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It is very rare to see older plaster without any cracks, and there are those of us that find cracks part of plaster's aesthetic character and charm - love plaster, love cracks. Cracking, however, can also be serious and lead to further plaster damage if not taken care of.

Cracks occur for a variety of reasons, many of which are simply the natural reactions of plaster compounds and building materials. Climate and temperature changes, building settling and moving over time, weight loads, chimney movement and environmental stresses (heavy traffic, nearby trains, construction blasting) all contribute to plaster cracking.

Assuming we have a crack in stabile plaster in need of repair, Boland Painters and Restorers find this method very successful.

Remove the plaster involved in the cracking by digging it out down to the brick layer with a sharp utility knife (have lots of extra blades on hand for this). Following the crack you will create a V-notch by removing the plaster along both sides of the crack, cutting at an angle until you see the bricks. You want to open up the V-notch that is approximately 15mm wide at the opening, and angles in down to the bricks. You are creating an angle so that your infill material will have maximum bonding surface without losing too much plaster around the crack. By opening up the crack in this way, you are minimizing the amount of debris that might be pushed in behind the plaster, causing more damage.

Next, vacuum out the crack well, carefully removing additional debris and dust, brush out gently with a small hand broom or paintbrush, then use a spray bottle and damp sponge to clean the dust off the plaster and prepare the surfaces for infilling.

Mix the Poly Filla to peanut butter consistency. Push it into the crack, coming at it perpendicularly from each side of the crack so that you are gently pushing it into the notch and "smooshing" it under the plaster achieving a little reattachment. After each infill application, stand your knife up on end to scrape off any excess filler, and to leave the fill flush with existing surface. It will shrink as it sets up, requiring 2-3 coats. Boland Painters and Restorers usually use Poly Filla sandable for the final coat so any final touch ups can occur by sanding the repair flush with 150-grit sandpaper block.

If you finish your crack repair and it dents in slightly, you can go back with a coat of sandable Poly Filla to perfect your repair. To properly prepare repaired surfaces for repainting, we use a 1:3 vinegar and water rinse to restore the surface pH. At this point your plaster is ready for priming and painting.

Peace of Mind

Boland Painters has been in the business of painting residential homes and commercial properties since 2006. As such we know how easily small detail if overlooked can amount to quite a substantial sum at the end of your project. For this very reason we will put aside the time needed to comprehend your needs and the requirements of your project. Providing you with a detailed quotation, leaving no surprises when you receive our final invoice.

This quotation will also serve as a blue print for the team assigned to your painting, building or electrical project ensuring your project is completed to specification. If you would like a quotation or make use of our color consultation service, one of our experienced site managers will personally visit your property. If during your project any problem arises, we are here to listen and find a solution. Professional Painters, Builders and Electrical Contractors, Boland Painters is your restoration expert.

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Advice and Handy Tips

  • 26
    Aug '15

    First tile then paint

    Q. We have been dreaming of re-doing our kitchen for years now. After much debate we decided to take the plunge and go for it. Now we are wondering what we should do first, paint the walls or tile the floor?

    A. Well this question caused quite some debate in the Boland Painters, Builders and Electrical Contractor's office, but in the end we all agreed that tiling first is the best option. Allow the tile cement and grout to dry completely then cover the floor with heavy duty plastic taping the edges to the tiles with masking tape. And then start painting the walls. After all it is easier to cover a floor that it is to cover all the walls.

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Worcester

17 Reyger Street
Van Riebeeck Park
Worcester, 6850
Phone: 023 342 8707
Email: edwin@bolandpainters.co.za