How Much Does It Cost to Repair Plaster?

Average range: $500 - $1,000
Low
$250
Average Cost
$750
High
$1,200
(Plaster repair of minor holes, cracking, and chipping on a 10 sq.ft. wall)

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Reviewed by Laura Madrigal. Written by Fixr.com.

Over time, plaster walls can crack from stress, deteriorate due to age, sustain small or large holes, and show chipping. In some cases, water damage, such as from a leaking roof, can damage this material, causing it to stain or discolor. This kind of reparation quickly adds a long-lasting facelift to the damaged surface and makes the wall look new again. Ideally, this material type of should undergo fixing before painting the wall.

The national average to repair plaster ranges from $500 to $1,000, with the average being $750 to fix a typical 10 sq.ft. wall with minor holes, chipping, and cracking. At the low end of the spectrum, the price to fix only a few nail holes and cracks is about $250. At the high end of the spectrum, the price to fix large holes, ceilings, extensive cracking, chipping, and water damage is about $1,200.

Plaster Repair Price

Plaster Repair Cost
National average cost$750
Average range$500-$1,000
Minimum cost$250
Maximum cost$1,200


Plaster Repair Cost by Project Range

Low
$250
Repair of a few nail holes and minor cracks
Average Cost
$750
Plaster repair of minor holes, cracking, and chipping on a 10 sq.ft. wall
High
$1,200
Repair of a cracked, water damaged, and chipped 10 sq.ft. ceiling

Plaster Repair Cost per Square Foot

The price to fix plaster ranges from $50 to $120 per sq.ft., depending on the extent of the damage. Small holes and slight cracking average $50 to $80 per sq.ft. You will spend about $70 to $100 per sq.ft. on extensive chipping and cracking or fixing large holes. You can expect to pay $100 to $120 per sq.ft. for fixing a ceiling. Most plasterers focus on fixing a wall or ceiling at a time, so they charge by the wall size. They measure the size of the wall and charge accordingly to fix all imperfections on the wall’s surface. Ceilings are more expensive more due to the use of ladders. The following table shows the average prices on various wall or ceiling sizes.

Cost to Repair Plaster on a 10 sq.ft., 20 sq.ft., 30 sq.ft. and 40 sq.ft. Wall

Cost to Repair Plaster on a 10 sq.ft., 20 sq.ft., 30 sq.ft. and 40 sq.ft. Wall

Surface SizeReparation Price (Labor Included)
10 sq.ft.$500 - $1,200
20 sq.ft.$1,000 - $2,400
30 sq.ft.$1,500 - $3,600
40 sq.ft.$2,000 - $4,800

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Plaster Repair Cost by Method

The average job fixing plaster is priced from $5 to $25 for materials only. The total price depends on the method chosen. This price may increase or decrease depending on how much material is needed and which method is best for the job. In the table below, you will see a list of the most common materials used and their average prices, excluding labor.

Cost of Spackle, Adhesive, Skim Coat, and Joint Compound to Repair Plaster

Cost to Repair Plaster with Spackle, Adhesive, Skim Coat, and Joint Compound

MethodPrice (Materials Only)
Spackle$5 - $10/16 oz. container
Adhesive$5 - $10/10 oz. tube
Skim Coat$10 - $15/8 lbs.
Joint Compound$15 - $25/16 oz. container

Spackle Cost

A small 16 oz. tub of wet spackle is priced at only $5 to $10. The spackle is ideal for filling small holes like nail holes. It can also be used on chips or other imperfections. Spackle for walls is no different than for drywall. The contractor will use the wet spackle to fill in the imperfection. Once it dries, the area is touched up with sandpaper. If the surface is textured, the professional will work to match the texture of the surrounding walls, so the spackle does not stand out. Spackling holes in walls is relatively simple and quick.

