How to patch plaster

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How to patch plaster

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Project Overview

Learn how to patch a hole in a hard plaster wall. We’ll show you how to prepare the area, patch it up, and apply sealer so that the wall is ready to paint.
Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Prepare the area
2 Apply the topping compound
3 Sand back the topping compound
4 Seal the patch
  • Step 1. Prepare the area

    In this example the hole hasn’t gone back to brick so we can patch the white set with some topping compound. If it did go all the way back to brick we would need to put a cement mix in there, let that dry, then cover it over with the topping compound. To prepare the area rough up the surface using a sanding block and remove any excess dust with a paintbrush.

  • Step 2. Apply the topping compound

    Mix up the topping compound until it is like thick toothpaste. Apply it to the wall using the hawk and spatula. Put it on thickly to fill the hole, then scrape it back. 

  • Step 3. Sand back the topping compound

    Once the topping compound is dry, sand back the area, in a circular motion, until it is smooth, even and ready for painting.

  • Step 4. Seal the patch

    Use a paintbrush to cover the patch with a sealer. Make sure you wear a respirator mask. Let the sealer dry. The wall is ready for a coat of paint.

Tools and Materials


  • Plasterers hawk
  • Safety gear
  • Sanding block
  • Spatula


  • Sealer
  • Topping compound

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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