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Polished Plaster Surgical Touch-up – A How-To

Performing a touch-up on a polished plaster wall can be a huge challenge.  If the area is small enough, it can be masked using this technique below.  Pierre Finkelstein of Pierre Finkelstein Institute of Decorative Painting shows you how to repair this small 3-D divot in the wall.

Damaged Polished Plaster

 See also:  Patch a Hole

HOW TO CREATE THIS FINISH

Use our step-by-step instruction below

MATERIALS NEEDED:

Here is a list of the tools & supplies you will need to achieve this technique.  Supplies available at fauxbrushes.com are linked below and listed at the bottom of the page.

1

TAPING OFF

STEP 1 – TAPING OFF: The damaged area must be taped off with utmost care with safe-release tape.  It is crucial to leave a 1/16 inch of wall exposed so the plaster fill can grab onto the wall. 

2

MIX AND APPLY PATCHING COMPOUND

STEP 2 – MIX AND APPLY PATCHING COMPOUND: Mix a combination of 80% ez-45 compound and 20% plaster of paris.

Using a Palette knife (best because it is a flexible blade), generously fill and smooth.

3

SPEED UP DRY TIME WITH A HAIR DRYER

STEP 3 – SPEED UP DRY TIME WITH A HAIR DRYER: Use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.  Still, make sure the patch is completely dry to the core and not just the surface.  If you’re not careful, a patch that is rushed without drying completely will crack.

4

DETAILED SANDING AND RUBBING

STEP 4 – DETAILED SANDING AND RUBBING:  Using a conservative hand, sand with soft 320 sandpaper, softly and with gradual pressure. Using a damp cotton cloth, wipe away the area and continue to sand until you can see the original taping.

5

REMOVE THE TAPE

STEP 5 – REMOVE THE TAPE:  Remove the tape and you will be left with a very small lip of plaster.

6

CONTINUE SANDING

STEP 6 – CONTINUE SANDING:  Sand with 800-1000 grit sandpaper to remove the lip. Be careful not to over sand or damage the surrounding area.  Feel with your hand to check if it is completely smooth with no lip or dimple.  The plaster has now been sanded smooth with the surface. Dust your surface well.

7

SEAL WITH SHELLAC

STEP 7 – SEAL WITH SHELLAC:  Thin down a small amount of shellac.  Shellac is vital, as it seals the plaster so the water-base paint will not reactivate the plaster.  Apply the shellac with the correct brush size for the job. Stay within the touch-up!

8

FINAL SANDING

STEP 8 – FINAL SANDING:  Use an 800-1000 grit sanding pad to sand down any brush strokes that may have been caused by brushing on the shellac.

9

MIX AND MATCH PLASTER COLOR

STEP 9 – MIX AND MATCH PLASTER COLOR: Mix a color that has the best match to the middle value of the plaster.  Use artist-grade opaque Acrylic Colors and then thin them down with water. 

Use your Varnish as a painting medium by adding 5-10% to the water in your palette.  This is important because when a color dries and then a varnish is applied, the topcoat can sometimes cause the color to change.  Adding a small amount of varnish to your water helps you see the true color and sheen once it dries.  Mixing the correct color takes practice.   Test the color first on a piece of paper, dry it, and put it up to the plaster.  It’s important that this color is right. 

Touch up by adjusting the color slowly and constantly drying it down. 

COMPLETED FINISH

Where’s the touch up???

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