With this wall repair tutorial, I’m just going to show you how I was able to patch these holes and have the wall look as though the holes were never there. I have to also add, I’m not a professional of course, I’m simply passing on ONE of MANY ways one can repair a large hole in a plaster wall.
I’ve tried patching holes in walls tons of times and while, yes, the hole was filled, it still looked like a “filled” hole. I set out to figure out just how professionals make such awesome invisible wall repairs.
What you need:
Plaster Repair Compound
Drywall Repair Patches
Self-Adhesive Drywall Tape
The largest Taping or Joint Knife you care to buy
Electric Hand Sander
Large Sanding Bar
Good Breathing Mask
Paint Matching Surrounding Wall
You can use the plaster repair compound of your choice. I used a drywall patch compound in a bucket.
The secret was simple. Layers & Patience!
I approached this with the mindset that I was going to apply this wall repair in gradual layers, taking time to make any adjustments to mistakes in my theory about how to make the repair.
First thing… The original plan was to make those holes as square as possible so I could use a piece of drywall to fill as much of it as I could but the drywall with the desired thickness was not available in small enough pieces to fit in my car. So an alternative repair plan was implemented.
Image 1: Since I wasn’t going to be using real plaster to fix this. I knew I had to put something in place to keep the drywall stuff from just pouring through the spaces. So I used Dry Wall Patches that are for patching holes.
Image 2: I added self sticking drywall tape to the rest of the areas and to reinforce the patches. I love that stuff! I find the patches aren’t very sticky and they weren’t sticking as much as I’d like. The self-adhesive drywall tape was very sticky and provided the magic needed to keep the patches on and fill areas where the patches wouldn’t fit.
After adding the drywall patches and tape, I got started with the drywall compound. This is the part where you have to exercise some serious patience. This is coming from an impatient Aries so take that however you like. :)
Image 1: I started applying the dry wall compound in layers. I started with just enough to cover the patches and to feel like some had gone through the holes and made contact with the wood lathe. I wanted the first layer to bind the wood lathe to the patches and ultimately to the next layer.
Image 2: A couple of days after the first layer, I added another layer. I also let this one dry for several days. When the compound dries it also cracks a little bit. If you are careful about not putting on too much at once, it cracks less. But when you allow it to go ahead and dry before adding another layer, you can fill in the cracks after.
Image 3: I continued to add more layers until the fill compound was higher than the margins of the hole. This is also key to a good looking wall repair.
The same procedure was being done to the smaller hole on the bottom.
IMPORTANT: Be very diligent in applying nice smooth coats of the compound (no bubbles). This is the reason for the large Taping or Joint Knife. The larger the better.
Now the fun part. When all of your layers are dry, it’s time to sand.
IMPORTANT: During the entire sanding process you should always wear your goggles and breathing mask! You should also close off the area via plastic sheeting or closing the door to the room, etc. if you can. Once you start sanding, the particles will be EVERYWHERE (look at the floor in the pictures).
This part is pretty straight forward but it’s a lot of work. You want the longest (assuming your holes are large ones) sanding bar you can get. And you want to start sanding down your compound.
The desired result is for the compound to be absolutely flush with the undamaged wall around the wall repair. Be careful with the edges. You want just a sliver of film of the compound to overlap the edges. Just a hint for a seamless finish.
Take your time here. Make sure you keep checking for dips, dents and uneven spots. If you sand lower than the margins of the hole you have to fill it in higher again.
Use the electric sander to start. Then once you are close to having the repair flush with the wall, use the long sanding bar. You can also use the sanding brick to smooth and blend the edges as flush as possible.
This is a great workout for your arms and you will surely feel it! :)
I hope this has been helpful and again, this was just a solution I came up with for my situation. It was cheap and effective for me. And I feel it’s a solid wall repair. A friend of mine with a similar problem, also in a very old house, simply put drywall up right over the original plaster walls. I didn’t feel that was necessary for the holes I had.
I’m sure others on the site can add more solutions or thoughts as well. Thanks for reading. Cheers!