Plaster Problem

Old 12-09-02, 10:45 PM
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Question Plaster problem

My plastered walls are covered with hair width cracks all aver the surface. It is like a spider web to me but have been told it is called "crocodille skin". What caused it and what is the best way to overcome the problem without having to wallpaper

Last edited by twelvepole; 12-10-02 at 08:24 AM.
Old 12-10-02, 08:23 AM
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Plaster problem

There are several ways you can tackle the crack repair process. One method I have used with great success is to treat the cracks like new drywall seams. You tape over them using an adhesive fiberglass mesh tape or a paper tape. Successive layers of joint and topping compound disguise the repair. A final skim coat over the entire wall fills dimples, hairline cracks, and other imperfections.

Another method is to apply large sheets of thin fiberglass mesh over the entire wall or ceiling. The entire surface is then skim coated with joint compounds which hide the cracks and the mesh.

The ready mixed joint compounds may not be the best material to use. They are simply buckets of glue and filler. You can buy dry powdered setting type joint compounds that mix readily with water. These compounds contain a mixture of glue, filler, and gypsum. The presence of gypsum allows them to harden much like concrete. Same day wall repairs from start to finish are possible with these magical materials.

The ready mixed joint compounds do not always bond firmly to old plaster. In addition, they produce a somewhat softer final surface which may scratch or ding more easily. The setting type joint compounds can be mixed with water and acrylic bonding liquids. This permits them to readily stick to the old plaster.

If you want to avoid dust storms during the final stages of your project, why not buff the walls with a rubber float? These tools are used to grout ceramic tile. If you slightly dampen the dried joint compound and glide the float over the wall surface, you can create a smooth finish that rivals that of the original master who installed the plaster.

Restoring Plaster Walls - Use The Right Stuff!
(C) Copyright 1996 Tim Carter Builder, Inc
Ask the Builder
Retrieved 10 December 2002

Excess moisture in the walls or room may have resulted in the crazing of the plaster. Also, room temperature may have been too warm. Plaster is best applied at 55 - 70 degrees. Laying plaster on too thick can also result in shrinkage or crocodiling of the finish coat.
Old 12-10-02, 09:34 PM
bungalow jeff
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Wallpaper would only temporarily hide the problem. Eventually the cracks will telegraph through the paper, sooner if the source is not corrected.

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