horsehair plaster


Old 09-26-01, 01:48 PM
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We live in a house built in 1936. A couple of the rooms are wallpapered with what looks like original - or at least very old - wallpaper. Underneath, we suspect, is horsehair plaster. We want to remove the paper, repair?, and paint.
We need all the advice we can get on each of the steps.
Old 09-27-01, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Herts U.K
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First of all,tap the walls with your hands. This should give you an idea of how well the plaster is now bonded to the walls. If you get a hollow sound on parts of the walls then this means that the plaster has "blown" in places.
The wallpaper will be the only thing that is holding it in place,so when stripped,a lot of it will fall away and it would be time to get a plasterer to patch up or patch up and re skim the walls.
If however if the walls sound solid when you tap them,there is a good chance that everything behind the plaster is fine.
There a few different methods to actually strip the paper,most of which are explained on this page...Try to resist the temptation of using a steam stripper as these things can cause more damage to your plaster then any other method I know of,espeasialy to old plaster.

When the walls are dry,rub them down with a medium grade sandpaper and fill any inperfections..Rub down filler..
Now...In my oppinion,old walls are best cross lined before painted and if you feel that the plaster is unstable then it would be best to use a linen backed heavt grade lining paper which in effect will reinforce the plaster and aid them in lasting for years to come.
Of course if you decide to have the walls re-skimmed then they would be ready for paint..Simple as that.
Before you crossline(hang horizontaly) the walls with lining paper you will need to size them(seal) with a mixture of thin wallpaper paste.Allow this to dry before lining. When lining the room,take your time and be sure not to overlap your seams..Make sure the paper has soaked for 10 minutes at least before you hang it..There are resourses on this site and on mine in regards to hanging wallcovering and the same rules apply to lining paper.
Allow the paper to dry for 24 hours and you are ready to decorate with your chosen colour...Paint your ceiling first and then cut in the wallcolour around ceiling line,skirting line,corners,and window reveals,and then fill in the rest with a quality roller.. At this point you can fine fill any minor imperfection that the dried paint has revealed,gently rub these down and spot prime the filler and then repeat the procedure for your second coat.....WHEW!! Finito

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