Plaster

Our goal in this section is to show you how to repair plaster surfaces using drywall materials and compounds. Methods you can use with minimal skills and on the job learning; not something that takes half a lifetime to learn, as would be the case if you were restoring it with the original materials.

Plaster is one of the most durable interior wall surfaces you will ever encounter. Unless you have moisture penetration or other physical damage plaster walls are good for at least 50 years and quite often far longer.

In time though plaster, especially plaster over wood lath may fail; moisture inside the walls will greatly accelerate the process. When that happens your options are to repair or replace it.

Some times the best course of action is to strip the walls of plaster and lath, insulate them and restore with drywall.

I have a series of at least seven articles planned for this section. I am posting two of them to introduce the topic and will add more as I finish writing them.


02-14-2013
Adding can lights to a plaster and lath ceiling
Recessed light or can lights remain a popular option for new home and remodel construction. The logistics of adding them to a home with plaster and lath construction has always presented major proble......Read More


01-10-2013
Hanging pictures and stuff on plaster walls
The biggest fear people seem to have about hanging stuff on plaster walls is that it will fracture or pop the plaster when they pound the nail into the wall.......Read More


02-06-2012
Repairing Plaster Nicks Dings and Pops
I cringe every time I read an article or see someone grab a tub of Spackle to fill these areas. Spackle is a wonderful product for very small holes like a nail hole but it is about near worthless for......Read More


02-21-2010
Repairing Peeling Plaster Top Coat
One of the plaster failures that sometimes occurs is where the hard coat, also know as the top coat, the white layer pops loose from the otherwise sound layer of the substrate, the mortar like coat. ......Read More


02-21-2010
Repairing Plaster Substrate
When the plaster substrate fails the plaster may fall off the wall or ceiling leaving exposed wood lath. You have several choices in how to repair this.......Read More


02-21-2010
Replacing Plaster with Drywall
If you have a large area that has failed it is often easier and faster to replace the failed portion with drywall. A 3/8" section of drywall applied over stripped lath will quite often mate flush wit......Read More


02-14-2010
Introduction to Plaster Wall Construction
You may encounter plaster in any one of three different configurations here in the United States; the oldest type of construction is a plaster coat over a masonry surface. In the early days and as lat......Read More


02-14-2010
Repairing Plaster Cracks
People often ask what type of plaster or other materials they need to repair minor cracks in plaster. They are often amazed when I reply drywall tape and drywall compound. You may use setting types o......Read More