want to repair it so it doesn’t develop into a larger problem. It can require a bit of work to remove the damage and get your plaster back into its original perfect state, but with the proper technique, even a large hole can be removed and replaced with perfectly smooth plaster.


Keep an eye out for any discoloured spots in your plaster. This is the start of water seeping into your plaster, usually from the other side. This could lead to expensive water damage. Take note of any discolouring or bubbling in your plaster and stop the leak before you repair the plaster.


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Plaster Ceiling Repair

Your ceiling can also require repair. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking for any damage regularly to stay on top of your home care. Ceilings can also develop cracks and other damage. It’s important to fix it before it becomes a larger, more difficult problem. Be aware of any long cracks or bulging surfaces that could be a sign of plaster coming away from the lath behind it. This might lead to your ceiling collapsing! So it’s important to diagnose the problem properly to get the right fix.

Ceilings can be a bit more difficult to work on because your work surface is directly above you. All that reaching can make it a bit of a challenge! You’ll use the same techniques, but keep in mind that gravity may interfere with filling some holes so you’ll need to work with a stiff plaster.

Patching Plaster

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What is The Best Plaster to Use For Repairs

As with any task, it’s important to have the right tools for the job. Make sure you have new plaster for your patching plaster project before you begin. If it is too old, it won’t adhere properly. This could make your plaster repair a frustrating job! Most commercially available brands of plaster are suitable for repairing plaster. Keep in mind that anything promising a quick dry may not give you enough time to work with

Pre-mixed plaster can seem like a convenient option for your product. But you may end up with more than you need for your job! Leftovers won’t keep forever, so you may end up throwing out the excess. Rather than letting it go to waste, you are best to mix up your own and control the quantity. This way, you can get the perfect amount for your repairs. This requires a bit of skill, so be sure to read the instructions to get the right consistency.

After you mix it, your plaster should be a bit stiff. This makes it easier to work with and apply to your walls. If it’s too runny, it could run down your walls or drip onto your head when patching plaster on your ceiling! 

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Patching Plaster: Your Step by Step Guide to Plaster Repair

Repairing and patching plaster can seem like a big job. But by reading through this step by step guide, you can feel ready to tackle the job at hand. You can fix up your walls and enjoy your home again.


You’ll first need to figure out what supplies you need for the job. Plaster is a must, but you’ll need more than that to get started. Read on for a handy checklist for the materials you should have. You should be able to pick up all these items at any home supply store. 

  • powder plaster mix
  • water
  • bucket
  • plaster knives for application
  • sharp knife for crack repair
  • drywall tape to repair corners
  • screws or adhesive for patching wood
  • wood to repair holes in plaster
  • sandpaper or a sanding block


Preparation is key for a successful plaster repair. From setting up your workspace to collecting the necessary supplies, you’ll need to get a few things ready before you start. After you have your materials, you can turn your attention to the wall. You’ll need to clear out the damage and start with a fresh canvas that is ready for plaster. By cleaning it up first, you can save yourself time down the road with a secure repair. 


Step by Step Guide

1. Prepare The Room

Get your space ready for work. Put down a dust sheet to protect your floors from dust and mess. This could be as simple as a sheet of plastic taped to the top of your skirting boards to create a seal, or a drop cloth laid out under your work surface to catch the dust.

2. Prepare The Plaster Surface

Prepare the surface of your plaster. This approach may vary, depending on the type of repair you are completing. 

  • Fix Cracks in The Plaster - Dealing with a crack? Dig out the crack to create a channel to accept the plaster fill. This ensures you have a smooth surface without building up the overall wall.
  • Remove Any Crumbling Plaster - For crumbling plaster, remove all loose bits. You may need to cut into the wall to create smooth edges to accept the replacement plaster.
  • Fix Holes in The Plaster - Have a hole in your plaster? Clean up the edges until they are straight and smooth. If the hole is deep, you may need to insert a wood patch to repair the lath inside the wall for stability. Then, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step.  

3. Apply Plaster to The Damaged Area

When applying plaster to the damaged area, it’s important to use a thin coat so it dries evenly. It’s okay if it is not yet level with your existing walls as you will build it up to match. Wait for it to dry completely. 

4. Sand Until Smooth

Sand the plaster until it is smooth and remove any loose dust.

5. Add Another Skim Coat

Repeat the skim coat until the plaster is strong and level with your wall.

6.  Add The Finishing Touches

The plastering project is almost complete, so now prep for the finishing touches!

Freshly plastered room

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The Finishing Touches

Once your plaster is set and dry, and you’re all done your project of patching plaster, you’re ready for the final stage: decorating. This is the time to decide whether you’re going to update your walls or match the existing finish for a seamless repair. Remember that your new plaster needs to be prepared with primer to reach the durability of your existing wall.

If your wall was painted, you may be able to paint just that section to match. But often, the colour of your walls has faded due to sun and time. This means new paint could stand out and show that repair work has been done recently. Since you want to make your plaster repair blend in with your wall as a whole, this may not be the best solution.

Instead, you should take the opportunity to refresh your entire room! You can choose a new wallpaper pattern or paint the whole room a new colour. Just remember that this will turn your plaster repair into a larger project.


From cracks to holes and other damage, your plaster can start to show the signs of age. But it doesn’t have to show them forever! Repairing your plaster is a necessary step in keeping your home looking nice and remaining secure. 

Now that you’ve read up about the type of damage your walls can have and learned how to repair it, you can tackle the plaster in your home. Even if you’re new to the DIY scene, you can take your plaster repair step-by-step to make your plaster look like new. Learning these new skills will pay off as you gain confidence and improve the quality of your home. 

Just remember that you don’t need to do it alone. If you aren’t sure if the cracks or damage are normal or the sign of a bigger problem, hire an expert plasterer. They can evaluate your home and recommend the best way of dealing with the issue.

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