DIY: How to repair a hole in the wall

If you have plaster walls in your home, chances are you’re going to have some kind of damage.  It could just be cracks but very often, you’ll get a hole in the wall where furniture or a wayward door has accidentally hit it too hard.

Isn’t it funny how we usually manage to ignore this damage until it’s time to sell! So here’s a quick fix on how to patch a hole in a plaster wall — you’ll be wondering why it’s taken you this long to do it!

1) Use a Stanley knife to trim the edges of the hole so that it is as smooth as possible. Remove any debris then spray a little water on the plaster and allow it to absorb.

2) Get a square piece of cardboard slightly larger than the hole, but still small enough to fit through the hole. Make sure the cardboard is thick, smooth and hard to rip. Avoid cardboard with any type of glossy paper attached to it as it needs to be able to accept the tape and plaster cement/filler readily.
3) Poke a hole in the centre of the patch, and thread a piece of string through it. Tie a nail (or paperclip) to one end of the string and pull the string so that the nail is flush with the cardboard – this side is the back of your patch.

4) Coat the front of the patch with filler (the side without the nail).

5) Holding the string, push the cardboard through the hole, the filler side facing you. Use the string to pull the patch towards you and position it so it covers the hole.

6) Pull the string tight, apply fibreglass tape and filler to fill the hole. Tie the string around a pencil or piece of wood and wind until it sits tightly against the wall.

7) Once the filler has set, cut the string flush with the surface.

8) Sand the plaster back using a fine grade sandpaper wrapped around a flat block, then apply a primer and repaint the area in the original colour.

Or if that sounds too hard, there’s always Selleys No More Big Gaps expanding foam. Fill the cavity with the foam which will expand 2.5 times and sets solidly. When it is fully cured (approx 4hrs), simply cut or trim away any excess with a sharp knife, and then sand back the surface until smooth.

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