How Much Does It Cost to Repair Plaster?

Average range: $500 - $1,000
Low
$350
Average Cost
$750
High
$1,200
(professional plaster repair of minor holes, cracking, and chipping on a 10 sq. ft. wall)

Get free estimates from plastering, stucco and molding contractors near you
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How Much Does It Cost to Repair Plaster?

Average range: $500 - $1,000
Low
$350
Average Cost
$750
High
$1,200
(professional plaster repair of minor holes, cracking, and chipping on a 10 sq. ft. wall)

Get free estimates from plastering, stucco and molding contractors near you
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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 plaster, causing it to stain or discolor. Plaster repair quickly adds a long-lasting facelift to the damaged surface and makes the wall look new again. Ideally, plaster should undergo repairs before painting the wall.

The national average to repair a typical 10 sq. ft. wall of plaster with minor holes, chipping, and cracking ranges from $500 to $1,000, with the average being $750. At the low end of the spectrum, the cost to repair a 10 sq. ft. wall with only a few tiny holes and cracks in the plaster is about $350. At the high end of the spectrum, the cost to repair large holes, ceiling plaster, extensive cracking, chipping, and water damage is about $1,200.

Plaster Wall Repair Cost

Plaster Repair Costs
National average cost$750
Average range$500 - $1,000
Minimum cost$350
Maximum cost$1,200


Updated: What's new?

Plaster Repair Cost by Project Range

Low
$350
Repair a few tiny holes and minor cracks in a 10 sq. ft. wall
Average Cost
$750
Professional plaster repair of minor holes, cracking, and chipping on a 10 sq. ft. wall
High
$1,200
Cracked, water damaged, and chipped plaster repair in a 10 sq. ft. ceiling

Plaster Repair Cost per Square Foot

The cost to repair plaster per square foot varies depending on the extent of the damage. Small holes and slight cracking average $50 to $80 per sq. ft. Large holes, extensive cracking, and chipping range from $70 to $100 per sq. ft. Ceiling repair averages $100 to $120 per sq. ft. Most plasterers focus on repairing 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 cost more due to the use of ladders. The following table shows the costs to repair plaster on various wall or ceiling sizes.


Plaster Repair Cost per Square Foot

Plaster Repair Cost per Square Foot


Surface SizeCost per Sq. Ft. (Materials and Labor)
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 Problem

Plaster walls are amazingly durable, so they might only sustain a small area of damage. You may hesitate to have the entire wall replastered. The average cost of plaster repair is $50 to $400 per sq. ft. depending on the problem. Many plaster repair services are charged by the square foot. Others are charged by the repair. Chips, holes, and minor cracks manifest in plaster 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 repair.


Plaster Repair Cost  by Problem

Plaster Repair Cost  by Problem


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


Cost to Repair Nail Holes in Wall

The cost to repair 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 cost of repairing nail holes in a wall include how many holes need repairs if the wall requires finishing or texture work.

Cracked Plaster Repair

Cracked plaster repair 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 repair 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 cost to repair a hole in the plaster that is large does not vary from a small hole. The cost averages around $50 to $80 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 immediate repair. Increases in the cost spectrum might result from any finishing or texture work needed to complete the process. Fixing large holes in plaster walls is typically not any more time consuming than smaller holes.

Repairing Water Damaged Plaster

Repairing water-damaged plaster requires experienced plaster repair services, which will average $70 to $100 per sq. ft. depending on the size and extent of the damage. If the plaster 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 $2,000 to $5,000 for drying and repairs.

Crumbling Plaster Repair

Crumbling plaster repair 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 plaster starts to crumble and break away into powder and chunks. The only way to repair the damage is to remove the old plaster and replace it with new plaster.

Sagging Plaster Ceiling Repair

Sagging plaster ceiling repair costs 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 cost to the higher end of the range. A sagging plaster ceiling occurs due to age, possible water damage, or a settling foundation. In some situations, the repairs 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 cost to repair plaster on a wall averages $70 to $100 per sq. ft. The cost to repair sections of the ceiling averages $100 to $120 per sq. ft. The living room is often the most repaired room for plaster 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 cost. If the ceiling is a cathedral ceiling, ladders and scaffolding are often required, which drives up the cost. Often the molding needs replacing on a plaster wall, so you’ll need a skilled carpenter to replace the wood molding trim.


Plaster Repair Cost by Location

Plaster Repair Cost by Location


Damaged AreaCost per Sq.Ft. (Materials and Labor)
Wall$50-$100
Molding$50-$100
Ceiling$100-$120


Plaster Wall Repair Cost

Plaster wall repair costs average from $50 to $100 per sq. ft. to repair holes, chips, and discoloration and fill cracks effectively. One of the most common issues with plaster walls is doorknobs hitting it or nail holes left from things hanging on the wall. After being repaired, the wall undergoes smoothing or is textured to match the surrounding walls and prepared for painting.

Plaster Molding Repair

Ornamental molding fashioned from plaster, such as crown molding, often adorns plaster walls. The cost to repair plaster molding is the same as repairing any other part of a plaster wall and averages from $50 to $100 per sq. ft. The molding can break or crack and require repair. The plaster molding pieces are either replaced using similar plaster 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 plaster molding.

Plaster Ceiling Repair Cost

Lath and plaster ceiling repair costs average $100 to $120 per sq. ft. The extra cost of the repair 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 repaired before lath and plaster ceiling repair begins.


