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A Homeowner's Guide To Fixing Loose Plaster

While drywall is more common in newer homes, many older homes still contain plaster walls. By and large, these are attractive and built to last. Yet unattractive problems can develop when a section of plaster works free and hangs loose off the wall. Luckily, you don't have to be a professional plaster repair person to remedy this problem. Read on to learn how to restore a sagging plaster wall to its original state.

Plaster Basics

A plaster wall consists of two primary elements: lathes and plaster. The lathes are horizontal wooden strips that the wet plaster is applied to. Because the plaster works its way into the small gaps between the lathes, it is able to hold itself against the wall once dry. The areas where the plaster has worked between the lathes are known as plaster keys. When plaster keys deteriorate or break, the plaster starts to sag.

Repair Materials

You are going to be using two pieces of hardware in order to get the layer of plaster flush against the wall once more:

Attaching the screws will require the use of an electric drill. Once the screws are in place, you're going to need some drywall joint compound and a paintbrush or roller to apply it with.

Performing The Repair

The idea here is fairly simple. The plastic washers are designed in such a way that they can lay flush against the plaster. The holes in the washer help to grip the wall and keep the washer in place while you attach it with your drywall screws.

Things get a little bit more complicated when it comes to where you locate your repair washers. Naturally you're going to want to space them evenly around the damaged area. Yet you have to consider what the screws will be attaching to. You see, the lathes behind the plaster simply don't offer enough support to keep the screw--and hence the plaster--securely in place.

Instead, you'll need to locate the studs that lay behind the damaged portion of plaster. Don't be tempted to try and locate studs by measuring in from the nearest corner. This technique works fine in modern construction, but is unreliable with plaster walls due to the fact that they were often installed before stud spacing standards had been established. You're better off locating your studs by using a stud finder.

Once you know where the underlying studs are, you can begin attaching the repair washers and drywall screws. Use enough of them to hold the plaster flush against the wall, with no bubbles or looseness. Then paint over the washers using your drywall joint compound. Use as many coats as it takes to completely hide them. If you can't seem to repair your own plaster, contact a business such as Drywall installation by Quality Interior Kontracting.