Repair Cracked Plaster with Drywall or Washers

Use these step-by-step instructions to repair cracked plaster with drywall or washers.
Related To:

You don't have to use plaster to fix cracks in a plaster wall. Check out these alternative methods:

Materials and Tools:

scoring knife
putty knife
broom
vacuum cleaner
tape measure
pencil
utility knife
straightedge
power drill and dimpler attachment
scissors
drywall mud knife
drywall mud pan
wood-boring drill bit
joint tape
joint compound
drywall sheets
plaster washers

Steps:

For the Drywall Method:

1. Score the seams in the wall with a scoring knife.
2. Use a putty knife to pry the cracked plaster off the wall.
3. Clean the wall thoroughly with a broom and a vacuum cleaner.
4. Measure the section of wall that needs to be covered and mark the location of studs on the baseboard and the top trim. Transfer the measurements to piece of drywall with a pencil. Score a line with a utility knife and a straightedge. Snap the drywall, and then score it from back side.
5. Fit drywall pieces and attach, using a drill with a special dimpler attachment that countersinks drywall screws. Avoid using a manual screwdriver, as it poses a higher risk of breaking the drywall paper. Apply joint tape along the seams between drywall sections, and use a wide putty knife to spread joint compound (or "mud") over seams and screw holes.

For the Plaster Washer Method:

1. Use a power drill to probe the wall next to the cracks and find wood behind the plaster.
2. Create an indentation with the wood-boring drill bit so the plaster washers sit flush with the wall. Insert plaster washers, trying to alternate them on opposite sides of the crack.
3. Cover washers and cracks with joint compound, and then skim-coat the entire area with compound. Continue to strategically place washers to shore up the walls.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Drywall Cracks and Nail Holes

Drywall is easily damaged but easily fixed, and so are nail holes.

Bedroom Wall Repair

Make a seamless patch to repair damaged drywall.

How to Repair a Hole in Drywall

Repair drywall without using drywall tape with these step-by-step instructions.

Basement Wall Crack Repair

A basement wall repair doesn't have to be an all-day project. In fact, most cracks only require the few simple steps shown in this do-it-yourself guide.

Basement Crack Repair

Even the most stable of basements will sooner than later need to be repaired, especially when it comes to basement crack repair. Here's a quick do-it-yourself guide.

How to Repair a Damaged Roof

We simulated the damage of a tree falling on a roof by dropping a piano from a crane. Such an accident can cause major structural damage. Consult a professional if there are any reframing needs due to building codes.

How to Repair a Drywall Ceiling

Whether it's a smooth or textured ceiling, you can use standard drywall repair techniques to fix the damaged area.

Repairing Cracks in a Concrete Floor

How to fix surface cracks with concrete filler

How to Repair a Garage-Door Roller

Step-by-step instructions for replacing a broken wheel and bracket

How to Clean and Repair Gutters

Learn how to properly clean and repair your gutters with our step-by-step instructions and expert tips.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.