Patching Plaster

I began prepping to paint the spa, a small third bedroom in my home where I am installing a walk-in tub.  The plaster cracks up the wall, over the picture rail and across the ceiling had not been disturbed.  This is a good thing, because it is difficult to patch plaster where Fix-all or other wrong products have been applied.

I took a hooked metal paint can opener as my primary tool for opening up the cracks.  There’s a scratching, that turns into a scape and then the fracture opens up and the crusty edges fall to the floor.  Then I take a spackling knife and knock off any loose edges.  Now a clean, open crack is ready to receive the fill.

There’s a very lightweight, white fill that works best.  It is much lighter than spackling paste.  And tougher.  It goes on smoothly with a bit of pressure on the spackling knife and a quick smoothing across the fissure that is being filled.

This is the fun part, after all the scraping and scratching open.  Tomorrow I will give each plaster vein another coat of fill, then after it dries, it will get a very light sanding.

The work was easiest today because the weather changed and a lovely breeze blew in two open windows while I worked on the ladder.

There is a tactile beauty of the plaster cracks laid open on the old wall.  A layer of pinkish tan alkyd paint shows and the plaster underneath the top coat is chalky.  They look nice individually, although I guess the overall look of cracks in the walls and ceilings is not desirable.

It will be exciting to start rolling on primer and paint soon.  The prepping takes a long time, but it is an aesthetic process, I think.  I like the craft of it, the feel of the materials and the lovely effect of the repair.

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