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Question DetailsAsked on 5/10/2011

Drywall or a plaster caulk?

I recently experienced rather severe water damage to my ceiling and walls in one area of my house. Two estimates so far, one using actual drywall for repairs, the other a caulk-like plaster filler. The drywall solution is much more expensive...I would love some assistance determining the better method, any safety issues if I don't chose drywall option, etc

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3 Answers


Hello Lakotahokie,

I'm unsure of which product you refer to when you say "caulk-like plaster filler" so sorry if this is way off base.

I would make the decision based upon how it is attached to the undamaged drywall around the patch. Since it is on a ceiling you need to take into consideration how it will be attached. When repairing a wall, no matter the method used, the patch is always supported from beneath by either the undamaged portion of the wall or the floor. With a ceiling your patch must be attached from above.

As a tile contractor one thing remains absolutely true no matter the trade - gravity wins - always. With a supported wall patch this is less of a problem, the support is there. With a ceiling the durability is dependent upon how it is attached to the structure.

A drywall patch is screwed directly into additional studs or supports which are in turn attached to the structure similarly. Very durable.

The other I'm unsure of so you should find out how durable it would be when attached to the undamaged area and which method is used.

Hope that helps.

Answered 9 years ago by TileArt



Appreciate the information...the option besides drywall is called joint compound. Basically, my friend who owns the house is taking this "opportunity" to remove the popcorn from her entire dining room/family room ceiling (which is plaster, house is 60+). I am kinda confused as to whether she will have drywall or joint compound in the damaged areas and just remove the popcorn then paint in the undamaged areas or does a contractor need to use the drywall/compound on the entire ceiling before painting.

Again, thank you for your time and helpful information.

Take care.


Answered 9 years ago by lakotahokie


Gotcha. [:D]

With the house being 60+ years old she more than likely has regular plaster and lathe walls (and ceilings). This process involves wooden "slats" which are installed to the wall studs about 1/2" apart all the way up the wall or ceiling. When installed the slats look similar to what mini blinds look like, if you get my meaning. The spaces between the slats act as an anchor point when the plaster is forced between them and floated over it. This essentially "locks" the plaster into the wall or ceiling. When done properly it is just as strong or stronger than a regular drywall patch. So either one would be absolutely acceptable as a patch for the damaged area if installed properly.

The contractor will not need to float the compound over the entire ceiling. He or she should be able to feather it out from the repaired area into the non-damaged area for a seamless look. Depending upon what, if any, damage is done to the surface of the existing plaster when the popcorn ceiling is removed the contractor will probably float over certain areas or even the entire ceiling, before painting it.

If she decides to go with the joint compound/plaster option please let her know that even with moderate water damage the slats should be replaced in the ceiling before being floated over. Water significantly breaks down and weakens them, it's better to replace them at a small price now than to end up redoing the entire repair some time down the road at a large cost. Cheap insurance, yes?

Hope that helps.

Answered 9 years ago by TileArt

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