How Much Does It Cost to Repair Plaster?

Typical Range:

$500 - $1,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 22, 2022

Reviewed by Ezra Laniado, Expert Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The cost of plaster repair is typically around $750 with a general range between $500 and $1,000. If the repair is minor, you may be able to complete it yourself for just a few dollars. To fix a few small cracks or nail holes, you could pay as little as $250, but to repair large holes, water damage, or a plaster ceiling, expect to pay up to $1,200.

Estimating Costs of Plaster Repair

Labor is the biggest cost when it comes to repairing plaster, as the task is comparatively time-consuming, and the cost of materials is fairly low. As with all home improvement projects, it's also smart to work a buffer into your budget for unplanned repairs.

Plaster repair costs average $750, ranging from $250 to $1,200


Materials cost between $5 and $25 per tub, bag, or container, depending on the material. The price you'll pay for materials depends on how much of each material you need, which is based on the extent of the issue you're trying to repair.

Method to Repair Price Range (Materials Only) Average Price (Materials Only)
Spackle $5 – $10 per 16-oz. container $7.50
Plaster repair adhesive $5 – $10 per 10-oz. tube $7.50
Skim coat $10 – $15 per 8 lbs. $12.50
Joint compound $15 – $25 per 16-oz. container $20


Spackle typically costs $7.50 for a 16-ounce container, with a price range of $5 to $10. Use spackle to fill small holes, chips, minor cracks, and other small surface imperfections. The spackle goes on while wet. Once it's dry, you smooth the area over with fine sandpaper to match the texture of the surrounding surface. 

Plaster Repair Adhesive

Plaster repair adhesive costs around $7.50, or between $5 and $10 for a 10-ounce tube. Adhesive doesn't fully harden like spackle or plaster. Instead, even though it's dry, it has a certain amount of "give" left. 

Adhesive is not the first choice for making plaster repairs because paint often doesn't adhere well to it. However, if a house is still settling or has foundation issues, adhesive is a better choice than spackle or plaster because it still has that "give," so it can tolerate a certain amount of shifting without cracking. 

Skim Coat

Skim coat costs roughly $12.50, or somewhere between $10 and $15 per 8 pounds. Skim coat fills imperfections across larger areas, along lengthy cracks, across large holes, or over an entire wall that has many imperfections. It's a quick, affordable way to improve the aesthetics of a plastered surface. However, it doesn't always adhere well to the wall's surface so it's at risk of cracking again fairly quickly. 

Joint Compound

Joint compound typically costs $20, with a range of $15 to $25 for a 16-ounce pack. This type of plaster repair is for large cracks and holes, although it's a good option for smaller issues if you don't have any spackle on hand. For large areas of damage, mesh or metal braces go inside the opening to provide support, structure, and stabilization. The joint compound goes over the top, where it adheres to the support structure beneath. Once dry, it creates a strong, durable finish that resists future cracking. 


A plasterer, drywall contractor, or handyperson charges $50 to $100 per hour. Of the total project price, labor accounts for up to 85%, not including overages. 


It's a good idea to leave around 15% of the total project price as an emergency fund. Although plaster repair is a pretty simple job, as with any task, it can uncover additional problems that you didn't know about. For example, the contractor may uncover mold that requires immediate attention. 

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Cost to Repair Plaster by Square Foot

Plaster repair costs $50 to $120 per square foot. Minor repairs, such as a few nail holes or hairline cracks cost around $50 to $80 per square foot. Moderately complex issues, such as large cracks or holes cost $70 to $100 per square foot, and the biggest jobs, which are usually repairing the plaster on a ceiling, cost $100 to $120 per square foot.

Typically, a local handyperson measures the whole wall and charges based on the wall (or ceiling's) square footage and they fix all the issues across the whole surface, leaving you with flawless plaster coverage. 

Surface Size Cost Range to Repair (Labor Included) Average Cost (Labor Included)
10 sq. ft. $500 – $1,200 $850
20 sq.ft. $1,000 – $2,400 $1,700
30 sq.ft. $1,500 – $3,600 $2,500
40 sq.ft. $2,000 – $4,800 $3,400

Cost to Repair Plaster by Problem

You can expect to pay $50 to $120 per square foot, with simpler issues like nail holes falling at the lower end of this range. At the higher end are problems like crumbling plaster or a sagging ceiling.

Damage Price Range per sq. ft. (All-In) Average Price (All-In)
Nail holes $50 – $80 per sq. ft. $65 per sq. ft.
Cracked plaster $70 – $100 per sq. ft. $85 per sq. ft.
Hole repair $70 – $100 per sq. ft. $85 per sq. ft.
Water damage $70 – $100 per sq. ft. $85 per sq. ft.
Crumbling plaster $70 – $100 per sq. ft. $85 per sq. ft.
Sagging ceiling $75 – $120 per sq. ft. $100 per sq. ft.

Nail Holes

Repairing nail holes in plaster walls costs an average of $65 per square foot. You may pay as little as $50 or as much as $80 per square foot. This is usually a fairly simple repair, and the price is determined by how many nail holes there are and how much refinishing or texture work is necessary. 

