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Best choice for wall patch in bathroom, plaster or joint compound?

Best choice for wall patch in bathroom, plaster or joint compound?

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  #1  
Old 12-24-11, 04:55 AM
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Best choice for wall patch in bathroom, plaster or joint compound?

Hello all,

I have a question about making a repair in my bathroom. We had an electrician rewire our old house and part of doing this meant having to make some new holes (old houses = extra work! )

We had been focusing on other parts of the house first and left them while it was warmer, but with temperatures dropping and with the bathroom being on the outside wall we want to seal up those holes until we can get around to remodeling the bathroom (looking at 1-2 months to start that project). Would Plaster of Paris be better to patch these holes or would using light weight joint compound mix be acceptable? This patch would be exposed to light moisture from the shower for possibly a couple months before it will be primed and painted so I want to avoid choosing something that would just have to be redone again during the full scale remodel due to moisture damage.

Some additional info: Our bathroom vents well, moisture on the mirror is gone within 5 minutes or less. It's a 1930 house and the walls are double layer sheetrock/blueboard with a plaster veneer. In the bathroom the existing veneer appears to have been maybe also been glazed and then lightly stamped to give the appearance of faux tilling on the walls. I am specifying the two options above because I live in a rural area and our options are very limited. Local home store carries premixed joint compound, PoP and bags of light weight joint compound mix. I have no idea where I could get anything else locally, but if there is a strong reason to use something else specifically I'll find a way, even if I have to order online and have it shipped.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-24-11, 05:01 AM
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I've not worked with plaster of paris but setting compound like durabond or easy sand work well for repairing plaster. Regular joint compound is water soluble and wouldn't survive long in a damp environment unless it is primed/painted.

How big are the holes?
 
  #3  
Old 12-24-11, 05:17 AM
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Thanks marksr,

One hole is about the size of a light switch plate. They had to remove the old one and because of difficulties in getting new wiring run to that location, they had to put the new light switch on the adjacent wall (our house didn't even have grounds or cabling able to handle a ground prior to the rewire).

There is a hole next the window that is a little larger than that and then we installed a new inset medicine cabinet as well and cut the hole to error on the larger side. The area above the new light bar was a little too tall so I am looking at needing to patch an area about 1" tall by 18" long. I have plenty of moisture resistant drywall scraps I had planned to use for "plugs"... for the light switch hole I will probably use a metal mesh type plug.

I've heard Durabond and Easy Sand come up quite a bit for repairs like this, but my local home store doesn't carry either one... is there another type of store or commercial supply store that would sell to a home owner that I could check with? I could order it online if it's the best option by far, just hate to order something like that online, especially with the weight considerations since I know they often come in 18 -50lb bags, shipping might suck on that one!
 
  #4  
Old 12-24-11, 05:30 AM
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I usually buy durabond at a local paint store although the big box stores usually sell at least one brand of setting compounds.
Local home store carries..........bags of light weight joint compound mix. ,
More than likely this would be a setting compound.

A piece of scrap drywall will also be fine for patching the light switch hole. What I like to do is cut a piece of drywall about 2" bigger than the hole, then on the back side cut it out to slightly smaller than the hole - leaving the paper on the face. Apply mud around the hole and insert the patch piece. The excess paper secures the patch piece to the hole.
 
  #5  
Old 12-24-11, 11:44 AM
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That's a really good idea with leaving the paper on the drywall plug. I'll definitely give that a go, that way I can save the metal mesh plug for other areas in the house that will probably need it more!

You are right, the light weight joint compound I have is Sheetrock brand setting type compound... I'm assuming that this means it will be an acceptable option for the patches? I never thought of checking with a paint store for the Durabond, we do have a Sherwin Williams locally, I will stop by there after the holidays and see what they have.

I would love to be able find a local source of Durabond... I like the PoP for what it does, and use it on some of the more major cracks and problems in the house, but it's pretty obnoxious to deal with. I've slowly gotten the hang of mixing it in such a way to give me a little more time to work with it, without using a retarder, but it really demands precision every time and you have to mix such small amounts to avoid waste!

Thanks for the info, should help me elminate some drafts and seal up some entry points for insects in this cold weather!
 
  #6  
Old 12-24-11, 12:08 PM
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I have had good results with a product called "Fixall". Anyone else use this product for patching?
 
  #7  
Old 12-24-11, 01:56 PM
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Brihen, I've heard of 'fixall' but have never used any. I almost exclusively use ready mix j/c or durabond.

Ravenant, that setting compound should be fine. I've used it a time or two but don't remember anything specific about it...... so it must be similar to the other setting compounds
 
  #8  
Old 12-24-11, 04:32 PM
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Hi Brihen,

Hmmm.. the FixAll looks intriguing. I checked it out online and one thing I like that it does like Plaster of Paris is expand. That is one of the main reasons I have been using the PoP for the larger cracks and holes in the plaster. Advice on This Old House's guides and on other sites suggested using the PoP for older houses because when you dig out the crack or patch the area in the plaster, it will expand into the crack making a nice tight fit with the existing plaster as opposed to possibly wanting to fall out or not stick to the existing wall. They even have a specific method they recommend for digging out the crack so that the plaster can wedge in there even better. That method seems to work really well around my house, but is a pain to mix the PoP and deal with.

I see the Fixall has about double the work time of properly mixed PoP which is nice, is it as touchy to mix as Plaster of Paris though? One thing I like about the setting-type compound is that you just add water until you have the consistency you want and you're good. With PoP if you mix too vigorously or too long you accelerate the setting time and end up with less than 5 minutes of time to work haha! Add too much powder and you can't add water again after the first time or you'll mess the PoP up or make it set REALLY fast! You pretty much have one shot with PoP to do it right. If Fixall applies similarly but isn't as touchy to prepare it would be a perfect fit for me I think. Any advice about how it behaves?

If it's more user friendly and I end up ordering something online, that is probably what I'll try. Good to know that the setting compund I have is pretty safe as well for this type of patch. I definitely like the bags better than the pre-mixed stuff. Premixed has it's place for sure, but it just seems a lot more pleasant to work with the bags and easier for me to apply smoothly... plus, I kinda like the smell
 
  #9  
Old 12-28-11, 07:02 AM
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It seems pretty easy to mix,I just go by the consistency and not ratios of water to product. If it is a bit wetter it will be a little runnier and take slightly longer to dry.I have found it to be pretty forgiving.
 
  #10  
Old 12-28-11, 09:14 PM
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Sounds great, just what I was hoping to hear. I think I'll definitely try to pick up some along the way... Might have to wait until I can get an order together of some other things though. The price of the shipping is about half of the price of the bag!

Oh well, would be nice if a place had it locally but that is unlikely. Thanks for the information! One more item to add to my arsenal for beating this old house into submission. :mask:
 
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