plaster under wall paper


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Old 12-10-03, 05:35 AM
floatinghead
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plaster under wall paper

We're looking at a beautiful old home that has most of its walls covered with wallpaper. We would like to take it all down and just paint the walls, but we're concerned about the surface quality of the old horsehair and plaster walls ( home built in 1895). I'd rather not put sheetrock over the plaster, because it would be difficult to work around the nice woodwork, unless there's an effective way to do it.

Could you use the same spackle as in dry wall to smooth it out, or do you have to use plaster to skim coat? is this a doityourself thing or is it best left to a pro?? Expensive??

Its a big house with a lot of rooms, so we want to make sure we can handle it.

thanks a lot,
 
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Old 12-11-03, 04:40 AM
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Cracks in plaster can be repaired with drywall mud, as long as all the plaster is basically sound, but with the home being that old and all the walls being covered with wallpaper, I personally wouldn't bet the farm on it. Can't tell what shape the plaster is in until you get all the wallpaper off of it, and removing all that paper might be a much bigger chore than you're anticipating.
 
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Old 12-11-03, 05:57 AM
floatinghead
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thin sheet rock?

is it possible to put thin sheet rock over the plaster and still fade it into the woodwork without looking too odd? I'm not sure what the thinnest material would be?
 
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Old 12-11-03, 09:00 AM
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The thinnest drywall is 1/4 inch, and is a PITA to work with. It breaks and cracks very easily while being handled. Just picking an 8 foot sheet up flat with a person at each end can crack it.
 
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Old 12-11-03, 11:53 AM
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I agree 1/4" is a pain to work with, breaks easily & rarely do you get a full order delivered undamaged. 3/8" is a better choice IMO. I've done some places, mostly rentals for a RE Mgmt firm I work for, where we've covered existing plaster w/ sheetrock. These were older houses that have very thick trimwork in them, all 1"x stuff, we use a vinyl trim bead where the sheets butt against woodwork, still a PITA, as nothing is ever close to square in those old beauties.
 
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Old 12-11-03, 12:41 PM
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A couple of questions you have to ask yourself first. Do I want it to be an authentic period house? Do I the patiance and time to do this project. Do you have the cash to do it? If you want to keep the house as authentic as possible you must leave the plaster. Now if the plaster is falling off and loose you should remove plaster. And either replaster or hang drywall. There are a lot of other factors than just can I get a smooth wall. If the plaster is in good shape other than some cracks, strip the wallpaper and repair. If you cover the plaster with any size drywall you will have to re do every piece of trim.
 
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Old 12-17-03, 05:02 PM
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re: old plaster walls

Hello Baron:

Let's take a moment to reflect on something coop mentioned:

Basically, what can you afford?

I DO NOT recommend laminating with 1/4" sheetrock as it really is a PITA and will never look right with the existing trim.

You could rent a commercial wallpaper steamer and do that part yourself.

Then coat the walls with a product called Plasterweld http://www.larsenproducts.com/plasterweld.htm

After that I'd recommend a good skim coat of REAL plaster--if there are skilled plasterers in your area. Unless you live in the Northeast U.S. it's unlikely that you will find one.

Trust me on this....plastering is NOT a DIY project. You would be better off paying an expert to spend a day doing it. I am not as good as some but can do a 2,000 SQ ft home in 7 hours with a helper to mix the plaster.

NO sanding after. When I finish it is ready to paint once it cures.

I no longer do any plastering since I left Ireland except for good friends but wil help you find someone like me in your area if you so choose.

Of course, you could use the plasterweld and then spend a week slopping on joint compound. If you like dust from sanding.


Kindest Regards,

Snowman53
 
  #8  
Old 12-22-03, 07:27 PM
Daystar
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To maintain the historic authenticity of such an old home, re-plastering is the best solution.

I have, however, had much success with less expensive alternative methods.

Wallpaper was often used to hide the through cracks and crazes that occur on old plaster. First, protect your moldings using low tack masking tape(the blue 3m stuff) and plastic. Remove as much wallpaper as possible using aformentioned steaming method. Next, apply an interior oil primer to plaster wall and ceiling surfaces. Give it a day to dry. Sand primered surfaces and use a self-adhering fiber-glass mesh tape on visible cracking(you may have to scrape/remove loose plaster). For large areas, I use a rolled sheet fiberglass mesh that is available at roofing supply centers. Next, apply atleast 2 coats of a setting type drywall compound such as Sheetrock Brand EZSand 90 over the taped areas. As subsequent coats set up, you can quickly apply the next coat. Finish it off with a skim coat of conventional joint compound(mud) over entire wall and ceiling surfaces. Sand as necessary. After priming and painting, the finished result will be hardly distinguishable from replastering.
 
 

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