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Restoring a wood lash and plaster wall

I recently bought a home that was built in the 1930's and there are some major wall cracks that I need to fix. After removing some of the plaster I learned that it was built on a lash and plaster system. What process should I follow in restoring the walls? I want to keep the look and feel of the original plaster wall. What products do I need for this project?


Many thanks,



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Posted 2013-12-17T22:36:49+0000  by acastaneda acastaneda

Hi Ac,


There are many ways to repair lath and plaster walls, the technique varies depending upon the extent of the damage.


Most people try to use spackle or Plaster of Paris to fix the cracks and then repaint.


The problem with this type of repair is that the cracks will with time simply open up again.


The best method I have found is to carefully inspect the wall and determine how large the failing area is.


Mark this area and cut a piece of 3/8 inch drywall the same size as the bad area. Why 3/8 drywall?


Because on most lath and plaster walls the plaster is 3/8 inch thick, thus the new drywall will align with the remaining plaster.


Place the drywall up against the wall and mark the outline of the drywall on the plaster wall.


Now remove the loose and filing plaster down to the wooden lath.


Next place the drywall in the opening and screw it to the lath.


Tape the joints with mesh type drywall tape and use drywall compound to fill in the gap and cover the screw holes.


Apply three coats of drywall compound to the joints sanding in between applications and feathering out the compound to match the adjoining wall surface.


Now you’re ready to prime and paint your repaired wall.



Posted 2013-12-23T19:48:16+0000  by Mike_HD_OC

Hello acastaneda and welcome to the Community.


The reason the plaster is cracking is because plaster keys behind the lath has broken and the plaster is separating from the lath.   One way to reattach the plaster to the lath is outlined in the following steps.


  1. Protect walls and floors in the repair with plastic drop cloths
  2. Use a 3/16” carbide-tipped masonry drill bit to bore holes through the plaster but not through the wood lath. (If you hit a void, mark it so you don’t put adhesive in that hole), move down a little bit to hit lath Drill evenly spaced holes-about every 3 “ around damaged wall area. Do not drill through lath.
  3. Clean dust from the holes with a wet/dry vacuum.
  4. Spray liquid conditioner into each hole:  remove any conditioner that runs down the wall with a sponge.
  5. Trim the adhesive tubes nozzle with a utility knife.  Then inject adhesive into each hole by giving caulking gun’s trigger one full squeeze.
  6. Immediately after squeezing adhesive into the holes, use a drill/driver to screw a plastic ring with drywall screws into as many points of crack as necessary to pull plaster tight against the lath. Remove excess clue that may have surfaced before drying.
  7. Allow the adhesive to dry overnight, and then use the drill to remove all the screws and plastic rings.  If necessary, scrap the rings from the wall with a putty knife.
  8. Scrap off any high points of adhesive with a 6” putty knife.
  9. Apply a thin coat of joint compound to the wall using the putty knife.
  10. Let the compound dry overnight, sand the surface lightly with 120-grit sandpaper, then apply a second, thinner compound coat.
  11. Prime and paint the wall.

The products used in this process are a specialty product called Big Wally’s Plaster Magic and is sold online.




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Posted 2013-12-31T14:41:55+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
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