Plaster Repair Adhesive

Adhesive is often used to fill in cracks on a wall. The price of a tube of adhesive for this type of material is $5 to $10. Adhesives do not harden completely but still have a little “give,” making it ideal for filling in the cracks in the material if the house continues to settle or has ongoing foundation issues. Unfortunately, paint and plaster do not always adhere well to adhesive formulas. Over time, they may flake off the spot being worked on.

Skim Coat Plaster Repair

Skim coat work involves using a container of skim coat, which is priced from $10 to $15 for 8 pounds of material. All imperfections are filled in with a skim coat. The drawback to this method is that the cracking can reoccur over time because the material does not always adhere to itself as well as it does to a joint compound, adhesive, or spackle. However, this method is quick, easy, and cheap.

Repairing Plaster Walls With Joint Compound

Fixing walls made of this material with joint compound is the most popular method of effectively fixing holes and cracks. The joint compound price averages $15 to $25 for a 16 oz. tub. Usually, metal braces or a mesh-like material is placed over the crack if it is large. The braces or mesh-like material help stabilize the damage so that the joint compound can be added. When the joint compound dries into the mesh, it creates a stronger seal that will resist cracking better in the future.

Plaster Repair Cost by Problem

The average price of this kind of solution is $50 to $120 per sq.ft., depending on the problem. Wall made of this material are amazingly durable, so they might only sustain a small area of damage. You may hesitate to have the entire wall replastered. Many services are charged by the square foot. Others are charged by the job itself. Chips, holes, and minor cracks manifest in this kind of material from the impact of projectiles or heavy objects. Holes and cracks that occur from a settling foundation or water are often deep in the plaster, requiring more extensive work.

Cost to Repair Plaster with Nail Holes, Cracks, Holes, Water Damage, Crumbling Plaster, and Sagging

Cost to Repair Plaster with Nail Holes, Cracks, Holes, Water Damage, Crumbling Plaster, and Sagging

DamagePrice per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Nail Holes$50 - $80
Cracked Plaster$70 - $100
Hole$70 - $100
Water Damage$70 - $100
Crumbling$70 - $100
Sagging Ceiling$75 - $120

Cost to Repair Nail Holes in Wall

The price to fix nail holes in a wall ranges from $50 to $80 per sq.ft. Homeowners often fill nail holes before painting a wall or simply for aesthetics. Damage can occur due to hanging pictures, light fixtures, chipping, or other household mishaps. Factors that impact the price of fixing nail holes in a wall include how many holes need fixing if the wall requires finishing or texture work.

Cracked Plaster Repair

Fixing cracks averages $70 to $100 per sq.ft. depending on the depth, extent, and size of the crack. Cracking usually occurs due to stress, which might result from the settlement of the foundation, structural problems, poor installation, seismic activity, or simple age. Cracks that measure ¼ of an inch or wider are difficult to fix because they require a filler such as joint compound or adhesive in addition to mesh or fasteners to affix the filler.

Cost to Repair Hole in Plaster Wall

The price to fix a large hole in the material does not vary from a small hole, with the price averaging around $70 to $100 per sq.ft. Whether the hole resulted from a baseball glancing off the side of the wall, a fist to the wall, or a doorknob hitting the wall’s surface when the door is thrown open forcefully, the hole is unsightly and needs an immediate solution. Increases in the price spectrum might result from any finishing or texture work needed to complete the process. Fixing large holes in walls is typically not any more time consuming than smaller holes.

Repairing Water Damaged Plaster

Fixing water-damaged material requires experienced services, which will average $70 to $100 per sq.ft. depending on the size and extent of the damage. If the wall is still damp, you’ll need to fix the cause of the water leak, such as plumbing or a leaking roof. You might also have to employ a restoration service that averages $1,000 to $5,000 for drying and reparations.

Crumbling Plaster Repair

The price to fix crumbling material averages $70 to $100 per sq.ft. depending on the extent of the damage. The damage can occur from age, water damage that has dried, or settling of the home. The material crumbles and breaks away into powder and chunks, and eventually, it creates holes and damaged areas so big that they cannot be fixed. The only option becomes replacing the old material.

