Plaster Ceilings Need To Be Repaired

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There comes a time when plaster ceilings need to be repaired. They get damaged when there are storms, or when someone hits them with their pool stick.

A plaster ceiling can become cracked and start to crumble if it's not repaired right away. Worse yet, the wood paneling underneath the plaster ceiling might be ruined by water leaking in from roof damage.

There are a few things you should know before starting to restore your plaster ceiling. 

Let's get right into it

Consider the surface importance when repairing plaster ceilings

You'll want to make sure the surface of the existing plaster is smooth and free from any cracks or other damage that could cause water leaks in your home. If there are any electrical outlets or switches on the wall that will be covered by drywall, you'll need to install them first so they're not covered up later on down the line.

It's also a good idea to use an electric sander if necessary to remove old paint or varnish from the surface of the plaster, so that it will adhere properly to the drywall you install later on. Also, if any nails are sticking out of your plaster already, make sure you hammer them flush before installing drywall over top.

In short, as long as you have a smooth, clean surface and all existing holes are filled in with new materials, then it should be relatively easy to repair your plaster ceiling with drywall.

What materials do you need for the job?

Materials for plaster ceiling repair include drywall, joint compound, and a putty knife.

A joint compound is used to fill in any cracks or holes that are in your existing plaster before applying drywall. 

Joint compounds can easily be found at Home Depot, Lowes, and most other improvement centers that can help with home decoration ideas. You'll want to get several bags worth of joint compound, as it will wear down quickly when you're using it to fill in cracks and holes.

There are also ready-made products available that use the joint compound as their base ingredient already mixed with water – if you don't feel like mixing it yourself from scratch. 

Just make sure whatever product you choose to buy has some sort of filling agent in it to give the joint compound more strength, and that you follow the directions on the packaging.

A putty knife is also something that will be very useful; this tool is used to apply a thin layer of joint compound over any cracks or holes in your plaster ceiling and can help smooth out the product on top of your existing surface so your drywall will go on smoothly.

You might want to have a damp cloth or sponge available as well because whenever you use the joint compound, there are always going to be some pieces that don't get covered completely with it and you'll need somewhere to wipe away excess product before applying any drywall.

The Importance of Drywall When Repairing Your Ceiling


Now that you have your materials gathered, let's look briefly at what drywall is for those who might not be so familiar with it.

You can think of drywall as a binder for paper, and when I say paper, I don't mean the kind you write on or put pictures in; I'm talking about the stuff cardboard boxes are made out of- it's just very thin sheets of cardboard glued together to give it some structural integrity.

That being said, if you've ever picked up a piece of cardboard before, there's not much substance to it- so why should you trust something like that to repair your plaster ceiling?

Well, for this material to be used successfully on a ceiling, the whole idea of using drywall is that it needs some sort of backing for support- and in this scenario, that comes in the form of plaster.

Plaster is a mixture of fine sand and lime put through a sieve or mesh; once your plaster dries out after being installed on your ceiling you can be sure that everything will stay supported as long as you make sure to use enough sheets of drywall and install your new covering properly. 

That way, you'll never have to worry about another storm damaging your plaster ceiling again.

How much does it cost to repair a plaster ceiling?

Repairing a plaster ceiling is not an easy job by any means, so it's important to have realistic expectations about how much the project will cost.

Although many variables can determine what your repair costs will be, one common factor among all estimates is that you'll need to make sure you have plenty of extra material on hand. 

You never know exactly how much of each item you're going to use or even if something unexpected happens during the installation process, so don't skimp out on buying stuff for this because drywall isn't cheap.

That being said, here are some factors that might increase or decrease your estimated price:

Materials are generally priced per linear foot at most Home Depot locations, but they are certainly not the only place you can buy your drywall. You might find that with a bit of shopping around at a few different stores, you can get some great deals on materials to make this job more affordable for yourself.

The amount of time it will take you to repair the ceiling is also a big factor in how much it's going to cost you.

If all you have to do is fix up a small area and don't need as many joint compound or drywall sheets per linear foot, then there won't be as many labor costs involved in finishing the painting process.

If this does end up being a larger project than expected, however, don't forget about having to throw down for an extra person to come help you out.

damaged plaster ceiling
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

How quickly can you repair your ceiling?

Another huge factor that depends on many of the factors already mentioned is how long you have until you need to use your drywall again. 

If there's no time crunch and you're going to paint over the repaired area in a matter of days after your repair, then you might not have as much urgency about getting the job done before any other problems with your ceiling crop up.

Just keep in mind though, that plaster ceilings are notorious for having issues pop up unexpectedly because of faulty installation from the last time it was used. 

People don't usually repair plaster ceilings very often, so there can be a lot of room for errors to happen.

repair plaster ceiling
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

Final thoughts on repairing plaster ceilings

In conclusion, repairing plaster ceilings with drywall is a great way to safeguard your ceiling for the future and keep it looking as good as new.

Just make sure that you're willing to put in all of the work beforehand to ensure that nothing goes wrong during installation. 

Kevin Farrugia

Kevin Farrugia

Kevin is a household and appliance enthusiast and loves to follow the latest trends in kitchen and house decoration. He also loves to walk the isles of Home Depot and Lowes to review products and materials in person. Before joining Kitchen Infinity, Kevin owned a handyman company.

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