How to Fix Plaster Wall Cracks
Step #1: Put Drywall Tape Over the Crack
The tape that you would use to protect your drywall from having nails or screws come out of it over time is the same tape that you'll use to cover your plaster crack. Make sure that you completely cover the crack with the tape. This applies only if you can cover the entire crack with just one line of tape.
Some drywall cracks are extensive, large, or deep. In these instances, you will need to put a solid patch over the crack to let your wall still have the integrity it needs for future stability. The best patches are made from stainless steel and you will need to affix this patch over the crack with drywall tape.
Step #2: Use Putty Compound
Now that you've got the crack covered with tape or a metal patch, it is time to cover it up. Use a standard putty compound to cover the tape and the crack. Joint compound can be purchased at most stores or online and it spreads with a putty knife rather easily. You can also purchase spray compound that you can apply directly to the repair site, although this is often more expensive than the traditional patching method.
Step #3: Let It Dry
You'll need to allow plenty of time for the compound that you've applied to the tape to dry. Do not apply another coat of compound until the initial coat has dried if another layer is needed. This generally takes about 4 hours, but thicker applications may require 24 hours.
Step #4: Sand It Down
Once the joint compound as dried, you'll need to get a drywall sander and remove the rough edges of the patch you've applied. Don't sand down too far because this will cause the tape to become exposed and you'll have to start over at Step #2 once again. Make sure you wear a mask for this job as well.
Step #5: Add Texture
If your wall is textured, you can use a spray texture to complete the foundation of your repair to create an even look. This texture compound will also need about 4 hours to dry, or up to 24 hours for extensive applications.
Step #6: Paint
The final step lets you paint the dried application site so that it matches the other areas of the wall. Once the paint dries, it should be virtually unnoticeable that you ever had a plaster crack.
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