How to fix damaged plaster

Plaster is a material that’s been used to finish the inside of our houses for many years. It provides a smooth finish for interior décor and helps cut down noise. However, plaster is easy to damage, it can suffer cracks or gouges and it can be damaged by moisture from leaks and damp.

How to fix damaged plaster

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So how do you repair plaster and ensure that the inside of your house stays looking good?

Minor damage

There are many products on the market that can help you to repair minor plaster damage. If you have cracks or holes caused by furniture rubbing against the wall, you can apply a filler using a putty knife. Remove any loose plaster from around the area and then fill the damaged part. Once the filler is dry you can sand it smooth. If you still have a sunken area over a hole, apply a second layer of filler and repeat.

Hairline cracks can be treated with a brush-applied product. Work it well into the cracks and again, once it’s dry, sand down to a smooth surface.

Bigger problems

If you have a larger area of damage, maybe a hole caused by removing old tiles or a patch damaged by water, you need to carry out a repair with plaster. Chip out any damaged areas so there are no loose edges and wire brush the wall surface to make sure it’s clean. You can then apply new plaster to the surface. It may need two or three layers, if the hole is deep.

If the damage has been created by water or damp, you need to deal with the underlying cause. Fix any leaks and treat porous exterior walls with damp proof paints from a supplier such as Restoration UK (

You need to be sensitive to the materials used to build the property. Older properties may have been built with traditional lime plaster, which is a porous material and relatively soft. It shouldn’t be repaired using harder, modern cement-based products.

Modern houses are likely to be ‘dryline’ which means the inside walls are clad with factory-made plasterboard, with just a thin layer of plaster skim. Large holes in this type of construction will need to be fixed by locating the supporting studs, then cutting out and replacing a section of board.

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