Plastering Defects: Causes and Prevention


A home is a dream for almost all of us, right? We tend to decorate our house in a lot of ways. One of the ways is painting our house with our own creative minds and choice of colors.  Painting is the step that comes right after plastering of the surface. However, if the plastering done is not of good quality then there are high chance there might be plastering defects which may cause a lot of problems later on.

What is plaster? Plaster is a common material that is used in construction all around the world. It is not only easy to work with but also quite easy to repair if there are any issues. However, there might be times when your plaster might show some signs of wear and tear. Understanding what these problems are and how they occur can help in resolving the problems before they become too big.

Causes of Plastering Defects:

Several plasterwork problems usually occur due to improper use of materials or due to faulty techniques applied in plastering operations. Wondering what are these problems then here’s a list of plastering defects that you might want to know about.

Blistering in plastering:

Blistering in plastering is seen when there is a formation of small patches of plaster that swell out beyond the plastered surface. This arises mainly due to the slaking (which is the addition of water to lime) of small lime particles present in the plaster. This defect is mainly caused when there is uneven mixing of plaster before applying.  

 How to prevent it?

The best way to prevent blistering in plastering is by ensuring there is proper mixing done between cement and its components which are used to form the plaster.

Plaster debonding:

Plaster debonding occurs when the plaster of a surface tends to get separated from the wall. It can be mainly caused due to application of an excessively thick layer of plaster being applied or due to an inadequate amount of substrate preparation being done. It may also occur due to oily, dusty, or dry substrate.

How to prevent it?

In order to prevent plaster debonding you might want to take care of the following things during the process of plastering:

  • Allowing the substrate to reach the correct amount of moisture content
  • Remove any oil and dust that is present from the substrate before plastering
  • Lastly if necessary you can use bonding chemical

Crazing in plastering:

Crazing in plastering is the formation of a network of fine cracks which look like a spider web. They are usually quite fine in nature and do not extend throughout the depth of the plaster. It mainly occurs due to the presence of an excess amount of fine content in the sand or due to the dry base on which the plaster has been applied. When the base absorbs water there tends to be an accumulation of fines on the surface which eventually leads to crazing.

How to prevent it?

You can follow the below-given solutions to ensure there is no more crazing in plastering that occurs at your house:

  • Do not use bleach or chlorine
  • Bleach or chlorine may help in removing the strains however they can also damage your ceramic items.

Popping in plastering:

Popping in plastering is the formation of conical-shaped holes that mainly break out of the uneven surfaces of plaster. It is caused mainly by the presence of contaminant contents such as burnt lime or other organic materials while the mortar is being mixed.

 How to prevent it?

To prevent popping in plastering you might want to ensure that there is no contaminant particles that are present when you mix the mortar.

Cracks in plastering:

Cracks in plastering are one of the most common problems that people notice. Cracks can be mainly classified into two types such as non-structural cracks and structural cracks.

Non-structural cracks are the ones where cracks such as crazing occur. Cracks due to shrinkage (which is loss of moisture content from the plaster wall) also fall under the category of non-structural cracks.

Structural cracks on the other hand mainly result due to the differential movement of the foundation along with thermal movement of the roof slab. These types of cracks mainly form a straight vertical line or horizontal line. Structural cracks are the ones to be mainly worried about and would need immediate attention to find the root cause and correct them as soon as possible.

 How to prevent it?

To avoid cracks in plastering there are multiple tips you can follow such as the ones given below:

  • Ensuring there is proper addition of water in the mortar done by a skilled mason and ensuring there is proper workability in terms of application and handling.
  • It can also be avoided by proper curing time being provided to plaster to slow down any fast drying that occurs.
  • Taking care of the workmanship and the material quality will also be essential.

Efflorescence in plastering:

Efflorescence in plastering is seen when a newly constructed wall gets dried out and the soluble salts are brought out to the surface. They then appear like crystalline whitish substances on the walls. Efflorescence is formed when there are soluble salts being present in the plaster and the building materials such as sand, bricks, cement, etc. Even water used for construction purposes can contain a lot of soluble salts. These salts in turn tend to affect the adhesion of paint along with the wall surface which creates a lot of problems.

 How to prevent it?

To prevent efflorescence from happening you might want to ensure that the materials used for wall construction are free of any soluble salts. You must also ensure that the surface is completely moisture-free.

Uneven Plaster Surface:

Uneven plaster surface is the irregularity observed in the finishing plane of the plastered surface which occurs mainly due to poor workmanship. Usually, such irregularities also occur when the work is not done properly which also affects the aesthetics of finishing.

 How to prevent it?

This type of uneven plaster surface defect can be easily avoided by choosing the right material and with proper surface preparation. There also needs to be proper bond adhesion when plaster is being applied.

Softness of the Plaster:

There is extreme dampness present at specific points which leads to softness of the plaster. The softness mainly happens which leads to unnecessary thinness of the finishing coats along with crawling in of unwanted salts.

How to prevent it?

Moisture control is quite important to prevent plaster from being soft and damaging the walls. This could however also occur due to humidity which is why proper attention needs to be given.


Here are a few solutions that might help in solving some of the common plastering defects:

  • A little bit of filler and a new layer of paint is actually enough for fixing cracks in plaster.
  • If there are bubbled plaster walls then you can check if there is any leak in the wall and remove the damaged portion of the plaster. Once the area is dry after fixing the leak it can be coated with oil-based primer sealer and then painted over.
  • Next time you apply plaster you might also want to add on a waterproofing coat to keep it safe.
  • Check for bonding quality before actually painting over the walls.


Plastering not only makes the surfaces smooth but also gives a great finish to the walls. It is hence important to check for plastering defects regularly and work on improving them. To ensure there is good quality of plaster it is also important to be aware of the various defects. Well, not that you have understood the same, it is possible to check for them from time to time and get your remedies as soon as possible. Discover how PropChk can assist you in making informed property decisions and explore their full range of inspection services


What is dry plastering?

Dry plastering is the internal installation of rigid building boards or sheets that are created with gypsum plaster that is set between and bonded to the outer covers of the cardboard.

Which type of plastering is best?

Gypsum plastering which is also commonly called the Plaster of Paris is one of the most popular choices for interior surfaces. It provides a properly polished appearance.

What is waterproof plastering?

Waterproof plastering is done by using waterproof cement plaster which has the ability to resist water penetration.

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