Home Repair

repairing small holes in plaster

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Hi Guru!

My new home has plaster walls in the "old" section of the home. How do I repair the small holes left from the previous owners putting in nails and hooks? None of the holes is more than about 3cm large. It just looks bad having little holes all over the walls... (Esp. since they're wallpapered right now...)

Karen Smile
Once you remove the wallpaper, that would be the time to patch the holes. I assume that 3 cm is less than 1/8", so the best and easiest way is spackle! There are tons of different types too. There are light weight ones called Patch-n-paint which are so light the container feels empty. Then there are the normal spackles like Ready patch. Then there is the 'professional grade' MH Patch or Crackshot Patch, which is smooth and creamy and dries quickly without cracking or shrinking too much.

For a few nail holes I would choose the light weight stuff. Use a small putty knife to squeeze it into the hole , then scrape off any extra.
Thanks! Spackle is my friend! What about if there are cracks or bigger holes hidden underneath the wallpaper? How would I address those?

Karen Smile
You can do a pretty good size hole with any of those spackle products up to say 13mm (1/2"). Probebly would take a few light coats. After that you would ned one of those patch kits sold at Home Depot or Lowes or any better hardware store or lumber yard. It has a thin metal plate covered with a screen type mesh that goes on over the hole then you would use joint compound to cover it (a few coats). For a crack use the mesh fiberglass tape and a setting type joint compound like USG Easy Sand 90. Then sand smooth, prime and paint.
If the walls are old style plaster over wood lath strips, then use sheetrock screws with plaster washers to hold the plaster tight on each side of the crack (one every 8" or so) first.


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