How to Screw Into Plaster Walls Without Crumbling Them to Pieces

What Jobs Can a Novice Plasterer Tackle Fairly Easily?

The types of jobs that one can tackle confidently with a small amount of training include the following:

However, one thing that you will definitely need to appreciate is what plastering “feels” like plus how to read and maintain control of the surface that you are plastering. Without expert tuition the probability is very high that you will produce a finish that needs to be completely removed or covered over by a paid expert. It is very likely that the cost to repair in terms of money and or time will far out way the cost or attending a short plastering course.

A good quality finish is the result of managing the tools and materials in response to the changing conditions of the plaster that you are applying and as you can imagine, much of this is down to experience gained through working in this area for many years.


Do stud finders work on plaster walls?

To function properly, the wall surface must have a consistent density level, and be less dense than the wood stud. Stud finders, however, will not always return accurate results with lath and plaster walls because of the very inconsistent method by which they are constructed.

Do you provide any video tutorials for How To Drill Into Plaster?

Surely, we usually offer users the guidance in both posts and video tutorials for How To Drill Into Plaster. These videos are posted for the user’s reference with more details about the making way. Therefore, you can find by How To Drill Into Plaster searching on our tool to know more details.

How To Drill Into Plaster Details

The system has given 14 helpful results for the search "how to drill into plaster". These are the recommended solutions for your problem, selecting from sources of help. Whenever a helpful result is detected, the system will add it to the list immediately. The latest ones have updated on 21st May 2021. According to our, the search "how to drill into plaster" is quite common. Simultaneously, we also detect that many sites and sources also provide solutions and tips for it. So, with the aim of helping people out, we collect all here. Many people with the same problem as you appreciated these ways of fixing.

Delamination: Finish Coat Failure

Often only the top coat of plaster is failing. This is called delamination. If this is the case, scrape off the loose finish coat with a putty knife and brush away loose material. Leave any sound material intact.

Apply a plaster bonding agent (Plaster-Weld is one brand) over the damaged areas. Follow the bonding agent instructions carefully with regard to wall preparation and curing times. Then apply a new finish coat, using either veneer plaster or multiple coats of plaster compound.

Veneer plaster creates a thicker buildup in a single coat than drywall mud. For best results:

  1. Mix small batches to the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  2. Bring the plaster directly to the wall with the trowel and apply it in an arcing motion. (This may take some practice.)
  3. As the plaster begins to dry, brush a coat of water over it and smooth it out quickly. This will help the plaster cure to a smooth finish.

Do Command Strips damage plaster

Answered By: Hunter Rodriguez Date: created: Dec 14 2020

One click tells you Picture Hanging Strips are locked in and holding tight. Best of all, when you are ready to take down or move your pictures, they come off cleanly—no nail holes, cracked plaster or sticky residue.

Asked By: Richard Brooks Date: created: Nov 23 2021

Hang pictures with plaster wall anchors

When drilling into plaster, it is highly recommended to use a wall anchor. Wall anchors ensure that your screws for plaster wall hold properly and don’t break the plaster around them. The best anchors for plaster walls offer extra support by expanding and biting into the other side of the wall as the screw moves through the anchor.

How to Prepare Plaster Walls For Hanging Items

Once you have determined if your walls are plaster or drywall, it’s time to take the appropriate course of action for decorating. Plaster is much harder than drywall and is also more brittle. Hammering nails directly into plaster can create misshapen holes or crack the plaster. To avoid this, use the system below:

  • Find a stud in your plaster walls. Since most stud finders won’t work on plaster, use this magnetic stud finder.
  • Mark the place where the hole is to be drilled with tape. Drill through the tape and into the walls. This prevents the drill bit from cracking the plaster.
  • Drill the hole carefully. For certain hooks or screws it may be beneficial to drill in at a slight downward angle, so the hardware you use acts as a hook.

If you are using a wall-hanging system that doesn’t require you to find a stud, you can skip the first step. For heavier items, you will need to use a magnetic stud finder. Most standard stud finders won’t work on plaster walls because plaster is thick and backed with wood. A magnetic stud finder identifies studs in plaster by locating the nails that hold the lath to the studs.

CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder $11.20 Buy Now We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 03/31/2022 12:20 am GMT

The advantages of plaster wall vs. drywall

Plaster wall has a few great qualities. First of all, it often has a rugged and uneven surface which provides a stylish, old-home look. Drywall on the other hand, is flat and smooth and doesn’t have a whole lot of character.

Secondly, plaster wall is thicker than drywall which provides a much needed level of sound-proofing. Lastly, plaster wall is more contour friendly and allows home builders to create curves around the ceiling and the edge of the wall. One of plaster wall’s downsides, however, is that it’s more brittle than drywall and it can break a lot easier.

The Plastering Process

Having applied scrim tape to the joints and nail heads of the wall that you are about to skim, mix the correct amount of plaster to a smooth creamy consistency making sure that ALL lumps are out and dry patches around the mixing bucket are mixed in. Having pre wet the spot board pour the plaster on to the spot board.

Having also wet your hand board and trowel, prime the hand board with a small amount of plaster and then load the plaster on to the hand board. To transfer the amount of plaster from the hand board to the trowel pass the trowel over the plaster on the hand board and “squeeze” the plaster onto the trowel creating a “sharp” wedge of plaster on the edge of the trowel.

Dividing your wall or ceiling into three notional horizontal sections, start plastering at the top left of the top 1/3 of the wall moving across to the bottom right of the of the top 1/3 of the wall.

Apply an even coat of plaster across the area of about 3mm in depth.

