Holes in plaster - metal lath


Old 08-28-05, 11:57 AM
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Holes in plaster - metal lath

I am in the midst of renovating my 1940s bathroom. The first step was removing some ceramic tile from all 4 walls which was put up by a previous owner in the 80s. Luckily, the mastic used was cheap-o, and the tile came right off. I then removed the ceramic toilet paper holder and towel bars. Here lies the problem. Removing these items has left large holes in the plaster. My whole house has metal lath, and in these particular spots, there is none. There was some sort of cast plaster that held these items in place, and they came out with the TP holder and towel bars.
What is the best way to go about patching these holes? The towel bar holes are about 3" in diameter while the TP holder hole is more like a 7"W x5"H rectangle. I can see that the metal lath was cut away to allow for these things to be installed.
Would a pre-fab wall patch work best over the small holes? The TP holder hole is on an exterior wall, so I can see the concrete block through the hole. Should I just patch with a piece of drywall? Any advice sure would be helpful.
Thank you!
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Old 08-28-05, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Posts: 1,722
There are a couple ways to handle the holes from the towel bar. Yes, you could use a wall patch. Or you can stuff some news paper into the hole and leave it recessed about a half inch. Sometimes this is easier to do than others then go over it with a quicksetting joint compound like EasySand by USG. It might take a few coats but you can put on a coat as soon as the first coat sets.

On the TP holder hole you don't have much to fasten anything to. If you can see block maybe you can stuff paper around the hole to fill the block then start putting plaster or cement into the hole to fill it. The first coat will be the hardest to do because you have to stick the plaster or cement to the block without disturbing the paper, or at least without pushing it out of the hole. After that you can just chuck it full until it is level with the existing wall but not beyond the finish surface then smooth it with the joint compound. or you can take a little more plaster way from the perimeter of the hole and use wire and tie new lath to the old and then plaster it. To do these deep plaster patches use StrutoLite or Gypsolite.

If there is a way to attach new drywall you can certainly to that. You might be able to use a piece of drywall or a piece of lumber larger in one direction than your hole and put it behind the existing plaster so you can hold it against the backside and use a liberal amount of plaster of Paris or molding plaster if you use a piece of drywall or liquid nails for either DW or lumber. When that has set you can screw a new piece of drywall to that to fit the hole and then fill it the rest of the way with the quicksetting mud or you can use more mud or liquid nails to stick a piece to what you have installed previously and them finish that with the mud.

This is not a complicated fix once you decide how to hold what you do the repair with to what you already have.

Let us know what you do and how it works.

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