Plaster should not admit any odors. It is earth friendly as its a natural product. If your using older spackle, it can develop an odor as the chemicals used to make it like a paste can sour over time. However fresh spackle should not admit any odor at all.
Thanks Woodbridge, that's good to know! :) How would we go about doing it? As I would think it would be best done by a professional instead of us, due to the "mop-flower" type design on the ceiling.
If the holes are round you need to cut some wall board to the same shape. Then place a small board or two up into the ceiling and using drywall screws screw the boards into place. Once done you simply screw the round patch into the hole to the boards that are bridging across the opening.
I use fast setting spackle. It comes in bags. the higher the number on the bag the longer it takes before it sets. The nice thing about this type of spackle is that it shrinks very little. The pre mixed stuff does however and it takes forever to dry.
Simply mix enough spackle powder that you can use in about half the time based upon the number on the bag. I use 45 min stuff all the time. The 90 takes just a bit longer to dry and for me time is money. Smooth it out and fill the hole completely. If you fastened the round disk properly you do not need to tape using this type of spackle. Sand smooth using a damp sponge so you do not have to deal with dust.
Once almost dry mix a small amount again and smooth it over the area where the hole was located. Then using a sponge or some sort of other tool press and remove against the wet material to mimic the pattern you have on the rest of the ceiling. You may need to experiment a bit until you get the matching pattern. Do this on a cardboard sample until you get it right then do it on the ceiling to complete the job.
Ah, thanks for the wealth of information, Woodbridge! I think I've heard of people using some sort of mop to make the texture. Is there any specific brand you could recommend?
I remember when we had damage from a tree in our living room several years ago. Whatever they used really smelled something terrible - and now that I know it isn't spackle - it must've been the paint instead (those were before the no VOC days.)
The pattern you have on your ceiling is called "stipple", You can buy a stipple brush at your local home improvement or paint store. Once your patch is in place and dry, make your mud a bit wetter than normal, and take your stipple brush and dip it in the mud, and then apply to your ceiling. In any case of textured ceilings, (popcorn or stipple), you will not match the pattern exactly. KMS has a good point to practice on something like a piece of cardboard before you make your patch on the ceiling.
Thanks, Straight Nails Construction! I will have to remember that. :) The areas are not that big, so to match it wouldn't be as hard as a bigger area I think.