How to cut a plaster ceiling

Written by sal marco
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How to cut a plaster ceiling
Use the correct technique to easily cut a plaster ceiling. (leaky ceiling 1 image by askthegeek from

Cutting a plaster ceiling becomes necessary when damage occurs from an accident or water leak. Plaster, a concrete-like mixture is a very hard, tough and durable surface that makes cutting, without cracking and breaking, difficult. Removing a section of the plaster ceiling, without damaging the rest of ceiling, is possible if you use the correct technique.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask
  • Hardhat
  • Gloves
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Hole saw
  • Circular saw
  • Masonry carbide saw blade

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  1. 1

    Wear safety glasses, dust mask, hardhat and gloves to avoid an injury and plaster dust inhalation.

  2. 2

    Determine if lath is under the plaster. If so, drill only shallow holes or make only shallow cuts so as not to damage the lath, which are thin strips of wood used as a gripping surface for plaster.

  3. 3

    Drill a series of holes with the largest drill bit available, spaced 1-inch apart, through the plaster, around the damaged area. Drill in straight lines to square off and frame the section. Insert a hole saw into the first hole and saw to the second and subsequent holes.

  4. 4

    Cut through plaster using a circular saw with a masonry carbide blade. Draw straight pencil lines on the ceiling; follow the guidelines with the saw.

Tips and warnings

  • Locate all wires and plumbing pipes prior to drilling or sawing through plaster.
  • Hire a professional for pre-1970s construction due to the practice of mixing asbestos in with plaster.

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