Unsightly holes in your plaster are easy to fix.

Are unsightly holes in your plaster driving you up the wall? The good news is they’re easy to fix, and with the right materials and know-how, your walls will be sitting pretty for years to come, no matter what life throws at them. To ensure a proper job, print this project and refer to it throughout the repair process.

Checklist

  • Plasterboard Sheet (Size dependent on the areas being replaced.
  • Plaster cement (powdered or pre-mixed)
  • Plasterboard screws
  • Plasterboard joining tape
  • Fine-Grit Sandpaper
  • Sanding block or hand sander
  • Drop sheet
  • Plasterboard adhesive
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Broad knife
  • Filling blade
  • Utility knife
  • Keyhole saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Vacuum
  • Small pieces of timber
  • Stud finder (if required)
  • Pencil
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask

Repairing small holes

STEP 1

Prepare the area by removing any loose plaster with a utility knife. Using a damp sponge or vacuum remove any dust.

STEP 2

Mix your plaster cement following the manufacturer’s instructions or use a pre-mixed product.

Remove loose plaster.

Mix plaster cement to manufacturer's instructions.

STEP 3

Using a filling blade, apply the first layer, and allow it to dry as per manufacturer’s specifications.

STEP 4

It is recommend to apply a second coat, and when dry, sand it down with a fine grit paper until the filled area is flush with the wall.

Apply the first layer.

Sand down after second coat.

Repairing large holes

When fixing big holes and cracks, you will need to cut out the damaged area and replace it with a new piece of plasterboard.

STEP 1

Cut out a new piece of plasterboard that’s as thick as the plaster you’re replacing, and large enough to cover the damaged area. Mark its outline on the wall, and, using a screwdriver, punch a hole in each corner of the marked area.

STEP 2

Cut along your outline with a keyhole saw, being careful not to hit any plumbing or electrical wiring. It is a good idea to use a stud finder to ensure that you do not fit any studs or framing. Break up the pieces and remove them carefully.

Cut a new piece of plasterboard.

Cut along your outline.

STEP 3

Using a piece of timber and screw it behind the existing wall to act as a backing. Make sure you countersink the screws below the wall’s surface so you can fill them in later.

STEP 4

Apply adhesive to the timber backing, then position your replacement plasterboard in the hole and secure with countersunk screws so the timber backing is supporting the plasterboard. Place joining tape along the join, making sure you don’t overlap the tape.

Apply adhesive to timber backing.

Secure plasterboard with countersunk screws.

STEP 5

To finish up, apply a thin layer of filling compound over the joints until the tape and screw holes are covered using a broad knife. Let it dry, then sand it until it’s flush with the rest of the wall.

To make the repair less visible, apply a second layer of filling with a broader spread, and sand in a circular motion with a fine-grit paper.

Now, you can step back and admire a proper job that will look great for years to come.

Apply filling compound over the joints.

Apply a second layer with a broader spread.

Tips from the trade

Breathe easy: when plastering, it’s a good idea to wear safety goggles, and a dust mask as this will protect your eyes and help prevent inhalation of plaster dust.