I'd like to share my experience using papier maché as general-purpose
filler, and wonder if others have done the same?
Nine months ago I thought I'd make some papier maché to fill a variety of
holes, cracks and "stabilize" crumbly plaster edges on a wall in my attic. I
probably made about 2-3 kg of the stuff and filled everything with it.
Within 24 hours, the smallest applications were already dry... other areas
where I had used thicker layers required 5, 10, 15+ days to dry completely.
Nine months later all these filled areas are just fantastic: really solid,
with not a hint of detaching from the plaster layer underneath. Last week I
needed to fill in ugly patches of exposed brick in a wall. Guess what I
used? Papier maché !
This time I wanted my papier maché in a hurry, so I bought a cheap document
shredder to help me turn newspapers into the stuff. You still need to cut
the vertical strips with scissors to obtain paper snippets small enough for
the purpose, but the shredder does massively cut the time needed to make
loads of the stuff. I also used the kitchen's mixer to pulp the mixture even
better (and that worked too!!).
Here are what I perceive as being the pros and cons of using papier maché
for DIY filling jobs:
- very, very cheap. Recycles newspapers in the process. No need to buy
expensive tubs of filler from your local DIY shop !!!
- environmentally friendly. Doesn't require new material to be produced
(apart from a bit of wallpaper paste powder)
- fantastic sticking characteristics. Can be applied in large blobs to
vertical surfaces without dropping blobs on the floor all the time
- can be shaped or spread like butter.. very easy to get a smooth finish
- becomes very tough when dry. Will effortlessly take nails or screws, and
general knocking about, when dry.
- end result is totally non-crumbly (unlike plaster)
- making the paste does not involve a fine, messy dust (like plaster)
- takes a while to make (allocate at least 1 hour for a few kg)
- takes days to dry (in a dry environment, very humid spaces may alter this
- shrinks as it dries (roughly up to a quarter of original volume - quite
Anyone else has any positive/negative experience of the material?