Patching deep holes in plaster over brick

mdelaurentisFebruary 4, 2013

Hi,

I have a 100 year old brick twin in Philadelphia. I'm getting ready to paint the living room, stairs, and second floor hallway. The previous owner installed a railing for the stairs. There was already an original wood railing; I assume this other railing was just an added safety measure, but it's not necessary and definitely not original, so I took it out. It was installed directly into the wall, which is approximately 1 inch of plaster directly over brick. They drilled holes about 1 inch or so wide and maybe 3 or 4 inches deep, inserted wooden dowels, and drilled the mounts for the railing into the dowels. So the holes are quite wide and deep, going all the way through the plaster and a few inches into brick and mortar. I would like to fill those holes and paint over them. I'm just wondering what would be a good patching material for holes this deep in plaster and brick. Drywall joint compound has been my go-to patch for other projects, but it seems like I might have a hard time getting it that deep into these holes. I was thinking about maybe just cutting some wooden dowels to fill most of the space and then patching over that with setting type joint compound.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Mike

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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

You're idea sounds good to me

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 4:34AM
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srjohnt

You should use setting type (dry powder) joint compound for this repair. Give the hole a good spraying with a water spray bottle first, as the wall will be dry, and will remove too much water from the mix if you don't. Leave the patch slightly below the level of the wall, and after it hardens, finish with regualr joint compound.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:19AM
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katy-lou

I'd just patch with plaster. See other threads for plaster patching - it isn't too hard to do and will work better

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:33AM
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brickeyee

"I'd just patch with plaster."

More trouble than it is worth.

Use a setting type joint compound mixed about as thick as peanut butter.
A piece of dowel can be used to push it to the back of the hole. than add more compound till it is filled completely.

Setting compound with minimal water does not have appreciable shrinkage when setting (unlike pre-mix).

Plaster is only useful if you have retarder added.
It sets to quickly without retarder.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 11:55AM
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mdelaurentis

Ok, thanks everyone. I think I'll do as brickeye says. I do have a whole bag of setting type joint compound on hand, and I'm not sure where to get plaster locally. I may try out plaster for some other patching jobs I have to do though.

I usually mix according to the instructions on the bag, and that results in a mixture that's much thinner than peanut butter. I wasn't sure if a dryer mix would cure as well, but I'm sure it would be easier to push back into the hole than a wetter mix.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:07PM
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brickeyee

The peanut butter consistency cures just fine.

Make sure it is uniformly mixed (no lumps) and then wait about 5 minutes and re-mix it before using.

Spray the hole with some water from a plant mister till it at least darkens and a little water remains on the surface.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:43AM
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kashka_kat

Buh bye

This post was edited by kashka_kat on Fri, Feb 8, 13 at 10:38

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:23AM
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brickeyee

" Joint compound is much softer than regular plaster "

Durabond is as hard as plaster.

Easysand is softer to allow sanding.

No one said anything about leaving a dowel in the hole.

Just use it to pack the hole full of compound.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 2:52PM
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mdelaurentis

Would you recommend using Durabond over Easysand for deep holes like this? I've used Easysand in the past for other patching, on account of the easy sanding. So I have a bag of Easysand anyway. Is the hardness of Durabond better for a situation like this?

Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:57PM
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brickeyee

Hardness in this case does not matter much.

Durabond is un-sandable (if you try you will damage the wall around the bulge you are trying to sand away) for all intents and purposes.

Just like plaster.

Real plaster was NOT sanded for flatness.
It was tooled before it finished setting.

When partially set water is splashed n the surface (often using an 8 inch paint brush to splatter it on) and then a steel trowel used to put the final surface polish on the plaster.

Easysand should be fine for a small patch not subject to damage.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:27AM
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kashka_kat

WHO THE HECK KEEPS REMOVING MY POSTS OUT OF THIS THREAD -???

PLEASE REMOVE ALL OF THEM THEN BC I NO LONGER WISH TO PARTICPATE HERE. THANK YOU. THE THING ABOUT OLD HOUSES - EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION, AND EVERYONE SHOULD GET TO STATE THEM AS LONG AS RULES ARENT VIOLATED.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:36AM
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