Updated at: 24-06-2022 - By: cnbusinessnews

We’ll show you how to repair water-damaged plaster walls in this article. Plaster can be used to coat, decorate, and protect the walls and ceilings of your house. However, water damage to plaster walls is unavoidable.

In order to prevent future damage, it is critical to understand how to strengthen water-damaged plaster walls. With that in mind, here are some fantastic tips for stabilizing them!

Plaster Wall Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantage: Durability

Plaster coatings, when blended and applied correctly, produce a wall finish that is both stronger and more durable than drywall. It is the chemical reaction that occurs when the water evaporates out of the plaster mixture that forms strong bonding in the mixture. In most circumstances, plaster is more resistant to dents and dings than other materials. Plaster’s strength is also affected by the lath, or backing, that is utilized behind it. Weaker wooden lath strips seen in older houses can be replaced with a more lasting metal or composite lath or board.

How To Stabilize Water Damaged Plaster Walls? 5 Steps - Krostrade

Disadvantage: Installation

When drywall is cut and sanded, it generates a lot of dust. Drywall finishing can take many days because of the drying time required for the joint compound that seals the joints between boards. Only a small amount of dust is generated when water is first applied to the powder of plaster. Additionally, it does not necessitate sanding and can be put in numerous coats before the bottom layer has cured entirely. Plastering a wall may take less time and make less mess, but it’s more difficult because it necessitates a substrate of wood lath or steel mesh, not to mention talent and practice.

Disadvantage: Difficult to Repair

Repairing plaster that has cracked or crumbled as a result of shifting foundations or a hard impact to the wall is difficult. Without destroying the rest of the wall, the damaged plaster must be cut and scraped away without damaging the rest of the wall. The lath or other backing may need to be replaced as well if the damage is significant. If you don’t paint the entire wall after the repair, new spots of plaster appear brighter and more noticeable.

Disadvantage: Cost

Despite the additional time and effort required to hang and finish drywall, plastering is typically more expensive. Plaster application specialists charge more for their time because of the specialized nature of their work. Veneer plaster is less expensive than standard two- or three-coat finishes since it just requires one final layer of plaster on top of a backing board. Although veneer is less long-lasting, it is more affordable than drywall.

Stabilizing Your Water Damaged Plaster Wall

Five simple steps are all that is required to complete this plaster wall stabilization technique. A few days of drying time may be required. But don’t let the passing of time deter you!

These are the measures you should take to resolve your issue.

Step #1. Assessing and removing damages

If your plaster wall is in need of repair, do so first. To avoid further damage, plug any water leaks as soon as possible. Additionally, before to beginning the process, make sure everything is completely dry.

You must first remove the harm in order to begin stabilizing. Using a putty knife, scrape away peeling paint or softened, damaged layers of paint. Begin by using a knife to remove all the bubbling plaster and any deteriorating laths from the plaster wall.

Step #2. Sealing the water damage

After removing the damage, clean and wash the plaster wall’s surface. Use a sponge to get rid of any remaining lime deposits with a brush. After that, let the wall to dry out for a few days.

You can use an oil-based primer or a quick-drying primer on a plaster surface. Using a primer can help to minimize the spread of stains and other residues. ‘ While primers based on oil can take up to 24 hours to dry, primers based on quick-drying technology can be applied in just one hour.

Step #3. Repairing the plaster wall

Apply a thin coat of joint compound to the wall to fill in any holes. To ensure a smooth finish, go over the initial coat with a level. After that, leave it to harden for a while.

Sand the wall with medium sandpaper to smooth down any ridges or rough spots. However, you won’t need to completely level out the plaster wall for this stage. Just get rid of the rough spots.

Remove the dust by sweeping it up and wiping it down. Allow it to dry completely before continuing.

Step #4. Applying the second coat

A heavier application of joint compound is next required on the plaster wall. Spread the thick coat vertically if you place the thin coat horizontally. Make certain that the second coat is applied in the opposite direction of the first coat.

Step #4 should then be repeated until the end is reached. Remove the dust by sanding the surface.

Step #5. Sanding and painting

Sand the surface with 120 sandpaper until it is completely smooth. Primer should be reapplied after wiping off the dust. Always use the same primer that you used previously.

