Old plaster walls can be tricky to repair properly, but finish carpenter Tim Leahy has a technique that works to restore cracked, chipped plaster walls to their smooth, sound glory. His process also works on drywall. Leahy starts by making the wall clean, dry, and dull, and performing any necessary repairs, such as reattaching plaster that had separated from the lath or filling large cracks. Next, Leahy covers the walls with self-adhesive fiberglass mesh, taking care to overlap inside and outside corners. After the mesh is on the walls, Leahy applies two thin coats of joint compound. When the walls are dry and smooth, they are ready for a coat of primer, then two coats of paint. This article includes a sidebar listing the materials for this type of project, including plaster washers and screws, joint compound, a 5-in. taping knife, and adhesive mesh.
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