How to Repair Cracked Plaster Ceilings eHow

How to Repair Cracked Plaster Ceilings eHow


Spread newspaper or drop cloths on the floor—you’ll make a mess and wet plaster can stain carpets. Clean out the crack with a matte knife, the sharp tip of a can opener or a screw driver, depending on the width of the crack. Tap the plaster around the crack as you clean it out to make sure that the surrounding plaster is solidly «keyed» (meaning its caught on to) to the underlying lath (the narrow strips of wood nailed across studs to hold the plaster).

Fabricate backing for holes with broken lath. Tie a string through the center of a piece of wire mesh and slip it behind the broken lath. Pull the string to hold the mesh flat against the lath as you fill the hole with mud. The openings in the mesh will serve as keys for the plaster. A piece of wallboard or even fiberboard also can be used as backing, but they will not provide the same spaces on which the plaster can key. Use a dab of glue or construction adhesive to hold flat backing to the lath. Put a string through the center of whatever backing you choose, which will allow you to pull the backing toward you as you plaster, insuring contact with the mud coat. Let larger holes dry completely before adding tape.

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