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Plaster Repair Cost by Method

The cost of materials is normally included in the average repair cost $50 to $120 per sq. ft. The most common repair method used to fix cracks or holes involves using a joint compound to fill in the hole for about $15 for the tub of joint compound. Depending on the size of the crack, spackle or an adhesive might also be used to fill in the imperfection. Once filled, the repairman works to make the surface match the wall or ceiling texture to look either smooth or textured.


Plaster Repair Cost by Method

Plaster Repair Cost by Method


Repair MaterialCost (Materials Only)
Spackle Cost$5/16 oz. container
Plaster Repair Adhesive$5/10 oz. tube
Skim Coat Plaster Repair$11/8 lbs.
Joint Compound$15/16 oz. container


Spackle Cost

A small 16 oz tub of wet spackle costs only $5. The spackle is ideal for filling small holes like nail holes. It can also be used on chips or other imperfections. Spackle for plaster walls is no different than for drywall. The repairman 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 repairman will work to match the texture of the surrounding walls, so the spackle does not stand out. Spackling holes in plaster walls is relatively simple and quick.

Plaster Repair Adhesive

Adhesive is often used to fill in cracks on a plaster wall. The cost of a tube of adhesive for plaster averages $5. Adhesives do not harden completely but still have a little “give,” making it ideal for filling in the cracks in plaster 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 repair spot.

Skim Coat Plaster Repair

Skim coat plaster repair involves using a container of skim coat, which averages $11 for 8 pounds of plaster. All imperfections are filled in with a skim coat plaster. The drawback to this method is that the cracking can reoccur over time because the plaster 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 low cost.

Repairing Plaster Walls With Joint Compound

Repairing plaster walls with joint compound is the most popular method of effectively fixing holes and cracks. The joint compound cost averages $15 for 16 oz. tub. Usually, metal braces or a mesh-like material is placed over the crack in the plaster if it is large. The braces or mesh-like material help stabilize the damage so that the joint compound can be added.

Plaster Repair Cost

A drywall contractor who also specializes in plaster is the contractor of choice for plaster repair work. They typically charge by the square foot, which can average from $50 to $120 per sq. ft. The extent of the damage and if the repairs are on the wall or the ceiling impact the cost. Some drywall contractors also charge by the hour, which averages $60 to 90 per hour. The cost of the materials is typically included in the cost per sq. ft. of the repairs or by the hour.

Some homeowners opt to hire a handyman to repair plaster if he states that he has experience working with plaster. A handyman charges by the hour at a rate of $60 to $90 per hour. He will evaluate the damage to the plaster to determine how long it will take him to make the necessary repairs. Usually, a minor to medium plaster repair job will average from $100 to $300. The repairman might charge $5 to $15 for spackling, joint compound, adhesive, plaster, or spackle.


Close-up of a professional fixing a plaster wall


Cost to Replace Plaster with Drywall

Many older homes have plaster, and a homeowner might want to swap it out for drywall. The cost to install drywall on 1,000 sq. ft. averages $1,750. However, before installing drywall, you must have the plaster removed by scraping and breaking it off the wall’s surface or installing a drop ceiling over the existing plaster. The cost to remove plaster averages $2 to $3 per sq. ft. for demolition. Disposal averages $0.10 to $0.20 per sq.ft. Once the plaster is gone, a drywaller will hang the sheets of drywall, tape the joints, and texture the walls in preparation for paint.

Cost to Replaster Walls

The cost to replaster walls averages $200 to $800 for a 100 sq. ft. surface if you start with a blank wall that has already had all plaster removed. Basically, with such a process, you are having new plaster installed as if it were an entirely new construction process. If you decide not to remove the old plaster and want to have the wall replastered over the existing plaster, the cost is considerably higher. You will pay $1,000 or more for a 100 sq. ft. surface. The time needed to replaster 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 200 sq. ft. wall that undergoes mold remediation will cost $1,500 to $3,500. If the plaster has been damaged due to a leaking roof, plumbing problems such as a burst pipe, or flooding, mold might be present. Plaster repair cannot be completed until the water damage is repaired and any mold remediation is performed.

Painting Old Plaster Walls

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

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • It is typically not recommended that you undertake plaster repairs as a DIY project if you want the area to look pristine and the repairs to last. Plaster repair is a skilled trade that requires knowledge to complete effectively. If you decide to repair small holes or cracks in the plaster, you’ll need either joint compound, spackle, adhesive, or plaster to fill in the problem areas. You'll then need to sand, texture, and paint the repaired spot to match the rest of the wall’s surface. Repairing a plaster ceiling or wall can be dangerous because it requires a ladder and possibly scaffolding.
  • Not all drywall experts repair plaster. You’ll want to ask the repairman or drywall contractor about their experience in plaster repair. Also, it is a good idea to take at least three estimates so you can figure out the average cost of the job.
  • 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.

FAQs

  • How to remove plaster ceiling?

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

  • How to repair textured plaster walls?

Textured plaster walls are usually repaired using a skim coat plaster repair method. This involves putting new plaster over the old plaster 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 plaster wall. Joint compound is the preferred method, followed by adhesive, plaster, or spackle.

  • 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 plaster 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?

Plaster 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.

Updated:
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
Professional fixing a whole in a plaster wall

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

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