SIMPLE WAYS TO FILL A HOLE
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.