Sagging Plaster Ceiling Repair

Fixing a sagging ceiling has a price between $75 and $120 per sq.ft. and depends on the size of the sagging and the height of the ceiling. A high ceiling requires a ladder and scaffolding, which can drive the price to the higher end of the range. A sagging ceiling occurs due to age, possible water damage, or a settling foundation. In some situations, the work cannot occur until the water damage source is found, such as a leaking roof, structural issues, or dripping plumbing.

Plaster Repair Cost by Location

The price to fix plaster on a wall averages $50 to $100 per sq.ft. The price to fix sections of the ceiling averages $100 to $120 per sq.ft. The living room is often the most renovated room for this type of material because a family spends a considerable amount of time in the room and often hangs various pictures on the wall. The size of the room and the amount of molding used impacts the price. If the ceiling is a cathedral ceiling, ladders and scaffolding are often required, which drives up the price. Often the molding needs replacing on a wall, so you’ll need a skilled carpenter to replace the wood molding trim.

Cost to Repair Plaster Wall, Molding, and Ceiling

Cost to Repair Plaster Wall, Molding, and Ceiling

Damaged AreaPrice per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Wall$50 - $100
Molding$50 - $100
Ceiling$100 - $120

Plaster Wall Repair Cost

Wall fixing prices average from $50 to $100 per sq.ft. to fix holes, chips, and discoloration and fill cracks effectively. One of the most common issues with walls of this material is doorknobs hitting it or nail holes left from things hanging on the wall. After being fixed, the wall undergoes smoothing or is textured to match the surrounding walls and prepared for painting.

Plaster Molding Repair

The price to fix molding is the same as fixing any other part of a wall and averages from $50 to $100 per sq.ft. Ornamental molding fashioned from this material, such as crown molding, often adorns walls. The molding can break or crack and require fixing. The molding pieces are either replaced using similar pieces or fixed using spackle, joint compound, or plaster to fill in holes or cracks. After filling in the imperfections, the area is smoothed, and the texture is matched to form a perfect appearing molding.

Plaster Ceiling Repair Cost

Lath and plaster ceiling repair prices average $100 to $120 per sq.ft. The extra expense of the work is because the repairman will need to use scaffolding and ladders to reach the ceiling to carry out the fixes. If the ceiling is sagging or has sustained water damage, then the source of the leak, such as a poor roof or plumbing problems, will need to be fixed before ceiling work begins.

Labor Cost to Repair Plaster

Of the $750 to fix plaster, approximately 80% to 85% of the price are attributed to labor, or about $600 to $650, with materials making up the other 15 to 20%. A drywall contractor who also specializes in this form of material is the contractor of choice for this kind of work. They typically charge by the sq.ft., although some drywall contractors also charge by the hour, which averages $70 to $100 per hour.

Some homeowners opt to hire a handyman to complete these repairs if he states that he has experience working with this type of material. A handyman charges by the hour at a rate of $50 to $100 per hour. In either case, the price of materials is typically included in the total hourly or per sq.ft. rate you are given for the job. If the materials incur an additional charge, they should disclose that in the estimate and any other potential expenses. The size of the problem, the type of work needed, and the complexity of the work impact what you pay.

To fix drywall, a handyman or drywall contractor will inspect the damaged area and determine the best course of action (patching, spackling, replacement etc.). Then, they gather the necessary materials, prep the surface to remove any excess debris or damage, and make sure that it is ready for the solution to be applied. The repairs will be made using the appropriate tools and materials. When the job is completed, the material should blend into the rest of the wall or ceiling and look just like new.

