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Best way to finish this plaster ceiling?


JoeLink's Avatar
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07-13-15, 01:17 PM   #1  
Best way to finish this plaster ceiling?

I removed the popcorn ceilings from my condo, which left me with this bare plaster ceiling. I'm looking for advice on refinishing it either smooth or with a light texture to match the walls (which are drywall). These ceilings are low, so I'd prefer to stick with the thinnest option possible.

Photos: Ceiling - Album on Imgur

 
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07-13-15, 01:45 PM   #2  
Is that a plaster or concrete ceiling? what is above it? [another condo?]
I'd probably consider a knockdown texture on the ceiling.


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07-13-15, 01:52 PM   #3  
I was told it was plaster, but it sure looks like concrete to me. I'm on the top floor, just the attic above.

Here's a pic of the material removed for the can lights.

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07-13-15, 02:00 PM   #4  
The top 2/3rds looks like drywall but the bottom looks like concrete

I've not worked on a lot of high rise condos, hopefully one of the others will know more.


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07-13-15, 02:29 PM   #5  
Yeah, I was baffled when I saw that. This is a 2-story 12-unit building, built in 1970 and renovated in 2007.

 
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07-13-15, 02:37 PM   #6  
Most of the smaller bldgs like that I've worked on had wood framed floors and drywall ceilings, but that doesn't explain the strange ceiling composition.


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07-13-15, 04:59 PM   #7  
Probably veneer plaster on veneer plaster base aka Blue board or maybe conventional drywall with plaster ( hopefully with a bonding agent. If the base board is 1/2" then th veneer plaster is thicker than normal. That is ok. If it is 3/8" then the plaster might b conventional plaster and is a little thin. If it has not cracked by now it likely won't so all is well.
what you really want to know is where to go from here. Joint compound is the most amateur friendly way to go. Skim it a couple times at in two passes at right angles to each other sands yen texture it like you like. You might get along better if you prime it b fore you texture it. This will give you a little more working time if you int no to knock down th texture.

 
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07-13-15, 06:50 PM   #8  
If the basecoat scratches easily with a nail it is likely gypsolite. If it can't be scratched into then it is most likely veneer plaster base.

In either case, as tightcoat stated, you can skim with point compound. You may mist or otherwise dampen the surface if it is gypsolite so that the suction is reduced, making easier work of the joint compound.

Another option, if your base is relatively problem free, is to have a new lime putty finish coat of authentic plaster installed by a pro crew. It would certainly look nice and would virtually eliminate any sanding and the accompanying mess.

A smooth plaster finish is timeless and in the event of any future damage, is easiest to fix.

 
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07-17-15, 08:59 AM   #9  
Thanks for the tips guys. Any recommendation on which mud I should buy?

Matter of opinion here, would it look silly with a smooth plaster ceiling and walls with a bit of orange peel (circa 2007 standard)?

 
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07-17-15, 09:07 AM   #10  
IMO all the brands of ready mix j/c are about the same. There is a difference in the types of buckets of mud; the green lid is general purpose and has more adhesion, the blue lid is a topping mud that sands easier. The 2 most well know setting muds [powder you mix with water] are EasySand and Durabond.

It isn't uncommon for the walls and ceilings to have a different texture although it is more common to find textured ceilings and slick finished walls than the other way around.


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07-17-15, 03:17 PM   #11  
To piggy back on what marksr says, ceilings are subject to less abuse than walls. A softer, easier to sand material might be acceptable on a ceiling but less so on a side.

 
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