Patching Plaster


Old 08-31-01, 07:31 AM
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I've had to cut several holes in my plaster board walls in order to make plumbing and wiring improvements. I've chisled the plaster out, but the cuts aren't clean as the rockboard has peeled away somewhat behind the surface of the wall.

I'd like to patch this up this weekend, but I'm not sure what the best way is. I'm thinking of going with drywall cut to the hole shape and then building it up to be flush with the wall. The plaster board is about 3/4" thick, so I was thinking of using 5/8" drywall. Is this the best way to patch the holes?

My ceiling in the hall is textured with a slight stipple. Can I re-create this with a layer of joint compound and a wet sponge? Do I need to clean up the edges of the plaster, or is it better to leave it the way it is and try to fill it with joint compound? If I should clean up the edges, what's the best way to do it (with as little dust as possible)?

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Old 09-09-01, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 62
Sounds like you have a grasp on what you need to do. I see 2 ways of doing the hole repair. To make things easy I would re-shape the holes, to a recognizable geometric shape, rectangular, that way cutting your 'filler' piece is
easier and you can be more exact.

After you re-shape your holes (with a drywall saw or key-hole saw),cut a strip of wood, say off a piece of scrap 1x2 for a 3" wide hole, 1x4 for 4" or wider. Cut the piece about 3" longer than the length of the hole (not the width).

Get out your screw gun (or drill with a phillips' bit) and some 1-5/8 or 2" drywall screws. Slide the wood piece in the hole and screw it to the backside of yourwallboard,
centering it in the hole with the overlap of 1-1/2" on the ends, giving you enough to get a screw into without cracking the plaster. Screw away from the edge of the hole, about 1". If the plaster cracks then use a drill bit to 'pilot' a hole for the screw. Control the screwing as you suck the wood backer piece tight to the backside of your wallboard Also you want the head of the screw to penetrate and recess in the plaster.

OK, so now you have something to anchor your patch piece to. Cut and fit your patch pieces , throw a little mud, or joint compound on the edges of the piece so it will bond to the existing. Screw them in with a few screws into the backer piece that you have just installed. Do all the patches.
Then come back and fill the 1/8th" depression with some 20 minute quick set gypsum patch (They got 5 minute 20, 40, 90 minute) I use 20 minute for these type of repairs.

I hope you have a mud tray and various width blades, 3, 6 and 12" are my pics. So fill them in. By the time you are done, the first ones are dry.

Now take some joint tape and tape the joints, using the same quik-dry stuff or, regular 'joint compound'. Overlap the tape at the corners.After this 'coat' dries, one more swipe of the mud should cover the tape enough.
Sand, prime and paint.

Larger holes may take 2 backer pieces, which should be mounted at the edges of the holes, and screwed on the length and the width.

Another way to repair the re-shaped holes is to cut a piece of your 5/8ths ...3" longer and 3" wider than the hole
On the back of the piece mark your opening size, less an 1/8th or so, centering by eye, so you will have about 1-1/2" from your mark to the perimeter. What you want to do is score the drywall and peel the gypsum off the face paper. Best way is to score your lines with your knife all the way to the edge of the piece,snap the gypsum and carefully peel off, saving the paper 'flap' attached to your main piece.

Take the piece and throw a bunch of your multi-purpose or whatever,on the backside of the 'flap', including the edge of the gypsum. Good coverage here is a plus.Install piece in appropriate spot. Keep the face of the patch piece flush with the existing wall. Smooth down the 'flaps' with your 3 or 6" blade, but dont push in on the face, keeping it flush. Tuck in some mud where it needs it, and remove the excess, remembering that the rest will sand away. If you are lucky, this can 'patch-out' in one shot.If not,..feather with more mud, and sand.

This is called the 'butterfly' patch and goes over real big at parties!

As far as the texture goes, the mud and sponge approach has worked for me. If it dries too 'spikey', you just hit it with some sandpaper to soften it up.
Paint it and I bet you will be the only one that can see it!

good luck


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