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Cost to Replace Plaster with Drywall

The price to install drywall averages $1.50 to $3.50 per sq.ft. Many older homes have this kind of material, and a homeowner might want to swap it out for drywall. However, before installing drywall, you must have the material removed by scraping and breaking it off the wall’s surface or installing a drop ceiling over the existing ceiling. The price to remove plaster averages $2 to $3 per sq.ft. for demolition. Disposal averages $0.10 to $0.20 per sq.ft. Once the material is gone, a drywaller will hang the sheets of drywall, tape the joints, and texture the walls in preparation for paint.

Close-Up of a Professional Fixing a Plaster Wall

Cost to Replaster Walls

The price to replaster walls averages $500 for a 100 sq.ft. surface if you start with a blank wall that has already had all material removed. Basically, with such a process, you are having new material installed as if it were an entirely new construction process. If you decide not to remove the old material and want to have the wall covered over the existing material, the price is considerably higher. You will pay $1,000 or more for a 100 sq.ft. surface. The time needed to to do a 100 sq.ft. surface can take an entire day to complete.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Mold Remediation Cost

Mold remediation might be required before plasterwork. Typically, a wall that undergoes mold remediation will set you back around $1,500 to $3,500. If the material has been damaged due to a leaking roof, plumbing problems such as a burst pipe, or flooding, mold might be present. This type of wprk cannot be completed until the water damage is fixed and any mold remediation is performed.

Painting Old Plaster Walls

A professional painter charges $2 to $6 per sq.ft. to prep and paint the walls. The price includes all the necessary materials to carry out the paint job. If your walls have undergone fixing, they will probably be noticeable next to the wall’s painted surface. Following the job, you'll probably want to have a professional paint the old walls to make them look new again.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • DIY. It is typically not recommended that you undertake work of this kind as a DIY project if you want the area to look pristine and the reparations to last. Fixing this form of material is a skilled trade that requires knowledge to complete effectively. Fixing a ceiling or wall can be dangerous because it requires a ladder and possibly scaffolding.
  • Experienced professionals. Not all drywall experts can fix this type of material. You’ll want to ask the drywall contractor about their experience in fixing this type of material.
  • Licensing and insurance. Only work with a licensed and insured contractor to ensure the job is carried out according to all local, city, county, and state requirements. The insurance protects you if any damage should occur to your home or the workers during the renovations.
  • Estimates. It is important to get at least three estimates from drywall professionals to ensure that you get a fair price and do not overpay for fixing this type of material.

FAQs

  • How much does it cost to repair plaster cracks?

Typically, you can expect to spend $70 to $100 per sq.ft. to fix cracks, depending on their size and severity.

  • How much does it cost to repair a plaster ceiling?

The average price to fix a plaster ceiling is $100 to $120 per sq.ft., which will vary depending on what needs to be fixed and how extensive the damage is.

  • Can plaster walls be repaired?

Typically, as long as the damage is minor and contained to a small area, reparation will be possible. If the damaged area is too large, a replacement may be required.

  • How to remove plaster ceiling?

A plaster ceiling is scraped and chiseled with a hammer and crowbar to remove all of the old material. It will flake and breakaway into chunks that are ready for disposal.

  • How to repair textured plaster walls?

Textured walls are usually fixed using a skim coat plaster reparation method. This involves putting new material over the old material to create a textured appearance that matches the surrounding wall.

  • How to repair peeling paint on plaster walls?

The peeling paint will need to be scraped and removed before painting with a new coat of paint. You can also use a putty knife to scrape away the old paint.

  • What to use to patch plaster walls?

Use a joint compound, spackle, adhesive, or plaster to patch a wall. Joint compound is the preferred method, followed by the other materials.

  • Is plaster more expensive than drywall?

Plaster is more expensive than drywall because of the additional time needed to install it.

  • Is crumbling plaster dangerous?

Crumbling material on a ceiling can be dangerous because large pieces of very hard, cement-like plaster can fall and hit a person in the head.

  • How long does plaster last?

It can last for a hundred or more years if it is taken care of and not exposed to abuse or water damage.

Cost to repair plaster varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources