Unfortunately, plaster is just one of those materials that has the frustrating capability to crack and chip during the drying process. However, over time, it is certainly possible that the plaster will begin to crumble with age. This brief tutorial will show you how to repair plaster cracks just like a professional maintenance provider. Before we go any further, if you do use this guide to complete a small DIY project, we cannot be held responsible for any problems or further damages. A full survey would need to be completed.
So why does the plaster begin to show signs of cracking, crumbing and damage? It’s simple really. Most of the time, plaster cracks require repair because the original application was done so incorrectly. It may sound silly, but the correct application of a product can be extremely important to the longevity of a material and/or product.
This article will teach you how to repair plaster cracks correctly and exactly like a professional contractor. As you begin to contemplate completing the next application and plaster crack repair yourself, consider this; you will need to be able to confidently identify and apply the correct colour and paint that already exists on the wall or ceiling. Unfortunately, it’s not just plastering that you will be doing on this project! However, if you are planning on using a professional painter and decorator, you will not have this concern.
To complete the repair, you will need a couple of items. These will include spackling compound, a putty knife and different grades of reliable and trusted sand papers. Once you have those, you’re ready to go!
Now then, as we mentioned above, unless you are planning on using a professional painter and decorator, preparing the paint is more important than it sounds. It’s best to do your research and colour matching before you begin the plaster repair. The last thing you want is to leave your repair without any colour for 6-months (although it’s easily done).
If you live in the UK, get down to your local Homebase or B&Q store and have a chat with one of their colour matching specialists. They will be able to help you find the exact colour that you need once the plaster has been applied and had time to dry. If you have one, try to support a local business – it’s the best way to help your local economy!
If you want to, you can purchase a tester pot. Use this on a hidden area in your office or home. Allow it time to dry completely and try to keep an eye on it through-out the day. The sunlight that comes through windows will give you different perspectives and allow you to see the colour in different lights. If you’re happy with the new colour, make sure that you get the rest of your supplies and enough paint before you start to plaster.
Preparation for the Plaster Crack Refurbishment
Assess the damage and remove any flaking pieces of old plaster. This will make your repair that much easier. If you do happen to find any large pieces of plaster that look like they may come loose soon, try to remove them carefully, without causing any further damage and keep them to one side.
Using your sand paper (make sure that it is a good quality) sand down the area that you intend to repair. Once this has been completed, use a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess dust that may have been left behind. If there is a lot of dust and it is proving difficult to remove, you can use a damp cloth, however, wait for the rea to dry completely before you continue the plaster crack repair.
It is hugely importance to get you preparation right. Failing to do so is not only extremely naïve, but may result in further damages, costing you more money in repairs and supplies. So to recap – you want to purchase your supplies before you start anything. You will need spackling compound, a dry cloth, colour matched paint, a putty knife and a good quality sand paper.
Using the putty knife, apply some spackling compound to any obvious and visible plaster cracks. You can also fill any small chips that are visible. Please do not be tempted to apply this to larger repairs or major cracks or chips as it will not be sufficient. Don’t panic if you apply too much spackle – we will come to sanding it down later in the guide.
Remember those larger pieces of plaster that you removed? Apply some of the spackle to the areas that they came from and press the remaining pieces back into place. Don’t worry about the cracks, we will treat them separately. Once all of the above has been completed, read the application instructions on the side of the spackle pot and allow it enough time to dry. The drying times will vary on the quality of the spackling compound that you are using.
So what is spackle? More commonly used in the US, spackling paste and compounds are used to fill cracks, gaps and damages in plaster and other materials. It’s difficult to identify in the UK but can be found with a little research. In the UK it is more commonly known as “wall filler” or “Polyfilla”.
Now that the spackle has had time to dry, use your sand paper to sand down the remaining cracks and any chips so that the coverage areas are smooth. In some cases, depending on the amount of damage, you may need to go over the plaster cracks a couple of times, but have no fear – it will work!
At this point, we can take a look into the more serious damages. Using the same process, use the spackle to fill the cracks, sand them down and allow them time to dry. Do not use the spackling compound to fill major chips or cracks completely. You need to apply the older pieces of plaster that have been removed and repair the remaining, smaller cracks.
When the remaining areas have dried – use the sand paper again until the area is smooth. Clean the area thoroughly and apply your lovely new paint.
So to recap everything that we have covered. Before you start your own plaster crack repairs, you need to prepare both yourself and the area that you are looking at fixing. You will need a few supplies if you haven’t got them already. These include; spackling compound/wall filler, a putty knife, a dry, clean cloth, colour matched paint and a good quality sand paper.
Remove any flaking or damaged pieces of plaster before applying the compound to the damaged areas. As we mentioned above, you cannot fill large voids left by larger pieces of plaster. Simply apply a small amount of compound to the whole that was left and add the older piece of plaster back in the correct place, holding it in position until it sets enough to hold its own weight.
Allow the compound time to drive and sand down the areas that have been treated. Once you are satisfied with the treated areas, you can paint the plaster with your chosen colour. We hop ethat you have found this guide on how to repair plaster cracks useful. Please share it on your social media accounts and give us a little mention if possible!
Professional cladding repair contractors are in place to help commercial buildings maintain their exteriors and roofing. We recommend using a professional cladding refurbishment contractor for commercial projects – however, if you are completing a residential DIY project, consider the potential hazards if you intend on completing any repairs yourself.