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07-04-2012, 01:20   #1
ukonline
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DIY Plasterboard ceiling hole fix.

Hi,

I'm trying to get an idea of how to repair a small 2ft square area of bedroom ceiling, (plaster/chalk board), which suffered leak damage. The area has sagged slightly, and there's a hole big enough to slip three or four fingers into.

After watching a few YouTube videos, it seems simple enough to cut out the damaged area and screw a new piece of plasterboard in, either by cutting back to expose joists or using small wood batons to screw the new board to.

The only issue would be finishing with plaster/skim which I've never done before, but as the ceiling is finished with textured ceiling paint, stippled, I wonder if I can just apply fresh textured paint directly onto the new board?

Would I need to tidy up the new board edges first with plaster and tape? What is the procedure? Tape the edges then plaster to level things out?

Any advice appreciated.

As we're on a very tight budget, we can't really afford a plasterer. The leak has been repaired a few months now, btw.

:-)
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07-04-2012, 09:37   #2
DublinDilbert
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As you said cut out the damaged section then replace.

I would strip back the old stipple/plaster where the old board meets the new board. Then apply scrim tape/mesh over the join. Then skim over the join and the new board with profin. then reapply the stipple.

If you don't want to buy a tub of profin, you'll be able to pick up a small quantity of skimming plaster in your local hardware and mix it.
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10-04-2012, 09:20   #3
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Originally Posted by DublinDilbert View Post
As you said cut out the damaged section then replace.

I would strip back the old stipple/plaster where the old board meets the new board. Then apply scrim tape/mesh over the join. Then skim over the join and the new board with profin. then reapply the stipple.

If you don't want to buy a tub of profin, you'll be able to pick up a small quantity of skimming plaster in your local hardware and mix it.
Thanks.

I'll have a crack at it, this week.

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16-04-2012, 15:50   #4
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Update,

Well, I've cut a good square meter out, back to the edges of the plasterboard panels either side, in fact, and those edges are warped. One edge sags about half an inch, the other is warped up about a quarter inch. Tried screws to straighten the edges but that didn't work.

Can't see a new section fitting flush.

As there are only 3 panels in the entire ceiling, I'm now thinking of ripping them all out and replacing? (It's a very small single bedroom in a dormer bungalow about 4m x 3m).

Was thinking of installing furring strips w/shims to the joists to ensure getting a good flat plane to screw the new panels to?

I don't think the joists are aligned well to begin with.

Am I mad?

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16-04-2012, 19:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukonline View Post
Update,

Well, I've cut a good square meter out, back to the edges of the plasterboard panels either side, in fact, and those edges are warped. One edge sags about half an inch, the other is warped up about a quarter inch. Tried screws to straighten the edges but that didn't work.

Can't see a new section fitting flush.

As there are only 3 panels in the entire ceiling, I'm now thinking of ripping them all out and replacing? (It's a very small single bedroom in a dormer bungalow about 4m x 3m).

Was thinking of installing furring strips w/shims to the joists to ensure getting a good flat plane to screw the new panels to?

I don't think the joists are aligned well to begin with.

Am I mad?

Your nuts! There is no need in the world to rip a ceiling down just to fix one hole!

It's not a big job to repair the hole as already described in the posts above
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17-04-2012, 09:59   #6
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dont rip it all down....buy a bag of bonding and use this to bring it out almost flush ( leave a couple of mill for the skim) use a straight bit of timber to level it off..then you can skim over that once it dries...make sure to coat the bonding with pva before skimming...and make sure you have taped up the joints..its an easy enough and cheap fix best of luck with it
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17-04-2012, 11:12   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukonline View Post
Update,


As there are only 3 panels in the entire ceiling, I'm now thinking of ripping them all out and replacing? (It's a very small single bedroom in a dormer bungalow about 4m x 3m).

Was thinking of installing furring strips w/shims to the joists to ensure getting a good flat plane to screw the new panels to?

I don't think the joists are aligned well to begin with.

