SIM­PLE WAYS TO FILL A HOLE

Loughborough Echo - - YOUR HOME -

Ex­perts at Home­base (home­base.co.uk) talk us through one of the most-dodged DIY jobs – fill­ing a hole in a wall...

■ PRE­PAR­ING THE DAM­AGED AREA

Use a bol­ster chisel and club ham­mer to re­move all loose ma­te­rial around the area to be patched, and un­der­cut the edges. Then wire brush the brick­work to re­move all loose ma­te­rial.

■ MIX­ING THE NEW PLAS­TER

Mix ac­cord­ing to the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions. Use a gaug­ing trowel to sprin­kle the plas­ter pow­der into the wa­ter, while stir­ring with a clean stick. When the plas­ter is thick and creamy without lumps, turn it onto a damp­ened board.

Hint: To pre­vent lumps form­ing, al­ways add the plas­ter to the wa­ter and not the wa­ter to the plas­ter.

■ FILL­ING THE PATCH WITH PLAS­TER

When the plas­ter is ready, thor­oughly dampen the area of the wall that needs patch­ing. Use a plas­ter­ing trowel to slide a good amount of the mix­ture onto the plas­terer’s hawk, pic­tured. Stand­ing close to the patch, tilt the hawk to­wards you and, with a con­tin­u­ous move­ment, lift half the plas­ter onto the trowel.

Hold the trowel hor­i­zon­tally but slightly an­gled to­wards the wall. Press the plas­ter into the patch and move the trowel up the wall, grad­u­ally flat­ten­ing it. Avoid flat­ten­ing the trowel against the wall as this is causes suc­tion and pulls the plas­ter off the wall. Re­peat this process un­til the patch is slightly over­filled, but don’t over­work the plas­ter, as this weak­ens it and makes it fall off.

■ SMOOTH­ING OFF

Once the sur­face is covered, smooth to an even thick­ness, hold­ing the trowel at a slight an­gle so only one edge touches the plas­ter.

Af­ter about 45 min­utes, it will start to set. Once this has hap­pened, go over it again lightly with a damp­ened trowel to smooth the sur­face. Af­ter a fur­ther 20-30 min­utes, splash the sur­face with cold, clean wa­ter then trowel to a fine, smooth sur­face. Be sure to keep the trowel damp and not to over­work the sur­face.

■ FILL­ING DEEP HOLES

If the patch is deep, you might need to put on two lay­ers of plas­ter. To do this, ap­ply the first layer to half the depth of the patch. When it has par­tially set, scratch up the sur­face and leave it to set fully without dry­ing out. Ap­ply a sec­ond coat, and re­peat the process above.

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