Repair and painting plaster walls?

Long story short, I’m going to be hired to repair some plaster walls and to paint them.

How do I do the repairing? Do I chip out the damaged section and refill in with new? Then sand? Then paint?

Any special paint needed or paint brushes?


Depends on how big the holes are. If they’re really big, patch in a new piece of drywall of the appropriate thickness, tape the edges, and smooth the whole thing with joint compound. If they’re small, just use patching plaster or some such. Prime and paint as usual.

You would want to get any loose chips or stuff out of there, but if it is intact, but just rough, simply take a wide blade and smooth it out that way. If the paint is flat, as most house paints are, I wouldn’t waste time sanding it. If it has a shiny coat, best to give it a light scuffing. Repairing holes and making them smooth is easy. Matching certain textures, takes a bit more doing.

Most smaller holes up to a golf ball or a little larger so can easily be fixed by using the sticky fiberglass tape and putting and applying it to the sheetrock which will cover the hole, then just wipe the mud over it. A wider blade is usually helpful after the second or third application to help smooth it out. Maybe a very light scuff or two with a light hand sand would be all that is needed, some don’t bother with it. It depends on your finish texture again. Some can cover small imperfections up, others can’t.

Can you better describe the wall texture? Does it look blown in, like in bubbles, or is it spanish flat, crow’s foot, etc? Anyway you can find a link which will show us a pic?

I was going to start a new thread, but this is pretty much identical…

My house is plaster, and everything’s in pretty good shape. The dining room had wallpaper, which I peeled off (very clean job - they used pretty high quality paper 25 years ago!). I’ve since gone through with a damp rag to remove any glue residue (another surprisingly easy task), and yesterday I went through with patching plaster and filled in holes and cracks (all are very minor damage).

I’m due next to sand, correct? Any particular grit I should use? My sander has an air filter, but would I be correct in assuming that I’m still going to generate a fair bit of dust? Anything I should do to prep the room to make cleanup any easier - things like getting a box fan pointed out the window, etc? Any other insight would be great - thanks!

I have similar issues with my house. I have this one wall in the living room - first big wall you see when you enter the house - that was severely cracked, and was given a terrible spackling job prior to my ownership. It was a mess. My only solution was to cover it with drywall. That wasn’t so bad, but I had to shave off 1/4 inch from the moulding of the intersecting walls! One piece of moulding was 12’ long, it was a little awkward.

I have been warned, however, that this was not a proper solution, and I can expect some separation in time. I suppose I will see.

I have fixed other cracks merely by applying compound, taping, and applying compound over, sanding, painting etc. as you would do for drywall, though I think I used some kind of plaster-specific spackle. So far, no problems. I didn’t have big chunks missing from my walls or anything, just settlement cracks.

I had a friend who visited me recently who has worked with plaster, and merely advised that I should tear it out, and refinish with drywall (adding insulation as well, which these old classic bungalows are severely lacking).

Don’t mix sheetrock with plaster unless there is no other option.
I am a plasterer and I have been for 22 years.
Remember; “a patch will look like a “patch””.
If you wanna do it perfect. Here is how you do it:

  1. Yes, remove all the loose plaster but make sure your floor is protected and prepare for lots of dust…Clean as you go… Don’t let the mess build up to much.
  2. This is important… put tape and paper/plastic on everything that you do not want plaster on…then paint the wall with a bonding agent. AKA ,plaster weld,TKL
    then let it dry for a few hours… it will tell you on the container…
  3. For the big holes, use a perlited plaster. Let that set and get hard.
  4. Skim the entire wall with a veneer basecoat plaster. Let that sit and get hard…
  5. Choose your finish look. It may be smooth. It may be a skip trowel. It may be a venetian. You can even mix the color in the plaster, eliminating the painting step…The sky is the limit…

But, to do a perfect job is not easy. It will require help and a skilled plasterer…Do not attempt this on your own…If you love your house, pay a professional.