Am I mad?

Your not mad, if the ceiling is that bad you'll never get a straight join, I mean a perfect one like the ceiling used to look unless your incredibly skilled and an A1 DIYer - That's not calling you useless in case your getting the hump, I've had to repair old ceilings and even my brother who is precise can't get them right.

Instead we ripped out the old ceiling, installed 2" X 1" laths across the old joists, starting in the lowest (closest to the floor) corner and packing the other laths so they stayed level.

Be careful when you rip out the old ceiling, a little time taken at the join of the wall and ceiling will save you a lot of time when you come to fill the joint holes

Is the 4mX3m measurement exact - because that is 13.12ft X 9.84ft and you'll need five 8' X4' panels

Next slab the ceiling, scrim tape it, joint fill all joints and screw holes, maybe joint again after sanding the original joint compound when its dry and now just paint straight on, no need to skim the plasterboard.

Advantages;
  • Straight clean ceiling
  • No repair patches visible - how will you get the new stipple to look exactly like the old
  • You can insulate above the ceiling if it hasn't been done before.

Disadvantages;
  • Cost in money will be more
  • Cost of your time

If you an get someone who is good at DIY to help you it will be finished ready to paint in 2 days. If you want I can post the "recipie" of what we did on a similar repair a few years ago. You'll need to be motivated though as its a long hard day on the first day and you need to be set up right before you even start.

Last edited by quietsailor; 17-04-2012 at 11:17. Reason: added extra info
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17-04-2012, 17:42   #8
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Thanks for the replies.

I popped 'round to the house today and took some photos for clarity. I've labelled them for reference.

I also measured the room. It's only 328cm x 240cm. I reckon 3 slabs of plasterboard.

You can see from the photo of the southside that the sag extends all the way to the edge above the door and on the northside, the edge bows upwards slightly.

The westside edge is uneven too, the small additional hole was cut to feel for the light wiring which is just behind the joist. I want to cut beyond the joist to insert batons/back block if not replacing the whole thing. Photo in next post due to 5 pic maximum per post.

I have no experience of plastering/repair but have plenty of time on my hands.

Would appreciate any further comments about whether or not to remove the entire ceiling or if I would get away with a repair based on the photos.

Thanks!

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Northside 1.JPG (795.9 KB, 441 views)
File Type: jpg Southside 1.JPG (805.0 KB, 336 views)
File Type: jpg Southside 2.JPG (777.5 KB, 279 views)
File Type: jpg Southside 3.JPG (764.4 KB, 231 views)
File Type: jpg Southside 4.JPG (780.3 KB, 233 views)

Last edited by ukonline; 17-04-2012 at 18:03.
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17-04-2012, 17:46   #9
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Photo of the west edge. You can see another damaged section further toward the west wall that was just painted over. The light fixture is just out of shot to the right.

...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Westside 1.JPG (807.2 KB, 191 views)

Last edited by ukonline; 17-04-2012 at 18:02.
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17-04-2012, 19:52   #10
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it looks fairly warped alright....if you have the time id suggest you take it all down...the joists look twisted so you are going to have to do a bit of arsing about if you want it perfectly straight, do you want to stipple it again?? if not then you could re-plaster board it and give it a coat of bonding and straighten out the bumps(make sure to tape the joints before bonding) then give it a coat of skim (let the bonding dry out first) its a messy job for an amateur but its not that difficult,have you got a hawk and trowel? if all that seems a bit much then your better off just re boarding it and then taping it up and using joint filler...this is a far easier method but you will still have the bumps...
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17-04-2012, 20:09   #11
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Sheets of 4 x 2 plasterboard are very handy and managable for diy jobs like this.
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18-04-2012, 00:35   #12
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Thanks again everyone for the replies. Have read them all and decided to take the whole ceiling out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quietsailor View Post
If you want I can post the "recipie" of what we did on a similar repair a few years ago. You'll need to be motivated though as its a long hard day on the first day and you need to be set up right before you even start.
That'd be great, if it's not too much trouble!

