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How to dry wet plaster walls

Updated February 21, 2017

Wet plaster is used to fill cracks, crevices and imperfections in a wall. This compound is allowed to dry and sanded smooth so that the wall will look smooth and solid before it's painted. Ideally, you should apply plaster on a warm, dry day, which will allow it to set quickly. In the real world, that scenario is not always possible, so it is helpful to know how to dry plaster regardless of the weather.

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  1. Open a window in the room. Place a box fan in the window so that it will blow air out of the room, and turn it on medium.

  2. Put a second box fan in a door of the room. This fan should be positioned so that it blows air into the room. Turn it on low. The two fans, working together, should create a draught, facilitating the drying process.

  3. Add an electric space heater to the room if the ambient temperature is below 7 degrees C (45F). Keep the heater at least 90 cm (3 feet) from any walls, furniture or other flammables.

  4. Fasten plastic sheets over any unused doors and windows in the room, using your staple gun. Trim excess plastic sheeting with a razor knife. Keep the room sealed while it dries so that only the breeze from the fans blows through, giving you better control of the humidity.

  5. Keep the room sealed and the fans running until the plaster is completely dry. Heat the room as necessary, though, to keep cracks from developing in the plaster.

  6. Warning

    A fuel-powered space heater must be monitored at all times.

    Wear work gloves and safety glasses whenever you use hand tools.

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Things You'll Need

  • Box fans
  • Electric heater
  • Plastic sheets
  • Staple gun
  • Razor knife
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

About the Author

After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.

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