I have a couple of problems with the plaster of my house, and when it comes to repainting, I want to try to fix them.

I've watched some youtube videos, and done a lot of googling, and although my search has produced a variety of products that I can use, I've had conflicting information and also such a wide range of products, that I am at a loss of how to proceed. It's also quite hard to find exact details of procedures, as there are many topics on what to use, but it's unclear how to apply.

photographs of problem areas are below.

Some are caused by penetrating damp, which is now fixed.

For the green, my plan was to try to sand the bumps away, and then apply something like "Polycell Ready Mixed Plaster Repair".

It's unclear if I have to remove the paint first, or how to even remove the paint as it's not really flaking. I was basically going to slap some on, and buy one of those trowels and try to smooth it as flat as possible, then when it is dry, sand it and paint it (first adding diluted paint as a primer).

For the yellow, I am really not sure, perhaps I can do the same thing?

The white at the bottom I really have no idea, I suppose again, the same thing but I am not sure how to get a clean edge.

I have read things about pva glue, stain block, joint compound (?) and all kinds of stuff, so I am overwhelmed. I am a total DIY beginner, the best I've done so far is just sanding and painting.

Any advice would be welcome.

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  • 1
    Do you have persistent moisture issues in these areas? That's often the reason for such peeling on a home's interior. It also determines the type of products you should use. Please revise to mention that if it's relevant.
    – isherwood
    Aug 26, 2020 at 13:48
  • Not persistent now, the front/side render of the house was starting to fail, and I had it repainted/rewaterproofed which fixed the water ingress. This wasn't a very long time ago, just a month or so, if that affects it.
    – NibblyPig
    Aug 26, 2020 at 14:45
  • Isherwood gives some good advice but I would not use setting compound. Setting compound for a diy has been a recipe for what you have. You may want to sand down those bulges a little. For the areas in the middle of the wall you will want a 12” or 18” wide taping knife so you will be able to taper the “patched area” out or fade it , the corners I usually use a 4 or 6” taping knife. For diy only use hot mud where it really must be used in and above shower stalls and around sinks, basins. And use the longest time you can find like 90 minute. For generic repairs on flat surfaces standard mud.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 27, 2020 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


Here are some general guidelines. This sort of work needn't be complex.

  • Loose paint and plaster must be removed. Repairs made over them are likely to fail.
  • Securely-bonded paint does not need to be removed.
  • Glossy surfaces should be scuffed or etched, or should have a bonding primer applied before repairs.
  • If moisture isn't a common problem, standard joint compound (drywall mud) is a fine material for skimming. It's inexpensive, easy to use, and easy to sand.
  • If moisture occurs regularly, use a cement-based setting type joint compound or powdered plaster repair mix. This cures rather than simply drying and resists moisture damage much better.
  • Prime all patched areas to seal the surface in preparation for paint. Ideally, prime the entire wall for best uniformity.
  • Thanks, that sounds good. For the joint compound, could you give me a specific idea of what to buy, for example the name of a product I could get hold of in the UK? There are so many variations. I think given the historic water ingress it would be sensible to use the setting type. I would likely shop here wickes.co.uk/Products/Building-Materials/Plaster+Plasterboard/… or here wilko.com/en-uk/decorating-diy/home-building-maintenance/… . I can't really tell if it is a cement based one or not, although I guess all powdered are
    – NibblyPig
    Aug 26, 2020 at 14:51
  • The polycell products say to use their 'finishing skim' afterwards too. Do you think I need that?
    – NibblyPig
    Aug 26, 2020 at 14:53
  • Product recommendations are off-topic here, and I wouldn't have one for you anyway. You'll have to read labels. The biggest pile of buckets at the store is a good place to start.
    – isherwood
    Aug 26, 2020 at 16:09
  • Hmm, the problem is that nothing seems to be labelled as cement-based. I've checked all the local stores in my area. Some don't even sell joint compound, just 'filler'. I found one that has joint compound, both pre-mixed and powdered, but the drying time is 24 hours which suggests it is not cement-based. I suppose it's just not available in the UK.
    – NibblyPig
    Aug 26, 2020 at 16:50
  • 1
    I'd like to say I repaired this using toupret setting compound, gives you around 40 minutes to apply. Slapped it on, smoothed it out, when it dried, I sanded/primed/painted and the walls have never looked so good. All the above problems completely solved except for the yellow walls which I'm going to do tonight. Hurrah!
    – NibblyPig
    Sep 11, 2020 at 15:47

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