x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Handyman superstar: How to repair cracked walls

My bedroom walls have cracks that need to be repaired immediately. Also, I want to replace some of the tiles that are not very attractive. How can I do all this?

3. Put down newspaper to protect surfaces.
3. Put down newspaper to protect surfaces.

My bedroom walls have cracks that need to be repaired immediately. Also, I want to replace some of the tiles that are not very attractive. How can I do all this?

With concrete construction everywhere in the UAE, sometimes the walls can crack and need to be smoothed over with plaster. Also, before installing new tiles on the wall, you will have to apply plaster on the surface to make it smooth and avoid misalignments.

What you need

  • Plaster
  • Plaster knife

Step 1 Choose how much plaster you will need based on how much you intend to cover. If you are not sure how much you need, you might wish to buy a larger size: plaster is cheap and you don't want to be 90 per cent finished only to run out.

The wider the plaster knife the easier it will be to cover large areas, while smaller ones can provide more control to fix small cracks.

Step 2 Mix the plaster well before using it. If you use an old wire hanger and an electric drill, it is possible to improvise a mixer. You will also find heavy-duty metal mixers in stores that will do the work better. Attach the mixer to the drill and then use it to mix the plaster until it all has the same constancy. If you do not have a mixer or a drill, you can even use your hands. Be prepared for it to be messy. Wet plaster easily rinses off hands and anything else if you clean it early.

Step 3 Put down some newspaper or plastic bags so that there is minimal mess to clean up later.

Now, start gobbling it on. Scoop up a blob of the plaster and press it into the wall, dragging the plaster knife across and up.

Get the top part first, as some of it will dribble down the wall. Then, start at the bottom and work your way up into the middle. You will need to go over it a number of times to ensure that it is sticking properly and to smooth it out. It is a slow process to ensure that it is even and properly adheres to the wall.

Step 4 Once you have finished covering the area, go over it again with the plaster knife to smooth it out as evenly as you can.

After allowing it to dry for a day, you can use a fine grain sandpaper to sand down any bumps or imperfections. I would suggest using sandpaper with a grit over 150 so that it will not rough up the surface. Once it is dry, you can paint or fix tiles over it. Tiles will look much better when applied to a flat surface than one with bumps and crevasses.