5 common mistakes to avoid during DIY plaster wall repair

man applies plaster to ceiling

The main element of your home’s entire foundation is your walls. Therefore, you should never put off plaster repair when you notice even the smallest crack on it. If it remains unchecked and unrepaired, then you can land up into big trouble down the road. It may ruin the beauty of your home, leading you to spend a fortune. But sometimes, with intending to repair it by yourself, you turn up making mistakes.

Though you make mistakes to learn from it, avoiding them is always a smart idea. Also, understanding the mistakes made by others will help you to know whether this repair work is your cup of tea or not. If not, then you can call an expert for the same. However, without wasting a single moment, let’s take you to 5 common mistakes to avoid during DIY plaster wall repair.

1. Improper extraction of old plaster

In many plastering projects, we have noticed that homeowners do not remove the old plaster properly. Though it can be tricky, it is a vital step to perform before the repair work. You’ll not be able to create a sufficient area for patching unless you properly remove the old plaster. Generally, old plaster has a strong bond with the elements present beneath it. Therefore, you can slowly rip out the chunks of the components (typically bricks) as you remove the plaster.

To remove it with precision, you can use a hammer and chisel and cut at least an inch of the old plaster around the damaged area. It would be a little time consuming but a lot faster than rebuilding the collapsed wall.

2. Lack of usage of blending techniques

Some homeowners assume that patching the plaster wall, then repainting the repaired area and the work is finished. No, that’s another common mistake which you can also make. The repaired area can look spattered when applied to the old plaster without proper blending techniques. Therefore, to avoid this, follow the below-given steps after the repair work:

  • Add a drywall tape on the repaired area along the edges of a patch to create an invisible seam between those two sections.
  • After that, ensure that your plaster patch is not undersized. If it is, then add more plaster layers.

Do not get frustrated as you may need to spend a lot of time adding layers of plaster patch or removing the thicker one. For that, you need to properly learn to fix a hole or crack in a plaster wall. And to be frank, in this process, you need to be tolerant to get successful results.

3. Painting before curing

Plastering the patches is not like applying putty on your walls that get dried quickly. That’s another common mistake which many homeowners make. It takes time (generally several days) to cure and set thoroughly. If you halt the drying process and paint it before that, then you will be living around an unstable wall.

Painting too soon can cause a bubble, flake, and peel. Also, the colour will not look like the original one and would be too noticeable to your guests.

4. Not reviewing the lath and wiring for stability

Many homeowners forget to check the groundwork and electric wiring behind the plaster for its durability. And due to this mistake, you may leave your house framework at risk. Water damage can spread to the lath and wiring behind the plaster, making the wall unable to hold the new patches firmly. Therefore, it is safe to check them before you add new layers of replacement plaster.

If foundation elements are showing you signs of corrosion, you can add a section of drywall to the wall studs. It will create a solid foundation for plaster patching so that your materials won’t crack or fall out of place. Also, be sure that you attach drywall with several screws to keep it secure over time.

5. Negligence of structural plaster repair

Before solving any problem, you should always search for its root cause. The same rule applies to your damaged walls. You must be knowing that plaster is a sturdy compound and is difficult to get damaged easily. On the other side, drywall might soften over the years without showing you signs of damage.

Firstly, if your plaster is sagging, then there is a water leak behind your wall. And in case its left unrepaired, you could suffer from structural damage and mould growth. Secondly, if your wall has a crack due to some vibrations, then just patching is not enough. The home stud may be softened and will need replacement.

Hence, don’t make the mistake of just covering over damaged plaster. Instead, check the cause before performing the repair work. For that, you must know the common plastering problems and their causes.

Plastering is an art

Like other home improvement projects, plastering can be hampered severely by making wrong decisions. As an average homeowner, you may not be having precise knowledge of this project. But if you take care of the above mistakes, you can turn your wall aesthetic just like before.

However, plastering requires quality execution. And any blunders done during the work can ruin your hard work, allowing your neighbours to laugh at you. So, if you get stuck in between, do not hesitate to call a professional. Because plastering is an art, and only an artist can make your project successful.

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