How to Repair Plaster Walls

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

Steps:

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.
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