Ceiling repair advice

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  #1  
Old 02-28-11, 08:37 AM
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Ceiling repair advice

Hi - my livingroom ceiling is failing, see this photo gallery. https://picasaweb.google.com/vaildave/Ceiling#
I am going to strip/scrape the old swirled plaster off, the underneath looks OK. I am not an experienced plasterer, but have been told this may be refinish-able with drywall compound..? I do not need a smooth/skimcoat, a textured ceiling is fine, I am not picky. Any and all advice appreciated!
 
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  #2  
Old 02-28-11, 08:44 AM
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The "ceiling" is not falling, just the poorly applied swirlcoat. If you leave scratch marks when you remove the swirl, you can repair them individually or skim coat the entire surface. If the surface is pretty decent, I would opt for a primer and paint for that ceiling. If you desire a good finish, you can rent the mud sprayers that will splatter mud on the ceiling and you can do a "knock down" finish with a wide knock down knife. Prime and paint afterwards for a good effect.
 
  #3  
Old 02-28-11, 08:52 AM
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I meant the "finish" is failing, LOL - seeing as that swirlcoat has been there for at least 30 years, it couldn't have been that poorly applied, I think age is just catching up to it. My original plan was to repair, but the more you remove, the more it sags, so I would think it all has to come down as it doesn't adhere to the ceiling any more.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 09:15 AM
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Yeah, I don't think I'd try to repair it. You may get into more trouble once the older stuff decides to let go in a few years. Yeah, if it was up that long, it may have been a moisture problem that caused it to begin falling. If it doesn't adhere, I'd drop it all down and either start over, or just prime/paint it.
I had popcorn finishes in both bathrooms.........rooms with inherent moisture, so go figure. Once they started to turn loose, I helped them along.
 
  #5  
Old 02-28-11, 09:21 AM
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THX, I was thinking after I get it down maybe I could just paint the underlying ceiling? It's a "mancave" and I am not picky!
PS it is was a moisture prob, I would have seen evidence of watermarks or some other telltale sign, no? I think it is just age myself..
 
  #6  
Old 02-28-11, 11:59 AM
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It was probably a mixture of age and moisture. The best fix would be to remove all the loose and skim coat, sand, prime and paint. If you don't require anything close to perfection - primer and paint should be ok.

Is the underlying plaster dusty?
 
  #7  
Old 02-28-11, 12:04 PM
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There is NO moisture in that room, but whatever. 35 years and it doesn't owe me anything anyways. The underlying ceiling seems solid and not dusty - I will commence stripping that swirl layer off and go from there~!
 
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Old 02-28-11, 12:32 PM
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There is usually moisture in the air [humidity] Porous materials like plaster/drywall can absorb some of that moisture over the years. Paint helps to protect it but it's also possible for the plaster to absorb moisture from the other side. A similar ceiling with the right protection and environment can last 100 yrs or more but in the wrong conditions could fail in a few yrs........ but if everything was to last forever - what would we do with our spare time
 
  #9  
Old 02-28-11, 04:32 PM
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OK so I started scraping some of the plaster off tonight, and there are spots that solidly adhere and won't come off at all, and some that are loose. Fun work, and messy too! It appears there is excellent virgin ceiling board underneath. Do I need to remove ALL of this plaster..? What are my options here, I have heard bad things about "popcorn" ceilings and aren't too keen on that. I am hoping to do something with this ceiling without hiring a $pro$, and learn something along the way as well. I am no great rush BTW, I don't really utilize that room at the moment..
 
  #10  
Old 03-01-11, 02:56 AM
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Texture won't help your ceiling unless you either remove all the swirl coat or skim coat the missing areas. Have you tried using a stiff broad knife and hammer to see if you can chisel off the remaining top coat of plaster?
 
  #11  
Old 03-01-11, 07:09 AM
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I was using a good-quality 3-way, like pic, is there a better tool/method?

 
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Old 03-01-11, 09:50 AM
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That's called a painter's 5in1

That should work as good as anything, along with plenty of elbow grease
 
  #13  
Old 03-02-11, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
That's called a painter's 5in1
Or 6..
ANYWAYS elbow grease, hammer, 3way tools, and broad and putty knives seem to be the ticket. Slow chipping on some areas, comes right off others. I will post pics next week when I finish and go forward from there..
 
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Old 03-05-11, 11:43 AM
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*update* pix are up https://picasaweb.google.com/vaildave/Ceiling2#
I have got about 2/3 of the plaster stripped including all the loose portions. The remaining 1/3 is IMPOSSIBLE almost. It is not even close to failing and I am exhausted after chip by chip - can't do anymore now! I had planned to have it done by today, but wanted to get some advice here. Can I do some sort of texture over this surface without removing any more of the plaster? What is left on there is really bonded with the subsurface. I am gonna clean up for the day now, can't do another inch! As always, any and all advice appreciated!
 
  #15  
Old 03-05-11, 03:01 PM
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In square feet how large is the room? In square feet how much is left to get off?

Since I looked at the new pictures I am very surprised that any of the finish was coming off. That wall is rough enough there should have been a good bond. Did the house ever go through a year without heat?
What part of the country do you live in?
Spread on joint compound until it is flush with the existing then sand it smooth then texture to match. Piece of cake.

I would use plaster but I know how to do it; you will find joint compound much more amateur friendly.

If you show us a good picture of the existing we can tell you how to do it. If you want something different then also smooth out the existing finish and they use your imagination.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 04:11 PM
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THX, that sounds like a plan! I am in the Boston area, yes it did get cold - I used to go away up north skiing a lot on the weekends and leave the heat very low - but it is what it is, I will take some more detailed pix tomorrow.
PS it's about 12' x 18'
 
  #17  
Old 03-05-11, 05:31 PM
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Here is another thought. To use joint compound will be pretty expensive because it will take a lot of it.

