You just gotta love plaster. That rock-hard substance, which was applied to the walls and ceilings of nearly every house in this country until the 1950s, gives us surfaces that are seamless, mold resistant, fire resistant, and noise deadening. But what to do when plaster cracks, buckles, and pops loose? It's a perplexing question for many of our readers, including Tim Thorp, whose house in Providence, Rhode Island, is filled with badly blemished plaster. 'How do I patch 100 years of gouges, cracks, and screw holes so the walls look flat and clean when painted?' He asks us in an e-mail. Here, Tom shows how sticking old walls back together can make them look as good as new.
Visitors to thisoldhouse. Mixxxer App Download Iphone. com asked for help with dinged, gouged, and cracked walls. Here's an easy way to get a smooth surface that lasts Visitors to thisoldhouse.com asked for help with dinged, gouged, and cracked walls. Large cracks, where the lath and plaster have been pulled away from the wall, can be re-secured using metal plaster washers and ordinary 1-1/2' or 2' drywall screws (Image 1). This secures the existing plaster to the wood lath. Secure screws and washers diagonally on either side of loose plaster, about 1-1/2' to 2' from the crack (Image 2).
The key to any fix is to reunite the plaster with the strips of wood lath underneath. Otherwise the cracks come back, no matter how many times you patch over them.
That's why This Old House general contractor Tom Silva usually reattaches lath with screws and metal washers before attempting a repair. Recently, though, he tried, a homeowner-friendly adhesive that uses glue instead of screws.