Plaster Repair

ColumbusguyDecember 2, 2005

I had a leak around my chimney flashing, and the plaster in one room got water damaged: it's plaster over brick, and the plaster is now crumbly and powdery in spots. The rest of the plaster is sound, and the leak has been fixed. How can I repair this? I will not consider drywall, I'd rather recoat with plaster if possible. Can someone tell me how to go about it...I'm pretty sure I have to scrape off the crumbly bits, but what is the next step, and do I have to go down to the bare brick?


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Columbus - If you have lots of holes to fill, get a big bag of perlited plaster, simply because it is less expensive. If the holes are not too big, you can use setting-type drywall patch. Either way, also get an easy-sand drywall patch for your final coat.

Definitely scrape off anything that is the slightest bit loose, then spray everything lightly with water so the existing brick and plaster donÂt suck all the moisture out of your patch before it cures.

Mix the patch according to directions then fill in the holes with either the plaster or the drywall patch using several layers. Make your last layer the easy-sand type of drywall patch so you can feather it all off with sandpaper. Once you have sanded it smooth, prime it, paint it and you are done.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 7:20PM
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Thanks, Sycamore! Thankfully, the holes aren't too big, and there are only two spots...I have some plaster mix left from an earlier house-mate's art project, and will try using that. It was the spraying with water I was unsure of, and how many layers to use.
Sounds easy, now that someone has told me! Wish all the other little projects were as building my own wooden storm windows--any clues there?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 7:34PM
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Hey Columbus,

I haven't tried building storm windows, but it is on the list to do someday.

One more thing - plaster of paris is generally not the best plaster to use. It hardens too fast. If the holes are small you could use plaster of paris for the first layer, but it doesn't sand at all and is hard to get smooth so is not good for the final layer. Check to see if the leftover plaster is plaster of paris. If it is, my recommendation is to go get some patching material at the local hardware store.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 9:40PM
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I'm patching some plaster in my old '28 foursquare, and also live in Columbus.

I got the perlited plaster from Capitol Drywall on Mckinley. 276-6391. It was around $13 for a 50 lb. bag. I also got the "Diamond" topping plaster. (About the same price as the perlited)

Make sure the brick is clean, then moisten prior to applying the plaster, as suggested. Or, you could use a bonding agent that is painted on instead of wetting. When the base/scratch coats set, moisten and apply the topping.

You may have better luck using 2 layers of plaster if going more than 3/8". I like the Diamond topcoat as it is harder than the Easysand stuff, therefore less likely to dent, and more like what the original plaster is like. But it is hard to get smooth. I suggest practicing somewhere inconspicuous.

While I have done lots of drywall work, I am somewhat new to this plastering stuff, so the above info is just my opinion, YMMV.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 12:08PM
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Thanks Chaz...I'll see what I can find--thank goodness I don't need a whole bag--I think I can get by with smaller quantities though that wall in the spare bedroom scares me! It's covered in wallpaper, and I think it has partly buckled underneath as the house settled and the second chimney didn't. Too chicken to remove the paper to see--it's not really detached, just got a ridge in it, and is uneven.
Are you as frustrated as I am that Columbus doesn't have a salvage yard for parts and stuff? Only place I've found even close is on South High, and their prices are very high.

Here is a link that might be useful: My House

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 5:55AM
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You might try repairing the problem with a plaster adhesive called plastermagic: It has been featured on This Old House and is designed to repair plaster cracks in walls and ceilings.

Here is a link that might be useful: plastermagic

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 10:01AM
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