SHEDNOTES 81: A Filofacts on FILLERS

Which filler for which hole? The Shed hopes to write the definitive guide one day. Meanwhile, some notes …

* Fine Surface Polyfilla is good for smoothing off rough walls in preparation for paint or paper and professional decorators use it liberally.

* St Jeff Howell, in Sunday Telegraph 23.6.13, offered the following advice on ceiling repairs:
“Universal One-Coat plaster from Wickes is much softer than most proprietary fillers, which are cement-based and can be difficult to sand once hard. The One-Coat can be softened with a damp sponge and smoothed with a filler knife even several hours after it has set. Apply two coats of Stain Stop before decorating.”

* A Guardian DIY guide, February 08, summed up:

plaster is cheap and easily polished, but goes off in the bag after a few months;
proprietary filler powders keep well & are better for deep holes, but are not smoothed as easily as a wet ready mix;
even wet ready mixes do not finish as hard or as fine as flexible acrylic mastic, the standard decorators’ caulk for bridging gaps – but don’t try it for holes in the wall.

Jeff Howell, Telegraph 6.3.14, said:
use filler with same movement properties as the surround;
for cracks in old lime plaster, cement & sharp sand will do;
cracks in pink gypsum need more of same;
for high tech solutions, try

Jeff Howell 29.9.13, on mending cracks in a concrete drive, recommended a specialist epoxy repair mortar from Watco, an industrial flooring repairs suppliers with a domestic subsidiary –

* For a previous filofacts on mastic, see

* For more in the Filofacts series, designed by The Shed for your steam-powered personal organiser, see


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