Get some StructoLite or Gypsolite, similar products by competing companies. This is gypsum plaster aggregated at the plant with perlite aggregate. It is light weight and has enough body that it can build up a little Mix it with water according to the label. You want a consistency of oatmeal or a little thinner. This material is very slow to set. There is a risk of it drying before it sets. You can help this in any of three ways or a combination. Wet the ceiling before you start. A good soaking with a pump up sprayer is OK The garden hose is better but you probably don't want that much water on the ceiling for other reasons -- like ruining your floor. So to your mix add about a gallon of mason sand per bag of material. Dry mix it before you mix it with water. You can also add a couple hands full of raw gypsum, this is sometimes called land plaster. It is crushed but not burned gypsum, the same stuff plaster is made from and the end result of the setting process of plaster. In other words set plaster makes other plaster set quicker. You can mix about three bags in a wheelbarrow of mix a bag with a drill in a couple five gallon buckets. If you mix in buckets put water in to start with. If in a wheelbarrow put the dry stuff in dry mix whatever you add then put water in a basin in one end and pull the dry stuff into the water. You will have to hoe it through at least three times. The second one is the hardest.

Spread this material to a thickness of 1/4" or more or less to keep the ceiling flat. You can wet a straight 1 X 4 about four feet long and use it to screed over your material and level and flatten it out.

Now you can use a red sponge rubber float and some water and get a decent sand finish with this material.

You cam also add mason lime in lieu of sand and raw gypsum and screed this down then trowel it with a clean wet trowel and probably some additional water and get a pretty smooth surface. Maybe as smooth as your plaster walls. If you want it smooth and use the mason lime I'd say two to three gallons of lime to a bag of plaster. Maybe more. More lime will make it set faster.

Around here the bags of StructoLite and Gypsolite are 50#. Time was they were 80# If you find 80 pounders increase the amounts I have suggested proportinately.

Let us know what you do and how it all turns out.

All advice at this web site is worth at least what you pay for it.
 
  #18  
Old 03-06-11, 08:16 AM
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I have added 5 more detailed pix of the ceiling. It sounds like joint compound is the least messy option for a rookie - I don't mind paying for all the material, I am saving $$ by not hiring a contractor. So I guess the next step is to come up with a plan of action and materials/tools list.
 

Last edited by VTevaD; 03-06-11 at 08:32 AM.
  #19  
Old 03-06-11, 10:18 AM
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Joint compound should be fine. Just remember that with j/c any cracks will need to be taped and if you apply the j/c too thick - it will crack. Mixing in a small amount of water in the j/c will allow it to spread easier/smoother.

I usually use durabond for plaster repairs because it dries harder..... but that also makes it harder to sand Joint compound is easy to sand It would probably be best to buy the all purpose j/c [green lid] it adheres better than the lightweight mud.
 
  #20  
Old 03-06-11, 11:07 AM
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THX - so how do I apply this, with a trowel like spreading peanut butter, or a brush of some sort? Then when it is dry, paint it I imagine.. How much you think I need for 12' x 18'? Also, I assume I should tape off the perimeter where the ceiling meets wall with blue tape?
 
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Old 03-06-11, 11:18 AM
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Some like a trowel, I've always used a drywall knife. They come in various sizes starting at 3" and going up to 14" wide. You'd also want a mud pan to hold your j/c and scrape the knife clean as needed. I suppose with a trowel you'd use a hawk.

There is no need to tape off the walls unless you don't intend to paint them. Joint compound is water soluble so any mud that gets on the wall can be easily washed off [or sanded] Once all the mud is on the ceiling you should sand it smooth, remove any dust and the prime. During or after priming you might notice spots that need a little more work, fix and reprime those areas and you should be ready for paint

I don't know how far a 5 gallon bucket of j/c will go on a skim coat
A lot depends on how thick it is applied.
 
  #22  
Old 03-07-11, 11:47 AM
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I didn't realize you could do a smooth skimcoat with JC, I thought you needed plaster! SO I have a 6-inch joint knife, is that adequate, or do I need a taping knife like below?

 
  #23  
Old 03-07-11, 02:28 PM
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The wider the knife, the quicker you can cover a selected area of the wall/ceiling. There comes a point where the width of the knife will be wider than the skill or capability of the person holding it

I don't do skim coating very often so I normally use my 10" drywall knife. If I did it more often [or was maybe a little younger ] I'd probably use a wider knife. The smoother you can apply the j/c, the less sanding you'll need to do.
 
  #24  
Old 03-22-11, 06:52 AM
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*Update - the ceiling is prepped, scraped and washed and the ungodly mess cleaned up - HOWEVER it seems to have been "backburnered" so I can attend to the other never-ending list of things to do around the property. When I get around to it, I will attempt to refinish with joint compound, I will update the thread then! Thanks for all the help so far tho!
 
  #25  
Old 04-18-11, 12:57 PM
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I promised an update, so here is the finished product. After removing all the loose stuff, I claened it up best I could and gave it the "bagel with cream cheese" treatment with 5gal of joint compound and an 8" taping knife. I just leveled the removed surface with the remaining plaster swirl as best I could, then painted it with ceiling paint after it dried. It came out great, thanks to all and no contractor bill to pay to boot!



 
  #26  
Old 04-22-11, 04:01 PM
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Looks good. And it goes with the "cave " theme. Great job and thanks for the update.
 
  #27  
Old 04-25-11, 06:54 AM
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You can cut a piece of new plasterboard to fit the hole and secure it to the joists at each side with plasterboard nails. Then bed lengths of plasterboard tape over the joins using runny patching plaster as the adhesive, and skim a thin layer of plaster over the whole patch to conceal it.
 
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