Repairing Cracks & Pitting in Plaster Walls

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Cracks are known to be a problem in older homes that were built with plaster walls. Also problematic can be unevenness in the form of pitting. Fixing these problems is eventually going to become necessary as the poor appearance will otherwise takeover rooms, distracting and detracting from the appearance of the rest of the home. To fix such problems, a few extra steps may be necessary, but the final finish will be beautiful just the same.

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When it comes time to repair cracks in plaster walls, it is necessary to do more than use only spackle or joint compound to undo the damage time has done. This is because as more time passes those defects will reappear, showing right back through repair efforts and marring the appearance of your walls once again. To avoid this, adding mesh tape can help. It is essential, however, that the tape be a fiberglass wire mesh as opposed to paper tape because there is less chance of crowning, which is another unsightly problem you do not want your walls to have.

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To begin the repair process, measure and cut a piece of wire mesh tape in a length that corresponds with the crack you intend to cover. Once it is cut, place it over the crack and spackle or mud it into place. This will create a bond over the crack that will hopefully prevent it from spreading. It will also place a face over it that will stop it from reappearing through repair materials.

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If you have a lot of widespread pitting to repair, applying joint compound is usually enough to hide it. Apply a thin coat to the entire surface area affected and when it is fully dry, sand it to make it smooth once again. In old homes you may find that entire walls will need such a treatment, or only small areas will. If it is the whole wall that needs attention, using an orange peel finish may be useful. Simply spray thinned joint compound onto walls before painting to create uniformity.

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Old homes do often need a lot of work to bring them up to snuff. Dealing with damage to plaster walls is just one of the many problems you might face, but this is not necessarily something that should deter you. Beauty and vibrancy can be restored to an older home to make it whole once again. All it takes is a little bit of time, effort, and expense, all of which will be well worth it in the end.

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