How to Fix a Plaster Ceiling Using Drywall

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Drywall board of the correct thickness
Sheets to cover the floor and furniture
Tape measure
Putty knife
Drywall tape
Jointing compound
Drywall knives
Sanding blocks

Though less common today, plaster ceilings were once the standard for both residential and commercial construction. They are subject to cracking and can sag away from the lath to which they were attached. While an expensive expert is usually needed to redo plaster, it is possible to repair your ceiling with drywall sheeting. Follow these easy steps to repair a plaster ceiling in your home.

Step 1 – Protect the Floor

Cover the floor below the damaged part of the ceiling and remove the damaged plaster. As the plaster is removed you will expose the lath and joists.

Step 2 – Mark Out a Work Area in the Plaster

Carefully carve a rectangle into the area of the removed plaster. Use the putty knife and a straightedge to score the rectangular shape into the plaster and then use the hammer and chisel to cut the old plaster into as straight an edge as possible.

Step 3 – Cut the Drywall to Size

Cut the drywall sheet to fit into the rectangle you have just made in the ceiling. Make it as fit as tightly as possible. Take a note of the position of the joists and mark them on the underside of the drywall sheet.

Step 4 – Secure the Drywall

Press the drywall sheet to the hole and secure it to the joists using screws spaced four to six inches apart. While nails can be used, screws make for a stronger attachment.

Step 5 – Apply the Jointing Compound

Apply jointing compound around the drywall sheet and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Don’t worry about any slight shrinking that might occur.

Step 6 – Blend the New Surface Into the Old

Apply more jointing compound and feather it across the plaster to create a continuous surface and leave it to dry. If necessary, apply a second coat.

Step 7 – Final Check on the New Surface

Smooth the surface using the sanding blocks and take care to check for ridges and bubbles. A final light coat of jointing compound might be needed to finish the job. Allow it to dry completely before the last sanding.

Step 8 – Add the Finishing Touches

Treat the whole ceiling with a light primer so that the repaired patch cannot be noticed. To really put the final touch, paint the ceiling with ceiling white which will make the repair invisible. Although you will have not used the original materials, you will still have performed a very effective plaster ceiling repair that will last.