How to repair a large hole in a plaster wall

Written by robert russell
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How to repair a large hole in a plaster wall
Holes in plaster need to be patched. (li chaoshu/iStock/Getty Images)

Repairing a hole in a plaster wall takes a little more effort than patching damaged plasterboard. Plaster is more dense than plasterboard, and a large hole in a plaster wall is usually deeper than the width of plasterboard. The hole will expose the lath or brick -- the structure that supports the plaster. Repairing the damage takes several steps and the right tools, but you will be pleased with the results.

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Things you need

  • Putty knife
  • Paint brush
  • Bonding agent
  • Fibreglass mesh tape
  • Scissors
  • Trowel
  • Patching compound
  • Blade knife
  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Feather duster or small broom

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  1. 1

    Clear away loose plaster and dust. Scrape the plaster around the hole with a utility or putty knife, knocking off loose pieces and making the edges appear smooth and even.

  2. 2

    Brush a bonding agent onto the lath and the plaster around the hole. The lath is the structure that supports the plaster; the hole exposes the lath. Cut a piece of fibreglass mesh tape and press it into the bonding agent.

  3. 3

    Mix up a patching compound according to the manufacturer's instructions. The patching compound for plaster repairs may be bought at a local hardware or home supply shop. It needs to be mixed with water until it has a dough-like substance. Only mix up the amount that you need, as it dries very quickly.

  4. 4

    Apply the patching compound to the hole. Push the compound into the hole as well as into the mesh. Use a large blade knife to apply the compound. Smooth it out around the edges using the blade knife, as hard ridges are difficult to sand once they are dry.

  5. 5

    Reinforce the patch with another piece of mesh tape. Press the mesh tape into the wet plaster. Allow the first coat of plaster to dry for 24 hours.

  6. 6

    Sand the patch with 150-grit sandpaper. Sand the patch until it is even with the wall and feels smooth to the touch. Brush the dust off with a feather duster or small broom.

  7. 7

    Make another batch of patching compound. Apply a light coat of patching compound over the first patch with the same blade knife. Allow the patched area to dry for 24 hours.

  8. 8

    Lightly sand the patch with 150-grit sandpaper until it is smooth and even with the wall.

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