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How To Repair Plasterboard Damage

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Plasterboard walls sometimes get knocked and scratched without breaking through. They are merely indentations that can be easily repaired with a minimum of effort. Here's how to go about it.

  1. Sand the surface thoroughly around the dent. The sanding roughens the surface and provides a good base for the joint filler compound. Use coarse grain sandpaper and a sandpaper block.
  2. Fill the dent with a good grade of joint compound. Use a 75mm to 100mm spatula for applying the joint compound. Spread it evenly and press it firmly into the dented area.
  3. If the dents are extremely large, it may be necessary to let the compound dry overnight and then apply a second coat. If this is the case scratch the finished surface so that the second coat can adhere to it.
  4. When the material is completely dry, sand the area and prime it for a coat of paint or other choice of finish.

Be sure to remove any high or low spots in the patched area. Use a fine sandpaper for the finish job.

Patching Cracks in Plasterboard

Various types of patching powders and compounds are available for patching wallboard. Some are powder, others are found in paste form.

Regardless of what type of patching compound you use, read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and follow each step as suggested. Some patching plaster dries quickly while other types of plaster require longer periods to dry.

Be sure the cracked area which is to be patched is completely clean and dry. Remove all dirt from the area around the crack. Clean out all cracks so the patching plaster can be inserted in them.

Apply the patching plaster with a wide and flexible putty knife. Apply the patching plaster by working across the crack with strokes in both directions. This tends to work the patching plaster into the crack better than strokes in one direction.

Force the patching material into the crack with strong, firm strokes. Examine the crack after each stroke. If more material is required, apply it and force it into the crack at all points.

Apply enough pressure to the knife to bend it as you draw it along the cracked area. Repeat the passes along the crack as often as necessary to force the material well into the cracked surface.

Now remove any surplus patching material by using the putty knife as a scraper. Move it along the cracked area gently to scrape away all the surplus patching material which was applied by the double strokes in each direction.

It sometimes helps to dip the putty knife into water and make one final pass along the repaired area. You can then apply a finish, touch-up application to finish the job.

After the patched area has dried completely, it can be sanded and primed or painted as you desire.

Repairing Loose Tape on Plasterboard

Sometimes tape will pop loose at the joints in Plasterboard. This can be caused by shrinkage in the plasterboard material or by a settling of the building.

Check all joints carefully and remove any loose tape. Run your fingers along the joints. If you feel air bubbles, strip all loose tape away.

Pull any loose tape off carefully. Try to avoid removing sections of the joint compound and plasterboard core when taking the old tape off the wall.

Now sand the area where the tape was removed carefully. It is important that you take time to sand this area properly. If you don't, lumps may appear when the new tape is applied.

When the area has been completely sanded, apply the new tape with a regular putty knife and a good grade of tape compound.

For advice on patching holes in Plasterboard, please see our other How to guides:

  1. How to Fix Small Holes in Plasterboard
  2. How to Fix Large Holes in Plasterboard

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