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A person applying filler to a plaster wall with a spatula

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.

Steps

1Prepare 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.

A person hand sanding a hole in a plaster wall

2Apply 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. 

A person applying filler to a plaster wall with a spatula

3Sand 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.

A person hand sanding a patch in a plaster wall

4Seal 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.

A person painting a patched area in a plaster wall

Suggested products

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. 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.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.