Plaster walls can be textured in a variety of ways.

How to Do a Quick Fix for Bad Plaster Walls

by Tim Anderson

Plastering walls takes the building principles of stucco and applies them to an interior setting. There are numerous patterns to choose from, as well as colors you can add to the texture mud, allowing you to create a unique pattern. However, there is an art to applying texture in the right way so that it cures evenly, without cracks, and sometimes human error can lead to flaws in the surface of the plaster. You can quickly fix some types of plaster errors and get your wall looking like new with a minimal amount of time and effort.

1 Remove any loose material from around the damaged section of plaster, if applicable. For example, a doorknob might have accidentally dented the wall, or someone could have fallen into the wall and cracked out a section of the plaster. An installer could have applied too much plaster to an area during installation, or didn't mix the plaster properly before application, and a section then cracked while drying.

2 Clean the area around the cracked sections with a whisk broom and a vacuum after removing the loose sections. This removes debris and dust which keeps new plaster from bonding.

3 Mix up your plaster in the container it came in with the drill and mixing paddle. It is already mixed, but remixing helps you avoid any issues with the mud settling badly in the container.

4 Apply the self-adhering drywall mesh over the area you need to repair. Cut it to fit with a utility knife. Smooth it down with your fingers.

5 Spray the plaster on the wall around and on top of your area of repair with a light misting of water to keep the existing plaster from sucking the moisture out of the new layer. This includes spraying over the mesh tape.

6 Apply your plaster to the wall over the tape with a metal trowel or a putty knife. Cover the mesh tape completely, as well as any voids and cracks, and let it dry for 24 hours. Put the lid back on the container of plaster to save it for a future date, and clean your tools in water.

7 Cover this first layer with a light mist the next day. Mix the plaster again. Apply it to the wall over the first layer, and tool the second layer into your chosen texture to cover the flaws.

Items you will need

  • Vacuum
  • Whisk broom
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Drill
  • Mixing paddle
  • Premixed plaster
  • Self-adhering drywall mesh tape
  • Utility knife
  • Metal trowel/putty knife

Tip

  • Before applying the final texture to the wall, test it on a scrap piece of drywall to try to match the existing texture. Use a metal trowel, putty knife or brush to achieve various textures. Understand that you won't be able to match the existing plaster perfectly, but you can get it close enough to be nearly undetectable if you take your time. If the entire wall is filled with bad areas, there is no such thing as a quick fix, and you must take the wall back down to the original drywall and start again.

About the Author

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images