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18-04-2012, 08:24   #13
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good man,i`m a plasterer by trade so if you have any questions feel free to ask...good luck
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19-04-2012, 13:58   #14
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Thanks again everyone for the replies. Have read them all and decided to take the whole ceiling out.
That'd be great, if it's not too much trouble!

I'm assuming here that;
- you have someone to help and both of you are used to DIY If your not don't worry, take it slowly and spread it out over a week of nights. I've just visited a friend who (up to 6 months ago) had no DIY skills and has done exactly what I'm writing below.
- your going to do this over a weekend and want to get it finished in the weekend
- Your going to put up 2"X1" laths to level the ceiling
you haven't skimmed before so your going to tape&joint the edges and then just paint the whole lot without skimming (plastering) the ceiling
- the floor is level Check that the floor itself is level - get a lath with a straight edge and put it on the floor - put the spirit level on top and see if it reads level maybe the floor is uneven or sloped - if it is badly uneven think again about this job as it will be very hard to get the room looking right - More than likely the floor will be level though so don't panic.

If at all possible try and get the preparation work done mid week before you start ie get the old ceiling down & out of the room, get the materials bought and stored. I'll write it as if your doing it all on saturday& sunday.

Buy the following;
1. Plasterboard slabs - how many slabs do you want (8'X4' or 4'X2')
2. 2 inch X 1 inch lengths of timber - If your re-levelling the ceiling by putting in new "joists" calculate how many you'll need.
3. roll of tape and jointing compound (not bonding or plastering mix) it comes in a bag similar to cement ie 25kg
4. if you don't have them buy a strip of Electrical connection block sometimes called electrical terminal blocks.
5. Ceiling rose - MAYBE - see explanation below.


Check the following and see what option suits you best;
Check to see if you can get rid of the rubble (plasterboard) at your local dump site/recycling centre (some don't take plasterboard) and if you can;
a.have a trailer outside ready to take the rubble and buckets/wheelbarrows ready to bringit out. Have a sheet of plastic there to cover the trailer if you plan to leave it there for a whileto avoid making a mess when the dust mixes with the rain.
b. No trailer for the moment = make a heap in the yard and dispose later - have a plastic sheet to cover it.
c. If you can't landfill/recycle it nearby consider hiring a skip

Plan of action yes I made this many mistakes myself I remember them all
1. Turn of all the electricity to the house at the fuseboard, remove the ceiling rose (the thing you can see on the ceiling for the light) disconnection the wires. Place the bare ends of the wires in the terminal blocks, cover in insulation tape and push that back up through the plasteboard once your happy all the bare wire is covered. You might want to buy a new ceiling rose as they are often so old and brittle they crack. Once fiished turn the electricity back on.

2a. Rip the ceiling at arms length - there will be dust up there and the original / previous builders will have left offcuts of wood, pipes, drops of plaster etc up on the ceiling - you don't want that falling on you. Use a short crowbar or a hammer.
2b. Be careful where the ceiling joins the wall, rip from the centre of the ceiling out to the walls and when your close enough to look between the joists to where the wall is see if there are pipe/wires over the join. If not think about using a plaster hand saw/mechanical saw (but nothing that creates sparks or heat) to cleanly cut the join between wall and ceiling. DO NOT CUT THE JOISTS, remove the plasterboard under the joists with a hand knife
2c. You will need to remove some of the nails to allow the laths to sit properly on the joists. You might want to have a think here - which way are the slabs running and - place the laths so that they are at 16 inch intervals under the slabs that way there will be 3 laths every 48 inches ie 4 foot . You could leave this job until the 2nd person is back and the rubble cleared out as your going to be playing with the laths getting them level

3. Clear the rubble out. (sounds short but it is the worst part of the job)

Around this point you'll need to break for lunch or just take a break anyway. You should be well past twelve o clock so stop and relax for a while

4. Fixing the laths - this will be a long explanation but shorter in real life -
4a.
- Find what is your lowest corner -If the floor is level measure from the floor to the ceiling at all 4 corners - If they are the same then the corners are all level with each other.
- Are the measurements hugely different - ie cm's rather than mm's = they are unlevel, pick the LOWEST corner (shortest measurement) and use that as your reference level.
- Check that there isn't a bow in one of the original joists that is lower than your lowest corner, if there is take that height as your NEW zero mark and put all laths level with that point. Mark the zero mark at all 4 corners lightly with a pencil.

