Step 1: Fix the Lath

fix the lath to repair plaster
Photo: Ben Stechschulte
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Replace any missing lengths of lath, and refasten all loose pieces. Use drywall screws, and always drill pilot holes to avoid splitting the wood. If there's no stud to anchor a lath end, slip a piece of lath into the cavity and screw it to the back of the existing ones, parallel with the studs. Then you can screw new or loose lath to it, as if it were a stud.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • 1/8-inch drill bit
      -inch drill bit
    • 3/16 masonry bit
      3/16-inch masonry bit
    • wetdry vac
      Wet/dry vac
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • cleaning rag
      Rag
    • small plastic bucket
      Mixing bucket
    • margin trowel
      Margin trowel
    • to mix and apply plaster
    • plaster trowel
      Plastering trowel
    • to spread and smooth plaster
    • notched trowel
      Scarifier
    • six-inch taping knife
      6-inch taping knife
    • grout sponge
      Sponge

    Shopping List

    Wood lath
    1-inch drywall screws
    Plaster conditionerPlaster adhesive
    Patching plaster
    Ready-mix joint compound