Spackling compound adherence problem

My friend has an 80 year old house with mostly plaster walls. In some places, old paint and surface plaster has fallen off, leaving uneven patches (maybe 1/16 of an inch deep and 1 square foot in size).
The problem is that, when using the pre-mixed light compounds, during sanding some of his patches detach themselves from the substrate, even though he has rough-sanded the surfaces before spackling.
Are there spackling coumpounds that have better adherence than others?
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jstp wrote:

Don't know of compounds with more grip. Perhaps adding some glue might help?
Rather than that, I would make each hole as deep as the plaster and then patch away. Also, sanding before applying spackling leaves a smooth surface with which the compound doesn't have a good bond.
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The pre-mixed compound is not the best because it hardens through evaporation. Some of that moisture will go back into the underlying plaster and give a poor bond. If the dust from the rough sanding wasn't thouroughly removed with a vaccuum that can also to contribute to the problem. Mixing plaster of paris or a setting compound, such as Durabond, is not as hard as it seems and will work much better than the pre-mixed. Just follow the directions and safety precautions. This is one time you really want to wear a dustmask, gloves and goggles. It's more work, but you'll have a longer lasting patch.
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jstp wrote:

Greetings,
Find a broken window-screen and replace it. Cut a portion of the old window screen out. Coat the area you are patching with a light coat of mud and then press the window screen into the wet mud. Use short (3/4") drywall screws to firmly attach the taught window screen to the wall. Don't skim on the screws; use a lot. Go back over the screen with another layer of mud.
Hope this helps, William
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Paint the area with latex primer and let it dry before filling with drywall compound. It seals the surface, adheres loose dust and allows the compound to stick.

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Probably the finish coat of plaster leaving the brown coat visible.

Don't use the "light" pre-mix; it's the weakest there is. The only advantage is ease of sanding -- oh, yeah, it's lighter to carry home too <g>. Better is to use the regular pre-mix.
Another poster suggested using plaster. Bad idea for the last 1/16". Impossible to level and sand. Even plasterers use drywall compound for the final skim coat.
The wire screen idea sounded interesting but an awful lot of work. If it were me I'd scratch the brown coat (a dog grooming rake works well but you could probably use an old screwdriver), then apply Plaster Weld (in the paint section), then fiberglass mesh tape or patch, and finally regular drywall compound.
Plaster Weld is really good stuff even when used contrary to the label on powdery plaster. Slosh it on. Two coats even.

Adhesion to what? It's not the adhesion of the compound that's the problem; it's the solidity of the surface you're applying it to.
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Use regular joint compound IMHO. I usually moisten the bare spot with water to keep the moisture from the new compound being sucked into the sub-surface, and allowing the new compound to dry a bit slower. Never had a patch come unstuck. YMMV.
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