major plastering


  #1  
Old 09-28-03, 08:03 PM
miglarsh
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major plastering

I have recently removed a ceiling/ floor from between the master bedroom and a finished attic. I previously had two 6' long sky lights installed in the room just over the master bedroom half of the attic. Both the walls and ceiling are plaster with the wooden lathe behind it. When removeing the floor a 6" beam and good amount of the lathe were exposed. The bottom of this opening is reasonably level however the top edge is very jagged and varies up to 18" from one place to the next. In addition to all of this the top half of the plaster wall is a very uneven surface (simply old plaster) but the bottom half is very smooth. it has been suggested to remove the top half (which I really don't want to do because it is enclosing 2oo years of dirt and soot) The question is do I attempt the art of plastering and kust patch this large area or do I chip away at the existing plaster and attempt to creat a line to drywall against or do I tear down the wall and start anew. Oh, I almost forgot, is there an addative to mix with plaster of paris to serve the same purpose as horse hair did in the old days?
Thanks in advance for the advice. If there are any other suggestions that I did not think of please let me know.
Thank you Thank you
 
  #2  
Old 09-29-03, 09:22 AM
T
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Is the house really 200 years old? If so there is a good chance that the plaster is lime plaster. Nothing wrong with that fact just a point that if you use gypsum plaster to repair it it might take some special preliminaries.
I really think if you want to stay period authentic and use plaster you should use a plasterer. This is simply a job too large and involved to learn on. I'm trying to picture this. Is it the wall above the former floor that is rough? Is it not finished and gritty? Was it plastered in order to seal up the wall cavity only in an unfinished attic?
If you take the upper plaster off to a line you will likely find that the thickness of the plaster varies greatly and that the studs are not straight nor aligned well therefore drywall will not fit the remaining plaster very well. Plaster, being a workable, mouldable material can be made to fit. Next, while technically all gypsum plaster with the exception of Keene's cement is plaster of Paris but you don't want to go buy a bag of Plaster of Paris. What you need is fibred plaster. If you can't get fibred then you can add your own. Hair may still be available at tanners or you can use sisal or even nylon of Fibermesh fibers. Contrary to popular believ the fibers in plaster were not reinforecment they were simply to help hold the plaster together until it set. Once it has set the fibres have done their job. Yes, yu might see a chunk of plaster hanging by a hair but believe me the hair is not strong enough to keep it from cracking. What all this means is that you don't really need the fibers at all if you can't find them.
I told you to get fibered plaster The most common brands in the US are RedTop plaster by USG and Two Way Hardwall by Gold bond.
Hire a plasterer.
 
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Old 09-29-03, 09:47 AM
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How old is your house, really??
 
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Old 09-29-03, 10:12 AM
miglarsh
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I live in an area of Philadelphia called Fishtown which is a very old neighborhood and used to be housing for workers on the waterfront. My house is the oldest house in this area. So I guess it really is almost that old. So even if I hired a professional would they leave the existing plaster or would they remove it and start again?
 
  #5  
Old 09-29-03, 10:39 AM
T
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You have to trust a contractor. Don't settle for the first one who comes along. That doesn't mean he won't eventually do the job just check him out and others as well. If you want to keep plaster and I hope you do them your plasterer will tell you whst is best. Usually, if the plaster is sound and the lath are in good shape plaster should be left especailly in historic buildings. Now if your house has undergone many remodels and other materials have been used you have to decide if there is enough of the original fabric to bother with staying authentic. Plaster can usually be saved. Sometimes it is not worth saving. It might not be worth saving but worth replacing with a like material.
 
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Old 09-29-03, 11:08 AM
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I agree with tightcoat. If you want to save the authenticity of the house you should repair what's there or remove and replace with new plaster.
 
 

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