Once you have covered this top 1/3 move down and repeat the process on the middle third. Once that is similarly covered repeat on the bottom 1/3.

The “pattern of three” process described above is to enable novice and experienced plasterers alike to maintain control of their wall and predict the way in which the plaster will go off.

It also helps you to know where you started using a new mix if you run out of plaster half way through a wall.

Now smooth this first coat so that edges and corners are “sharp” using the wet small brush or edge of the trowel.

Also, now smooth the wall following the “pattern of three” to a relatively smooth finish. Basically you are removing raised aspects that are more than 2 mm high and filling any holes in. Typically you will do this by moving the plaster around that is on the wall, essentially moving the high spots into the low spots.

Now make a second mix of Multi Finish and apply this plaster coat to the wall. This is the laying down coat. The first coat of plaster was called the roughing on coat. Follow the exact same “pattern of three” and this time aim for a smoother finish but without delaying the process of getting the entire wall plastered. Remember that plaster will only remain workable for between 10 and 20 minutes prior to putting it on the wall.

Once you have covered the wall you can now do a first trowel on the wall to get it smooth. Again follow the “pattern of three” and avoid concentrating on a single spot. Make sure holes are filled and lines flattened moving towards a finish similar to that which you want to finally achieve. This is really your last chance to get the smooth finish that you require removing large lines and holes!

You are now going to trowel the wall in three sets of three trowels. The first set of three trowels is when the wall is becoming firm and you should trowel the wall with single strokes of the trowel three times.

Up to 15 minutes later and using a moist 4” paint brush, brush the wall ahead of the trowel during the 2nd set of three trowels. This will help to lubricate the passage of the trowel over the drying plaster and prevent dragging.

Now up to 40 minutes later when the wall feels as hard as it does when set you can use the same technique as in the 2nd trowel above to give a final finish to the plaster.

This set of three trowels is done in the “pattern of three” and enables you to maintain a consistent finish across the wall, avoid concentrating on a single area to the determent of the rest of the wall and stops the wall becoming over troweled. The final finish should be dull in appearance yet smooth to the touch.

How do you hang cabinets on plaster walls

Answered By: Malcolm Brown Date: created: Jan 30 2022

How to Install Kitchen Cabinets on Plaster Walls

  1. Locate the wall studs in your kitchen wall.
  2. Make a level line on the wall with the chalk using a carpenter’s level for the location of the bottom of the cabinet.
  3. Drill four holes in the rear of the cabinet with a 3/16-inch drill bit, spaced according to the measurement of the studs, two holes per stud.
Asked By: Joseph Butler Date: created: Mar 27 2021

How much weight can plaster walls hold?

Originally Answered: How much weight can a hollow wall/ plasterboard wall take? Your wall will be able to take as much weight as you can hang on it. Every 12″x12″ span of 1/2″ drywall can hold 40lb in pull out load, as if you were hanging from a ceiling. The other type of load is shear or pull down load.

4. Allow the mist coat to dry

A mist coat will take around 24 hours to dry, but this will depend on the conditions in the room. Once dry, you can start applying top coats. 

Two Methods for Filling a Crack

There are two methods for filling in the crack once the wall is anchored. They are:

The Inverted V Method

  1. Dig out the crack along its length in an inverted V shape and vacuum out any residual debris. This should create a toehold for the patch.
  2. Provided the crack survives without crumbling into chunks, fill and tape it much the same as though it were a drywall joint.
  3. First wet the lath and plaster around the cleaned crack to help the patch adhere (the old, dry materials tend to suck the moisture out of the new plaster before it can fully cure).
  4. Then fill the crack with a coat or two of stiffly mixed joint compound to raise and level out the crack.
  5. Also, take care that the new plaster attaches firmly to the lath by pressing the material through the openings in the slats. Otherwise, the repair will fail.
  6. Float the crack out with two thinner coats of joint compound, sanding between finishes.
  7. Finish with a final layer of joint compound or Easy Sand and touch up sanding.

The Bonding Method

Use a PVA (polyvinyl acetate) plaster bonding agent around the edges of the failed plaster and on any exposed lath before taping the crack. The bonding agent acts as an emulsifier to bond the new plaster to the old without the hit-or-miss method of wetting the old lath and plaster. Then fill in the hole as above. Allow each application of plaster to dry and sand between coats.

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Get the Nail Gun for Larger Jobs

If you are placing molding or anything else that requires a lot of nails, the nail gun is the only way to go. However, there are different types of nail guns out there that do different jobs. Here are the most common ones.

Type of Gun Uses
Finish Nail Gun The finish nail gun is used for baseboards and crown molding. This is the only one you will probably use on plaster walls.
Brad Nail Gun The brad nailer shoots 15-gauge, 16-gauge, and 18-gauge nails, which are pretty small. These are usually used in baseboards, crown molding, and trim. It may also be used for plaster but not often.
Pin Nail Gun Pin nailers are the smallest finish nailers you can get and are used with 23-gauge nails without heads. They can be used in finishing work, molding, furniture trim, and delicate pieces.
Framing Nail Gun Heavy-duty framing nailers are never used for plasterwork. They are used for wood siding, fences, homebuilding, and decks.
Palm Nail Gun Palm nail guns are mini nail guns used in tight spaces. They fit in the palm of your hand and are usually used on small jobs.
Staple Gun You can use a staple gun for many projects. Carpentry, carpets, construction, and upholstery are the main uses.


  • Painting a wall will not fill nail holes.

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  • Avoid using heavy pink putty to fill nail holes as it is more likely to expand outwards as it dries and leaves bumps over your nail holes.

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