Walls take a bit of a knocking over time. Abrasion, impact, drilling and damp all affect plaster and render. So is there a way of not using conventional fillers?
I have used conventional fillers over time and I have a love / hate relationship that tends to favour the latter. The biggest complaint is that, as an amateur DIY’er I am not so proficient at getting a smooth finish first time around. This in turn leads to me having to sand back the filler I have just put in to get an OK result. Sounds OK-ish, but the conventional fillers go rock hard and are a real pain to sand back. Not only that they are not so good at allowing moisture to pass through and so do not sit particularly well with my old lime plaster.
So an alternative is required. Thankfully there are a range of alternatives.
Auro do a superb internal filler that is based on talc. It gives a brilliantly smooth finish, but most important for me, it is breathable and easy to use and to sand back. It is still very hardy, but the fact that you can quickly sand it back if necessary is a real godsend to anyone like me who needs as much help as they can find when doing running repairs on a house.
Earthborn have a very similar product. Again breathable and easy to use and to sand back. However, the earthborn filler is based on casein and lime, so it can be used as an external filler as well.
Once you have used these products, you will never go back to a conventional filler.