Over time, and for a variety of reasons, your home’s plaster walls and ceilings may begin to sag. Fixing loose plaster is surprisingly simple and inexpensive.
All you need is one to two hours over the course of three days and some basic supplies. Here’s what you’ll need for this project:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Utility Knife
- 1/8” Masonry Bit
- Sanding Block
- Power Drill/Driver
- Various Joint Knives
- All-Purpose Compound
- Plaster Buttons
- 1-¼” Galvanized Screws
- Mud Pan
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
Prepare area: Begin by scraping away any loose plaster from the wall. Do this until you reach a point where the plaster has a stronger bond to the boards, also known as lath, underneath. Be careful not to force the plaster off and remove only pieces that are damaged or loose. Clean up rough edges with a utility knife.
Predrill holes. Use a one-eighth-inch masonry bit to gently predrill holes through the plaster but not through the lath. Space them about four inches apart where the plaster is sagging, with a one and one half-inch space from the edge. If the bit drives through the plaster without hitting lath, mark that hole with a pencil so you’ll know not to install a button there. Drill another hole an inch or so away.
Install buttons. Place a one and one-fourth-inch drywall screw into a plaster button at each hole. Carefully drive a screw into each hole until the head is below the surface of the plaster and the button is concave. Be sure to use galvanized screws, as plaster is corrosive.
Cover buttons. Use a small joint knife to cover the buttons with all-purpose joint or spackling compound. Spread the first coat an inch or so past each button and let dry overnight.
Sand and feather compound. Once fully dry, smooth any ridges and bumps and sand as needed, feathering the edges to blend into the ceiling or wall. If needed, apply a second coat, smoothing, sanding, and feathering as you did for the first. Apply a final skim coat, pressing the knife firmly against the wall or ceiling. A good skim coat will leave you with a smooth surface with no need for further sanding.
Congratulations! Your plaster repair is complete.