How to Repair Plaster Walls

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows a newer, faster way to fix cracked, loose plaster walls


1 Protect walls and floors in the repair area with plastic drop cloths; use painter's tape to hold the drop cloths in place.
2 Use a 3/16-inch carbide-tipped masonry drill bit to bore holes through the plaster, but not through the wooden lath. Drill evenly spaced holes—about every 3 inches—around damaged wall area.
3 Clean dust from the holes with a wet/dry vacuum.
4 Spray liquid conditioner into each hole; remove any conditioner that runs down the wall with a sponge.
5 Trim the adhesive tube's nozzle with a utility knife. Then, inject adhesive into each hole by giving the caulking gun's trigger one full squeeze.
6 Immediately after squeezing adhesive into the holes, use a drill/driver to screw a plaster ring into as many holes as necessary to pull the plaster tight against the lath.
7 Allow the adhesive to dry, then use the drill to remove all the screws and plastic rings. If necessary, scrape the rings from the wall with a putty knife.
8 Scrape off any high points of adhesive with the 6-in. putty knife
9 Apply a thin coat of joint compound to the wall using the putty knife.
10 Let the compound dry overnight, sand the surface lightly with 120-grit sandpaper, then apply a second, thinner compound coat.
11 Prime and paint the wall.
See products and services from this episode.


TV Listings

Find TV Listing for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.