Hands On with Amy Devers: Patchwork Makes Perfect
How would one patch a texturized plaster wall (circa 1919)? Seems pretty daunting at the moment….
It seems daunting because you and I both know that a bad patch job will deface your walls like some sort of keloid scar that draws attention to itself and screams of trauma. But there is a secret to patching textured plaster that will make the whole process go smoothly and your wall surface look flawless.
Wanna know what it is? Practice. Yeah, I know sound like your mom and that’s not exactly what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth.
Without knowing what texture you’re trying to replicate, I can’t tell you exactly what to practice but I can tell you that there is nooo chance of getting the texture matched perfectly without a little trial and error. So before you go anywhere near your walls, get yourself some scraps–primed plywood, drywall, even cardboard–and start testing some application techniques. After a few experiments, I’m sure you’ll have it all worked out.
Start your lab experiments with a setting-type joint compound like this one.
In an ideal world, you’d be able to do the whole job with one product. The first coat will mostly fill the crack, and the top coat will provide the texture.
Add sand to the mix, and sponge lightly to blend while it’s setting
Dip a bristle brush into a water-thinned mix and flick the bristles to splatter compound onto the wall
Spread the compound with the back of a wooden spoon and smooth slightly with a wet sponge
Spread with a putty knife and stipple the surface with a brush, or drag a brush though it
Splatter the compound on, and then as it’s setting drag a taping knife over it to knock it down
Dab wet compound with a scrunched rag
Basically, just take a look at the texture you’re trying to match and think to yourself “If I wanted to frost a cake to look exactly like my walls, how would I do it?” Then try to employ those same techniques with the wall compound and what ever household items you can round up. After you get your method dialed in, take it to the walls.
The OTHER secret to patching textured plaster? Start in the most inconspicuous place. By the time you get to the highly visible areas, you’ll have all the kinks worked out.