Once the primer has dried, you can apply the final touches or paint the piece. Make the fix disappear by painting over it with the same color paint that’s already on the wall. You can have a qualified handyman check the plaster wall to be sure you completed the operation correctly.

How to Repair Plaster Walls in 6 Easy Steps - This Old House

Why Is It Necessary To Stabilize Water Damaged Plaster Walls?

The plaster, frame, and lath are all affected by water. The sooner you strengthen your plaster walls, the less vulnerable they will be to further water damage.

After a few months or years, some DIY stabilization of water-damaged plaster walls can cause more damage. Please make sure that everything is done to your satisfaction before proceeding on your own.

If you aren’t sure, you may always enlist the aid of professionals to guide you through the process. Nevertheless, you should check for a license and insurance before employing a handyman. The fact that they have a license and insurance shows their trustworthiness in the event of an emergency.

How Much Will It Cost You To Stabilize A Water Damaged Plaster Wall?

Stabilizing a water-damaged plaster wall might cost up to $60 in materials if you do it yourself. Doing things yourself eliminates the need to pay for labor costs.

However, certain water-damaged plaster walls necessitate the services of a skilled handyman. Costs per square foot range from $70 to $100 if you hire a handyman. However, the repair cost is determined by the extent of the damage.

If the water damage to your plaster wall has not dried, you will need to wait for it to do so. Restoration services, such as plumbing, may be needed to dry a plaster wall after a water leak. The drying and restoration portions of this service can run you anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.

9 tips for maintaining a plaster wall

1. Use the cracks to diagnose the problem

  • Patching small diagonal cracks above a window or door is a simple and effective solution. Settling can cause diagonal cracks, which are easily mended.
  • It’s best to hire a professional if the cracks are wide, irregular in width or recessed.

2. Patch small holes as they occur

  • Stress is created by the weight of loose plaster on the rest of the plaster. Don’t let small holes go unnoticed and allow them to grow into larger ones.

3. Install doorstops

  • Anywhere a doorknob makes contact with a wall, it can cause damage to the surrounding plaster as well as the spot it strikes. Doorstops should be installed on all doors.

4. Keep your tools clean

  • Before making a second batch of patching plaster, carefully clean your tools and pans. Without a fresh coat of new plaster, you risk activating drying compounds in the old one, which will solidify before you can finish.

5. Spatula tip

  • Use a rubber cooking spatula if you need to make a little plaster repair, as it is more flexible than a putty knife. Plaster can be applied with a spatula in areas where a putty knife cannot reach.

6. Keep it dry

  • Plaster will become stained and eventually destroyed if it comes into contact with water. Repair or repaint the plaster after you’ve fixed the leaks.
  • To avoid bleed-through when painting over a stain, use a stain killer first.

7. Patching with the right materials

  • If you use the right patching material, plaster surface repairs are a cinch.
  • Spackling compound can be used to fill in minor gaps in plaster.
  • Three coatings of quick-setting joint compound over self-sticking fibreglass tape will fix a stubborn crack.
  • Patching plaster is a specific mix that is stronger than plaster and rarely requires more than one layer to be applied.

8. Match the surface

  • You can use a combed newspaper or sponge to smooth down the rough surface of the wall if it has a textured finish.
  • Allow the patch to cure before priming a sandy wall. To finish the look, apply a coat of latex paint with sand.
  • Make sure to scrape the blade frequently on a clean piece of wood to avoid damaging the surface with dried plaster fragments that have hardened.

Water Damaged Plaster with Wall Paper Repair - YouTube

9. Four steps to repair a hole

  • It’s time for some taps on the plaster around it. Plaster is separating from the lath if it makes a hollow sound. Remove any loose plaster with a putty knife.
  • Run a V-shaped beverage opener around the aperture to hollow it out under the plaster’s edge. Edges that slope inward are ideal because they aid to anchor the patch to the surface.
  • Mix the patching plaster as instructed. The plaster will stay better to the hole if it is sprayed with water before applying it.
  • Use a drywall knife or a putty knife to apply the plaster. Using a putty knife, sand the repair to a smooth finish. Using a sponge or sandpaper, smooth out the spot when it dries.


To help you get started, we’ve previously addressed your question on “how to stabilize water-damaged plaster walls.” To obtain perfect stability, follow the procedures exactly as they are written. If the stabilizing process fails, you run the risk of further damage.