You’re not alone if you’ve ever walked into a room and noticed uneven walls. In fact, it’s a common problem with plaster walls. While it may seem daunting, there are ways to fix uneven plaster walls without calling in a professional. This article will show you how to fix uneven plaster walls in just a few simple steps. Keep reading to learn more.
Summary: If your plaster walls are uneven, you can fix them with a few simple steps. First, use a level to make sure the walls are even. If they’re not, use a putty knife to create a slight slope on one side of the wall. Then, fill in the gap with plaster.
What Causes Uneven Plaster Walls?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of fixing uneven plaster walls, let’s first look at what causes them. In most cases, uneven plaster walls are caused by settling. As your home settles, the plaster can crack and shift, resulting in uneven walls. This is because plaster is a brittle material that doesn’t handle movement well. Another common cause of uneven plaster walls is poor installation. If the plaster weren’t applied evenly, to begin with, you’d likely see some unevenness down the road.
Additionally, if the plaster isn’t given enough time to dry, it can also cause unevenness. The other primary cause of uneven plaster walls is water damage. Lastly, the plaster may contain lead if you have a home with plaster walls that were built before 1978. While this isn’t technically a cause of unevenness, it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning on doing any work on your plaster walls.
Why You Should Fix Uneven Plaster Walls
So, now that you know what causes uneven plaster walls, you may be wondering why you should bother fixing them. After all, if the plaster is only slightly uneven, does it really matter? While it may not seem like a big deal, uneven plaster walls can cause various problems. First, uneven walls are unsightly. They can make your home look unkempt and can take away from its overall aesthetic.
Additionally, uneven walls can make it difficult to hang pictures or artwork. And, if the unevenness is severe enough, it could even cause doors and windows to stick. Another reason to fix uneven plaster walls is that they can be dangerous. If the unevenness is severe enough, someone could trip and fall. Additionally, if the plaster is cracked, it could create sharp edges that could cut someone.
If you have young children or elderly family members living in your home, fixing any unevenness is especially important to prevent accidents. Finally, uneven plaster walls can make your home feel less stable. This is especially true if the walls are in an earthquake-prone area.
Some Easy Ways How to Fix Uneven Plaster Walls
1. Examine the Source of the Problem
The first step in fixing uneven plaster walls is to take a close look at the source of the problem. If you can identify the cause, you’ll be better able to fix the issue. Occasionally, uneven plaster walls are caused by settling or poor installation. However, water damage and lead exposure are also possible causes. Once you’ve identified the source of the problem, you can move on to the next step.
2. Remove Any Damaged Plaster
If the plaster is cracked or otherwise damaged, you’ll need to remove it before proceeding. To do this, use a chisel and hammer to remove the damaged plaster. First, score the plaster with the chisel to create a line. Then, use the hammer to tap along the line until the plaster comes loose. Be sure to wear gloves and a dust mask to protect yourself from the debris. Once you’ve removed the damaged plaster, use a vacuum to clean up the area.
3. Fill in Cracks and Holes
Once you’ve removed the damaged plaster, you’ll need to fill in any cracks or holes. First, use a putty knife to apply a layer of joint compound to the area. Then, use a wet sponge to smooth out the joint compound. Allow the joint compound to dry completely before proceeding. Next, apply a layer of plaster to the area using a putty knife. You’ll want to smooth out the plaster as much as possible.
Once the plaster is dry, sand it down until it’s flush with the surrounding wall. Finally, paint over the area to match the rest of the wall.
4. Apply a Thick Layer of Joint Compound
If the plaster is only slightly uneven, you may be able to fix the problem by applying a thick layer of joint compound. First, use a putty knife to fill any cracks or holes in the wall. Then, apply a layer of joint compound to the entire wall using a wide trowel. Allow the joint compound to dry completely, then sand it down until the surface is smooth. If necessary, apply a second layer of joint compound.
Allow the wall to dry completely before painting or priming it. Avoid using textured paint, as this could highlight any imperfections in the wall.
5. Use a Trowel
If the plaster is only slightly uneven, you may be able to fix the problem by using a trowel to smooth out the surface. This is a relatively easy fix that you can do yourself. First, make sure that the area is clean and free of debris. Then, using a putty knife, apply a thin layer of joint compound to the area. Next, use a trowel to smooth out the joint compound. Finally, allow the area to dry completely before painting or wallpapering. Avoid using textured paint, as this could highlight any imperfections in the wall.
6. Sand the Surface
If the plaster is only slightly uneven, you may be able to fix the problem by sanding the surface. This is a relatively easy fix that does not require any special skills. First, you will need to gather some supplies. You will need a sanding block, fine-grit sandpaper, a dust mask, and a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Start by putting on your dust mask to avoid inhaling any plaster dust.
Next, use the sanding block to sand the plaster’s surface lightly. Be sure to move the block consistently to avoid creating any new unevenness. If you have a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, you can use it to remove the dust as you sand. Otherwise, you can wait until you have finished sanding before cleaning up the dust. Once you have finished sanding, your plaster should be smooth and even. If it is not, you may need to try another method.
7. Applying a Skim Coat
If the plaster is severely uneven, you may need to apply a skim coat. This is a thin layer of joint compound that can be used to level out the surface. You will need to apply the skim coat with a trowel or putty knife and then smooth it out as much as possible. Once the skim coat is dry, you can sand it down and apply a new layer of paint or wallpaper. Try to match the new layer as closely as possible to the old one.
8. Shimming the Walls
If the plaster is severely uneven, you may need to shim the walls. This process involves inserting thin strips of wood or metal between the wall and the studs to level out the surface. Shimming is a more involved process. First, you’ll need to determine where the studs are located. Then, you’ll need to measure and cut the shims to size. Once the shims are in place, you’ll need to secure them with nails or screws.
9. Replacing the Plaster
If the plaster is severely damaged, you may need to replace it. This is a more involved process that should be done by a professional. First, the old plaster will need to be removed. This can be done with a chisel, hammer, or power drill. Once the old plaster is removed, new plaster will need to be mixed and applied to the wall. The new plaster will need to be smoothed out and left to dry. Once it is dry, you can sand it down, apply a new layer of paint or wallpaper, and enjoy your newly repaired wall.
Tips and Warnings on How to Fix Uneven Plaster Walls
- Check the wall for any nails that may be protruding. If there are any, use a hammer to push them back into the plaster gently.
- Use a putty knife to apply joint compound to any cracks or holes in the wall.
- Use a wet sponge to smooth out the joint compound.
- Allow the joint compound to dry completely.
- Once the joint compound is dry, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots.
- Apply a primer to the wall if necessary.
- Paint the wall with your desired color.
- Be careful not to damage the plaster when pushing in nails.
- Make sure the joint compound is completely dry before painting it. Otherwise, the paint may not adhere properly.
- Do not apply too much joint compound at once, as it can cause the wall to bulge.
So there you have it. Now you know how to fix uneven plaster walls. Follow these steps, and your walls will look good as new in no time. With a little bit of elbow grease, you can have the smooth, evenly textured walls you’ve always wanted.