Chi HouseHomeRepair | Repairing Plaster Nicks Dings and Pops

Free Shipping on Orders Over $49! Buy Now and Save at!

Repairing Plaster Nicks Dings and Pops

When I speak of nicks and dings I am referring to the little boo boos that always seem to happen to walls when one really lives in a house. In most cases a small part of the white top coat is gouged or removed. Pops on the other can occur when hanging pictures or draperies on a plaster surface. Pops may be all the way to the lath but in most cases you just have a small pock or pit that exposes some of the plaster substrate. This fracturing of the surface may be accompanied by some minor peeling of the adjacent top coat.

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 anything bigger. It may be easy but it sure isn't good. It never sets or completely dries and it is just sticking there until in decides to fall out. It is worse than a cheap band-aid applied to a sweaty body on a hot day.

These small imperfections can be fixed permanently using nothing but drywall compound. The type of compound you choose to use is your choice as it really doesn't matter. You may want to review your choices in our article "The Many Types of Drywall Compound". If I have regular pre-mixed all purpose, I use that. It tends to shrink a bit more than the setting types so you may need a second coat.

The process is very similar to filling nail or screw holes in new wall board. Shallow divots can be filled in one coat as long as you use a sanding type compound so that you may remove the excess later by wet or dry sanding. Deeper divots may require 2 coats to get right.

I just introduced you to a new term; wet sanding and I should explain what it is and how to do it. When you are repairing a few little divots in a room it hardy makes sense to tarp the place down or move all the furniture. Any dry sanding even sanding a few little divots will make a real mess that must be cleaned; and the dust goes everywhere.

Wet sanding really isn't sanding at all. You are simply wiping the excess material away with a damp sponge, cloth or even a paper towel after it has completely dried. You need to rinse and repeat until you have a smooth surface. In my opinion it works best when the repaired area is no larger than a half-dollar and has not been grossly over-filled.

The darn thing is finished when it looks and feels smooth. Feel can be a very big part of small patch jobs. The surface may look smooth but if it does not feel smooth you need repeat some part of the process. If you don't, what you are feeling will be quite visible once the paint is applied. At that point it is far harder to correct.

More Articles in:  Plaster

Click or touch anywhere on the text to view article.

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 ov................

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 ................

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 sou................

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 thi................

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 ................

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 th................

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 l................

A Photo Illustrated Guide to Repairing Failed Plaster Part 2
As luck would have it happen, good or bad I am not sure, some tenants moved out last week and left me with this little project. This is part 2 of tha................

Read how this works