• Fixing loose or cracked plaster is quicker, easier, and cheaper than ripping out the old plaster and hanging new drywall or blueboard. There are all sorts of ways to repair plaster, and I've tried all of them.

    Big Wally's Plaster Magic might seem like a lot of work at first—with all the holes you have to drill and fill—but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty quick. And the stuff really works.

    The first thing to do is drill a series of holes into, but not through, the lath on either side of the crack, then vacuum out the dust. Spray Wally's liquid conditioner into each hole, then inject adhesive into each hole—one full caulk-gun squeeze. Screw a plaster button into as many holes as necessary to pull the plaster tight against the lath. After the adhesive dries, unscrew the buttons and skim over with drywall compound.

    A kit that includes everything you need to repair 160 square feet of loose plaster costs $235. Compared to how much would it cost you to remove that much plaster, haul it away, then hang and tape the wall or ceiling, that's a bargain.

    • Difficulty: None

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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • drill
        Drill/driver, used to drill holes, and drive and remove screws

      • Drill bit
        3/16-inch masonry drill bit, for boring holes through plaster

      • shop vacuum
        Wet/dry vacuum

      • caulk gun
        Caulking gun, used to apply plaster adhesive

      • putty knife
        6-inch putty knife, used to apply joint compound

      • plaster hawk
        Drywall hawk, for holding joint compound

      • utility knife
        Utility knife, used to trim adhesive nozzle

      • paintroller
        Paint roller and tray

      Shopping List

      1. Plastic drop cloth, for protecting wall and floor

      2. Painter's tape, used to hold drop cloth in place

      3. Plaster repair rings with 1 5/8-inch drywall screws

      4. Spray conditioner, used to treat plaster holes prior to applying adhesive

      5. Plaster adhesive, used to adhere loose plaster to lath inside walls 6. Sponge, for wiping up excess conditioner

      7. Joint compound, used to cover cracks and holes in wall

      8. 120-grit sandpaper, used to smooth dried joint compound

      9. Primer and paint