4b. Fix the first lath to the old joists so that it can be adjusted ,ie maybe use 3-4 screws in it's length instead of permanently fixing it, running ACROSS the joists not parallel as this makes it easier to level it. You want it tight enough not to move but not fixed with so many screws you can't adjust it easily. Put one end in the ZERO CORNER. Now use the spirit level to level the lath then permanently fix it in place packing any spaces between the lath and joist.
- Once this lath is level you done all the hard work - now put up a lath at the other end of the room,levelling it off the 1st lath and then stand back and see if the ceiling looks right ie it doesn't look off square with the floor. You might want to put up a few more laths in between the first two as it will make it easier to visualise the ceiling
there is a trick you can use here - run 2 lengths of string or if you have it (to spare) run 2 straight edged laths between ends of the 1st and 2nd laths as you can see in the sketch. The top of the "guide" will always be level with the bottom of the lath so you just place, pack and screw all other laths in place without using the spirit level. MAKE SURE that the laths are never pressing heavily on the guides or it will distort the guides and create a sag in the ceiling.
- I'm using old measurements - inches - it would be a good idea to put a slab on the floor before you start the laths and arrange/mark on the slab what it will look like at 16" centers ie does the last lath overhang the edge so the next slab can screw onto that lath as well. it'll give you an idea of what your going to do later.

6. Screw the slabs on. If your using large slabs ie 8'X4' it would be nice to have a third person handy for the next hour. Two of ye can hold the slab in place leaving a 3mm gap all round and the third screw it. There should be 5 screws across the 4' width and 7 screws in the length of a slab - assuming you used 16" centers in all directions.
A trick to get the 3mm is to fold hard cardboard into a right angle and screw some to the existing slab, now just press the new slab against it and you don't need to worry about measuring for the correct gap it will be there. The 3mm gap is to allow the jointing compound to squeeze up between the slabs and get a better grip. 3mm isn't precise either - you'd get away with 4 or 5mm.

At this stage you'll be late Sat night, if you can get point seven out of the way you can sand the dry joint compound on Sun and re-fill any small gaps. That leaves it ready to paint. IF your not at this point on Sat night DON'T WORRY. You can do everything after this point on your own so you can leave it ti mid-week if you feel like it.


7. Tape all the joints and screw holes. You'll see the slabs have a depression at their edges - this is to give the jointing compound room to cover the tape without the tape showing. Get a smooth straight edge longer than the depessions and smooth the jointing compound so it fills both depressions. You'll probably need to come back tomorrow when its dry and refill any holes you missed/ridges you made.
7a. Don't forget to bring the wires for the ligh back down through the slabs. If possible run them through a joist or a lath so you have something solid to screw the new light fitting to.

8. Run your hands & a straight edge over all the joints & screw holes. If you can't feel imperfections - congratulations your ready to paint.

This looks like a lot - both to write and to do. I was lucky enough that I had it written in an email for another friend so I copied, pasted and altered. You'll have it a bit harder and will need to do this once to learn the process, after that its simple and you'll wonder why you never did it before
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Last edited by quietsailor; 19-04-2012 at 14:04.
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19-04-2012, 14:01   #15
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I'm coming at this from a DIY angle, jasper (or any plasterer) will probably see holes in my theory/easier ways of doing things, I've no hang-ups about being told I'm wrong, i'm always glad to find out better ways of doing things. Hopefully more people will post ideas to help you. I'm sure things I think are obvious to me will be just as glaringly obviously missing from the list for them and hopefully they will point them out.
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