4 ways to protect and repair your walls

Here are some tips on protecting and repairing your walls to keep them in great shape and looking their best.

4 ways to protect and repair your walls

1. Install doorstops

  • What a drag! The doorknob has punched a hole in the wall.
  • When you finish fixing the hole, prevent it from happening again by installing a doorstop.
  • The most common type is just a brass rod or flexible spring with a wood screw on one end and a rubber tip on the other.
  • You can find variations in oak or maple instead of brass to match your decor.
  • These stops are just screwed into the baseboard where the corner of the door would hit it.
  • There are also doorstops that screw to the floor instead of the wall. Or you can use a hinge-pin doorstop that attaches to a hinge; it has a small adjustable arm.

2. Protect outside corners

  • You've seen them in many older homes — particularly Victorian homes with ornate mouldings.
  • They are wooden corner beads, often embellished with turnings, and they were designed to protect the delicate corners of plaster walls.
  • Modern drywall is installed with metal corner bead that offers some protection, but corner bead can still be bent from impact and paint can chip off it.
  • Wooden corner bead is still available at home centres and lumberyards.
  • It can be applied over plaster or drywall. For a slicker, more modern look, you can protect corners with transparent plastic corner bead.

3. Use screws to hang pictures on plaster

  • Banging nails into plaster can crack it or cause it to come loose from the lath.
  • Use short drywall screws instead to hang your pictures. Or if you do use a small nail, protect the wall with an X of masking tape.

4. Repair bulging plaster

  • Sometimes, most often on ceilings, plaster comes loose from the lath.
  • If plaster is bulging or sagging but is not crumbling, you can usually reattach it to the wood lath with a gadget called a plaster washer.
  • Attach a washer with a drywall screw about every 10 centimetres (four inches) in all directions starting at the outer edge of the loose area and working toward the centre.
  • Once the plaster is firmly reattached, hide the plaster washers with several coats of drywall compound. Then sand and paint.
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