patching plaster

Patching Plaster – How to Repair Walls and Ceilings in 2022 (Step-by-Step DIY Guide)

Do you have a crack or hole in your wall at home? Have you been putting off calling a professional plasterer to fix it?

Patching plaster yourself may sound somewhat intimidating, but the truth is, it’s not as complicated as you might think. If you have the time and patience to take on the job, there should be no reason you need a professional plasterer to fix a small to medium-sized crack or hole in the wall.

All you need is a quick stop at the local hardware store for the right tools and materials. After you have everything on the list below, you can start repairing that damaged wall in no time.

In this tutorial, we will show you exactly how to repair wall and ceiling plaster like a professional.

Tools & Materials

Below is a list of recommended tools and materials needed to complete this project successfully:


  • Step Ladder
  • Trowel
  • Hammer (For Loose Nails)
  • Screwdriver (For Loose Screws)
  • Sanding Block
  • Utility Knife
  • Putty Knife


  • Plaster Sealant
  • Wall Plaster
  • Protective Gloves
  • Dust Mask
  • Stir Stick

Patching Plaster – How to Repair Wall Plaster

1. Prepare the Work Area

You’ll want to put a canvas drop cloth or an old blanket down on the floor to prevent any spills and mess as plastering can be rather messy. Regularly check your shoes, so you don’t track plaster throughout the house.

2. Prepare the Patch Area

First, make sure there are no nails or screws in the area you are going to repair. You’ll then want to cut out any large pieces of broken or loose plaster with a utility knife.

Next, make sure you sand the area with medium-grit sandpaper to ensure that all loose plaster and particles are removed from the area. Wipe the area down with a cloth so that it’s ready to be sealed.

3. Apply Plaster Sealant

Apply a Plaster Sealant or bond with a small brush over the area you are going to repair. Homebuilding & Renovating recommends using a PVA Bond mix. 

This mix will help the new plaster adhere to the damaged area. You’ll want to wait 20 to 30 minutes to make sure the PVA mix is dry and ready for a coat of plaster.

4. Apply the Plaster

applying plaster to wall

You’re now ready to apply a coat of plaster. With a trowel and a putty knife, apply a generous amount of plaster to the area you are going to repair.

Make sure you fill in all edges so that there are no exposed cracks or bubbles. To give the plaster a nice finish, you can put some water on it and trowel it back and forth a few times

5. Wait for the Plaster to Dry

You’ll want to wait 4 to 5 hours to make sure the plaster properly dries. During this time regularly check on the plaster to ensure that it keeps its form and no new bubbles or deformities occur.

6. Sand the Area

sanding plastered wall

Once you are sure the plaster has dried, you are now ready to start sanding.

Start off sanding with a coarse grit sanding block to take off the elevated surface and any bumps. You can then take a medium and light grit sanding block and sand down the new plaster until it is flush and smooth with the existing wall.

7. Ready to Paint

You’re now ready to paint the repaired area. Make sure to dust off any leftover plaster particles after sanding. You can paint straight over the Plaster.

To learn more about painting plaster, please read our guide on How To Paint New Plaster.

Patching Plaster – How to Repair Ceiling Plaster

If you have a crack or hole in your ceiling plaster, the repair is going to be like the steps listed above. You may want to follow these additional steps for best results:

  • You will get dirty, so make sure to wear proper protective equipment such as protective glasses and a dust mask
  • A ceiling repair can be messy, so make sure you cover the surrounding area with a large drop cloth to prevent splatters and spills.
  • When removing plaster from the ceiling, it’s going to fall all over the place, so make sure everything in the room is adequately covered.
  • You’ll want to mix the plaster a bit thicker so that it properly holds its form once applied to the ceiling.

Patching Plaster – Final Thoughts

You now know the basics of repairing a crack or hole in your ceiling or wall plaster. At first, plastering might seem like a daunting task. However, I can guarantee that if you carefully follow the steps outlined above, you should have no trouble at all repairing your wall or ceiling. 

Patching plaster is a rewarding DIY project that can be done during a weekend and is a great way to save yourself some extra money.

Finally, if you’re not feeling comfortable tackling your first plastering job just yet, watch this great tutorial over at 21st Century Caveman

YouTube player

I hope you learned a lot from this tutorial and that you’re now confident enough to take on your next plastering project.