Homeowners often tackle this job as part of a larger decorating project, asking a local interior decorator to fill the holes before they apply a new coat of paint or wallpaper. 

Cracked Plaster

Repairing cracked plaster typically costs $85 per square foot. Prices start at $70 per square foot but can run you as much as $100 per square foot. How much you'll pay depends on the length, depth, and overall size of the cracks. 

Cracks over 1/4 of an inch wide are more complex to fix and are therefore more costly. These larger cracks require the insertion of mesh, braces, and fasteners before adding joint compound and can occur due to age, foundation shifts, structural problems, or seismic activity.

Hole Repair

Repairing holes in plaster costs an average of $85 per square foot, with a range of $70 to $100 per square foot. The amount you'll pay depends on the size of the hole, whether joint compound, mesh, and fasteners are necessary, and how much texture and finishing work is required. 

Water Damage

Water damage to plaster costs around $85 per square foot to correct, with prices starting at $70 per square foot and going as high as $100 per square foot. Repairing plaster suffering from water damage requires a high degree of skill and the price you'll pay for plaster repair is only one element. If the issue is ongoing, you need to pay to fix the cause of the damage, such as a plumbing leak or a leaking roof. If the wall is still damp or the damage is extreme, you'll need to hire a restoration service, which costs $1,000 to $5,000 to dry and repair the wall.

Crumbling Plaster

Repairing crumbling plaster costs $85 per square foot, on average. You may pay as little as $70 per square foot or as much as $100 per square foot, depending on the cause of the damage. Crumbling is a common issue with old plaster, a result of water damage that's dried but not been fixed, and as a result of the property settling. If left without reparation, so much plaster crumbles away that the holes are so large that they're unfixable, at which point replacement is the only option.

Sagging Ceiling Plaster

Fixing a sagging plaster ceiling is the most expensive repair, costing an average of $100 per square foot, with a price range of $75 to $120. The higher the ceiling and the size of the sagging impact how much you'll pay to fix the issue. If your ceiling is so high that scaffolding is necessary, expect your price per square foot to be at the upper end of this range. Sagging ceiling plaster is a fairly common result of water damage but can also occur with age or as a result of a settling foundation. 

Cost of Plaster Repair by Location

Fixing wall plaster or molding costs $50 to $100 per square foot, while plaster ceiling repair costs $100 to $120 per square foot due to the added complexity and challenges of working on this area. While the table below shows the cost of repairing the plaster, including labor, by location, remember to account for other costs. These include replacing or retouching any trim that sustained damage, painting the repair, and fixing any underlying issues.

Damaged Area Price Range per sq. ft. (All-In) Average Price per sq. ft. (All-In)
Wall $50 – $100 per sq. ft. $75 per sq. ft.
Molding $50 – $100 per sq. ft. $75 per sq. ft.
Ceiling $100 – $120 per sq. ft. $110 per sq. ft.

Cost of Replastering

The cost to replaster walls is around $5 per square foot. This is the cost of replastering a bare, prepared surface as if you were plastering a brand new wall. With the cost of demolition or old plaster removal at around $1 per square foot, you'd pay $6 per square foot or around $600 per 1,000 square feet. Replastering over an existing surface is less messy but more challenging and time-consuming, which puts the cost at around $10 per square foot.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Plaster Repair

Aside from the cost of the plaster repair, there are other elements, such as extra problems, finishing work, and redecorating. 

Mold Remediation

Mold remediation costs $1,500 to $3,500. If your property has issues with dampness or your plaster problems are a result of water damage, it's common that the contractor will find mold that needs immediate treatment. It's best to tackle mold as soon as possible, catching it before it spreads, as the more mold there is, the more you'll pay to get rid of it.

Painting Old Plaster Walls

Hiring a painter costs $20 to $50 per hour. If you've had any plastering repair or replastering work, you'll likely want to paint the affected area to match the rest of the room or use this opportunity to update your decor and repaint the entire room. 


How much does it cost to fix plaster cracks?

It can cost as little as $50 per square foot to repair small cracks in plaster. For more extensive cracks and those over 1/4-inch wide, expect to pay around $100 per square foot.

Is crumbling plaster dangerous?

Yes, crumbling plaster on a ceiling or high up on a wall is potentially dangerous as large chunks of heavy material can fall and cause serious injury if they hit a person or animal. Plus, if the plaster contains asbestos, which was a common plaster additive until the mid-1980s, or lead from old layers of paint, it carries a significant health risk. “Asbestos in plaster becomes a health risk once airborne, such as when crumbling plaster is agitated,” says Ezra Laniado, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

If you don't know the age or content of your plaster, it's always worth getting a home inspection. A lead-based paint inspection typically costs $320 while an asbestos inspection costs around $500. For peace of mind and the safety of your family, these inspections are well worth the cost, as they highlight problems like the presence of lead and asbestos before the plaster crumbles and causes health issues so that you can take early action.

How long does plaster last?

With proper maintenance, if not exposed to high humidity or water damage, plaster can last over 100 years.

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