Best way to finish this wall?


Old 08-31-15, 02:20 PM
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Best way to finish this wall?

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Hello, I'm a new homeowner in South Philadelphia. I recently purchased a row home, and am in the process of trying to do as much improvement as possible by myself.

I've started on the master bedroom and taken out a closet that was built by a previous owner. Looks like they did a half-hearted game of tic-tac-toe on the ceiling and even signed and dated it June, 1983!

What was left underneath is shown in the photos.

I am looking for advice as to what to do about the wall. The house was constructed around the 20's, with plaster lath construction. There are obviously pretty bad settling cracks. The basement shows signs of reinforcement with a steel beam across the face of the house. I'm assuming the cracking was probably as a result of the front face sagging before the reinforcement was done.

My initial thought was to patch 3/8" drywall on the brick and the part on the ceiling, and then lay another layer of drywall on top of the back wall.

I know that might be kind of a hack solution, but otherwise how hard is it to do a skim coat over a wall like this for someone with only minor experience? There are some really deep divots from pulling out the nails.

I have done a little bit of patching before with 20-minute joint compound, but nothing this bad. I do have a mud pan, and finishing trowel.

The home is not in the best location or condition, so I am looking for an affordable, best case solution and I'm willing to put in the time.

I've also looked-up spot & dab, and have seen suggestions of putting in 2" studs for hanging drywall from masonry.

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Old 08-31-15, 02:29 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

It's no big deal to laminate over the wall. I see no need to fill the exposed brick as it won't hurt the drywall to be unsupported for that short span [assuming the joints don't fall there] IMO it would be easier/quicker to patch/skim the ceiling if there is no more damage than shown in the pics.
Old 08-31-15, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Looks like there was paneling glued to the wall at one time.
That's old glue lines your looking at.
Scrape off any high places, use drywall adhesive.
1/4 drywall can be used so it does not effect the outlets and trim as much.
Old 09-01-15, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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If th groove where the partition was is original or at least if it was plastered at some time after he partition was put in there is a high likelihood that the plaster is higher on one side than the other. It is still not necessary to fill that void if you cut some back to make th transition more gradual. Just don't go more than about 16" or so. That would be the same as if it were over studs. Or you can fill. The void then remove all th loose adhesive and then skim the whole wall. I might do it that way. I would have to see it first. But I think a new laminated wall would be better. Or if you want to make e mess take all the plaster off. Sometimes it comes a off of brick easily and sometimes not then fir it out with hat channels or 2" steel studs and drywall it.

In the second picture do I see an area where the plaster is missing on the ceiling? Is that lath showing? Make sure you get the rest of the loose plaster off then address how to patch it. If the joists will hold the load I like the idea of new rock. Use long enough screws to go through e new rock, the plaster and the lath 2" might be enough 2 1/2 is better. Put some kind of backing in place of the missing plaster so there is not a dip in the new ceiling.
Old 09-03-15, 06:32 PM
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Thanks for the replies,

The ceiling does have lathe as well. I plan on just patching the exposed areas with drywall and then feathering the seams, I really don't want to have to hang whole sheets on the ceiling as I don't have an extra hand I can call on right now.

Those are glue lines and I have scraped most of it off. The guys that built the closet, glued & nailed up fake wood paneling for the inside of the closet back in the early 80's, they even signed and dated it

For the brick wall right now I'm thinking of framing it out with 2x2's, I saw this post here and it makes sense:
framing - How do I frame a 2" (1.5") thick wall? - Home Improvement Stack Exchange

Thanks for the suggestions!

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