Crumbling Lime Plaster Walls

3 May 2008
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United Kingdom
I have an old victorian house and all the walls are made from lime\horse hair plaster. I drilled in to the walls to hang a wall mounted shelf\drawer and the walls just disintegrate. I have tried to drill a few inches above and below and the same happened. It's a partition wall so there is no brick, just those wooden slats.

I cannot put new holes anywhere else as the drawer has to go in that location. I did look in the forum and someone suggested putting no nails glue in the holes and and putting the fixing in to that but it did not hold. The no nails seems to have a rubbery texture. (toolstation own brand no nails).

Can anyone offer anyway I can hang this shelf. Is there some other resin I can use or some other method.

Thank you in advance for any advice.


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15 Nov 2005
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Crossgates, Europe
Cook Islands
from your description, you have a lath and plaster wall, although the photo looks like plasterboard.

The laths or board will be nailed to vertical wooden studs, around two feet apart. You can drill through the plaster into these studs and drive screws into them.

You may be able to locate them by tapping with your knuckles, or using a magnet or stud detector to find the vertical column of nail heads.

Or, bend a coathanger into a shallow curve, poke it through a hole, and push it slowly sideways until it reaches a stud. Pull the wire out and mark the distance on the wall. Once you have found a stud, drill an inch or two each side to be sure you are screwing into the centre. The studs might not be perfectly straight, but when you have found two, the rest will have similar spacing.

if you find the studs are in inconvenient places, you can screw a strong batten to at least three of them, and fix your item to that. Or, if you prefer, a sheet of ply slightly smaller than the back of your cabinet so it will be hidden.
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