Instead of employing an expensive plasterer to re-surface your damaged interior walls, do it yourself using this simple method and have your rooms looking as good as new.
Dented or uneven walls can often spoil the beautiful interior of your home. In particular, the soft mortar of older properties shows up everything: all the dents and scrapes of everyday life, old drill holes from pictures or shelves, and deep, inexpertly filled, plumbing or electricity channels.
Faced with these flaws, many home owners will ask professional plasterers to strip back to the brick and start again. However this messy and expensive solution is usually unnecessary. You could save money and mess by asking the plasterer to skim over the existing plaster or, better still, you could do it yourself quickly and cheaply with ordinary filler and a few basic skills. If you fancy a small challenge, read on!
Preparating the Wall
Cover the floor with a dust sheet and remove or cover your furniture. Then lightly score the wall surface with medium-grain sandpaper; substantial lumps such as paint clots or paint covered bits of wallpaper can be removed using a scraper.
Once the wall is smooth, brush down the wall and wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove all the dust. It is advisable to use sugar water to remove any oil or grease that may be present. A wall free of oil and dust will give you a good bond and prevent ‘crud’ accumulating in the filler.
Preparing the Filler
The quantity of filler you will need depends on the number and depth of dents and dips in the wall, but most packaging will give you some indication of the coverage you can expect. You can use ready-mixed fillers straight from the tub, but these are more expensive than powder fillers. Powder products need to be mixed with enough water to give you a clotted-cream consistency.
It’s best to mix filler in a tub before placing it on a sealed (non-porous) surface where you need to ensure all powder is mixed thoroughly and no lumps are present. Placing the filler on a sealed surface also allows you to form the mix into a more manageable lump for working.
Repairing the Damage
The next stage is to apply the filler. Using the edge of a plasterer’s trowel or a similar tool, cut a large amount of filler and drag it across the wall, filling the flaws as you go. A spreader with a wide contact surface is better as this means you will fill wide dents in one go.
Leave the filler to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then feel with your fingers or run a straight edge along the wall to check whether deep areas of filler have shrunk back. If they have, refill and leave to dry again.
When the filler is dry, use fine sandpaper on a sanding block or an orbital sander to remove the excess. Be sure to not use excessive pressure or move quickly when using electrical sanders as they can quickly cut into the filler. The surface can now be painted in the usual manner. You’re now ready to paint and move back into your room!
Tip: Save money by filling any deep holes with a cheaper, more grainy filler and, when dry, cover with a fine filler for a smooth finish.
Published in: Home