• In this video, This Old House host Kevin O'Connor discusses patching plaster with a pro.

    1. Use a flat trowel to apply plaster base coat over the exposed wood lath.
    2. Let the base coat dry, then brush on some liquid bonding agent.
    3. Apply adhesive-backed mesh tape around the perimeter of the patch.
    4. Use a 6-inch drywall knife to spread a thin layer of veneer plaster over the patch.
    5. Allow the veneer plaster to cure, then spread joint compound over the area. Once the repair dries, sand lightly and apply a second layer of joint compound.
    6. When the second compound coat is hard, sand the area smooth with 220-grit abrasive paper.
    7. Complete the repair by applying one coat of oil-based primer, followed by two paint topcoats.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      There are several steps, but none is too taxing
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      Video Directory

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      Tools List

      • flat finishing trowel
        Flat trowel, for spreading plaster base coat
      • 2-and-a-half-inch paintbrush
        Paintbrush, used to apply bonding agent
      • sanding pad
        Sanding pad

      Shopping List

      Base-coat plaster, used to fill damaged area and create keys between wood lath

      Nylon fibers, used to strengthen base coat plaster

      Bonding agent, used to seal the patched areaAdhesive-backed mesh tape, for reinforcing joints between patch and existing plaster

      220-grit sandpaper