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Recurring Wall Cracks

Written by David | November 28, 2019

Do you have recurring wall cracks in your drywall or plaster?

One of the repairs we often have to make in homes before we paint, is cracks in the walls. Wall cracks happen for a number of reasons:

  • water damage
  • stress
  • improper installation of drywall
  • age
  • settling of home
  • improper previous repair

Hi! I’m David Cook of D’franco Painting & Wallpaper, and I thought I could share one of the most recent and difficult wall crack repairs we have to make. Old plaster.

Identifying wall cracks

It is easy to see cracks in your walls. The type of cracks, may not be easy to determine. For most cases, just call someone to look at your wall cracks to make sure it is not paint cracking, age, or a structural problem. In the video, you can see it is a pretty sizable plaster crack we are dealing with.

The house we were working in had a few issues that had big cracks.  There are not a lot of great tools for this but we found a great product-Plaster Magic.

They have a great vidoe as well on how to use it.

Do not be shocked at the cost for these repairs. You will most likely be dealing with lead paint, with old dusty areas of the house which can take a LOT of dust containment.  The process as we used it, was time consuming as well. So again, depending on the type of wall cracks you have, have someone come out to look at to see what you are dealing with.

Here is a pic of the plaster that we are repairing.

Using the Plaster Magic Kit

When we bought this kit, I underestimated how many pieces would be needed to fix the cracks. We still made it work as we were on this site several days.

  • The 1st thing we did, was clean the cracks. After using a shop vac to get rid of dust, we literally washed with soap and water as they were very dirty!
  • Next up was cutting the crack away of loose materials. There was enough of the wall that was solid but plenty of spots where the plaster was flaking off the wall.
  • We then pre-drilled the holes needed so the adhesive could be used in the cracks between the plaster and wood lathe.
  • After we drilled the holes, we caulked in all of the adhesive in the little holes.
  • With the adhesive in the holes, we used the provided screws and screw caps to secure the plaster to the wood lathe. This got tricky! It took us 4-5 screws to find the right amount of pressure the plaster/lathe/screw could hole with out one of them “giving” (broken plaster, broken lathe, broken screw) .
  • As per the the instructions we let things sit for 24 hours.
  • Once the glue was dry we scraped away the excess, and removed the screws.  It worked! Just as advertised.
  • All that was left was to get some 90 minute DuraBond to smooth out the walls. We sanded, the first coat, did two more, primed the walls and painted.

If we can get our video to load to YouTube we will get that in here.

Other ways to repair plaster

Another method to repair a hole or broken out plaster is to patch the area with drywall. This can be a pain, but it does work. This is another area that you should call a professional to have it looked at. There are different depths of plaster and drywall. Selecting the wrong one can make life a real pain in the butt. Why you ask??

  • Plaster can be 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick.
  • Drywall is 1/4, 1/2 or 3/4 inch thick.
  • If you try and put 1/2 drywall where there is a 3/4 inch depth- you will have to fill in 1/4 deep void of drywall mud. It may sound like it is not a big deal- but when you have thick layer of drywall mud, it will sag, then you have to cut out the droopy stuff to put in new. NOT FUN!

This blog is short- but it is a good one to get you some basics of a plaster repair- not too bad with experince of drywall, but nothing to be tackled by a first time repair.  We would love to hear how we can help you with repairs to you walls and or ceiling and help you love the space your in!

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