I discovered a very wobbly patch of wall about a metre square below a window. The plaster had clearly come away from the brick, so I chipped it off with a view to re-plastering it. Towards the top of the wall there was about a 1cm gap behind the old bonding. The bottom part is in reasonable condition. The real issue is that the top layer of bricks are all completely loose and in places had rotten timber in their place.

To the right of the image you can see more gaps and expanding foam where there should be brick. The story there is that about 10-12 years ago a doorway was added. Instead of finishing off the end of the wall with new brickwork they seem to have stuffed it with foam and piled some thick plaster onto the side. Actually that thick plaster is pretty solid and the finish on the side is good, but that doesn't help the fact there's nothing to bond plaster to from the front.

So going back to my original plan of plastering the wall. How should I handle the fact there's no brick to bond to? Would you recommend plasterboard instead? Or should I repair the brick somehow and plaster as planned?

The surface of the finished wall is exactly one inch from the brick.

I should add that I am a novice plasterer to say the least!

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1 Answer 1


Personally, I'd be looking for some old bricks and mix up some mortar and try to fix that wall. Get rid of the expanding foam and straighten out that right edge. Remove those old pieces of timber. These brick repairs can be time consuming but if you like puzzles, you'll like this. Once the wall is repaired and solid, then plaster away. You could then add a layer of cement board if you felt the one inch of plaster was too thick. Good luck and stay safe out there.

  • Thanks. I feared someone might suggest that. The one thing I don't have is mortar. I have plenty of bricks and even cement board! Getting supplies is such a pain right now.
    – Tim
    May 2, 2020 at 16:28
  • I accepted the answer, because although I came here hoping for a 'trick' the answer was of course to do it properly :)
    – Tim
    May 28, 2020 at 13:22
  • @Tim Most of the people on this site try to give good information on how to successfully complete a project. You have this problem because someone before you did a trick, and now you have to fix it.
    – JACK
    May 28, 2020 at 13:28
  • Yes I know this, hence my comment. I have fixed it. Thanks for your input
    – Tim
    May 28, 2020 at 15:09

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