removing texturing on walls


  #1  
Old 07-13-03, 08:38 PM
katmeg99
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removing texturing on walls

I just moved into a house that has texturing on the entry hall walls that are plaster with hay. I have tried to remove the hay and plaster with a putty knife; however, it is an extremely tedious process. I have been doing this for about 4 months now and haven't even finished one-eighth of one wall. Any suggestions? Someone told me I should texture over it, but I am sure I will need to remove a lot of the straw/hay. Can this be done with an electric sander, and if so, how do I retexture over it?
Other suggestions are that I scrape everything off and float a new wall, which for the novice here is way beyond my comprehension. I'm afraid of putting something right on top of the straw/hay because of mold. Is that a concern?
 
  #2  
Old 07-14-03, 06:51 AM
T
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Do you live in a strawbale house or do you mean there is straw in the plaster? Could you be mistaking sisal or animal hair for straw? In what part of the country do you live? Can you see the straw in the finished texture before you scrape anything off? What color is the plaster. It sounds like when you describe how hard it is that it might be Portland cemet plaster.
It's too bad one can't see the post he is replying to while he generates his own post. I will have to post more information when I have reread you original note. I think you would be best off time and frustraion wise to cover over what you have. Unless there is mold present now you should not have a mold problem simply from recoating what is already there.
OK, I'm back. What is behind the plaster when you get it scraped off? I think we can help you out here once you answer these questions. Oh. thought of another. How old is the house? If it is not a strawbale house what is the construction of the house? Masonry? Wood frame? Something else?
 
  #3  
Old 07-14-03, 10:48 AM
katmeg99
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I guess I wasn't very clear. Sorry about that. This is a brick house in Plano Texas that is about 20 years old. The previous owners, I guess, tried their own redecorating probably from one of those do-it-yourself shows on The Learning Channel. In the entry hall it looks like they took white plaster and textured it on the walls, then applied straw or hay directly to the plaster in handfulls. Then they applied different colors of paint in a half hazard fashion so that some of the hay has color, some doesn't. It's easy to scrape off the large chunks of hay, but alot of it is embedded in the plaster, requiring me to scrape all the way down to the dry wall, which I have now put dents in with my putty knife when I scrape too hard. This is all too tedious, it's taking way too long and it is incredibly messy, what with all the hay and dust from the plaster falling on the floor. And, like I said in a previous thread, one hour's worth of work results in about a one square foot part being scraped free of hay. I have to find some other way of covering this up. I don't mind retexturing, but I don't want to see any of this ugly hay, so I imagine I still need to scrape some off; I just would like to find a faster way of doing it.
 
  #4  
Old 07-14-03, 11:47 AM
T
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REad it all it gets better toward the end

I Just learned how to keep your post up and still see my reply screen.
First, This sounds really interesting. I suppose it could be attactive if done well. I don't blame you for wanting rid of it. I have a radical suggestion. You might decide it is not worth the risk. First let me explain. Drywall and plaster are made of gypsum. When they are manufacured gypsum rock is burned and half of what is called the water of hydration is burned out of the gypsum molecule. When it is mixed more water than that is added to make it workable but then when it has set and dried that water of hydration has been re bonded in the molecule. Before anything in or behind that gypsum layer whether plaster or drywall can get hotter than boiling that water must be burned off again. After that has happened there is no strength left in the gypsum and it must be replaced but in the mean time it has allowed the occupants of the building precious time to get out. What does all this have to do with your situation? Have you tried burning the straw out? I don't know if it would work and you have to decide if it is worth the risk but it might be worth a try. Cover the floor with plastic sheets then cover it with large pieces of cardboard. The larger and fewer the better like refigirator boxes then wet it. Don't soak it but dampen it with a garden sprayer. Keep a fire extinguisher at hand and go to work with the blow torch. I don't think you would burn your house down by trying a couple of feet of it then you would know how it was going.
A probabaly safer but messier way is to use a side grinder. If this is plaster it should be soft enough that it would zip right off. The downside is that there will be dust everywhere. Seal off the rest of the house with plastic taped to every opening and give it a go. I am talking about something more aggresive than an orbital sander here and use about a 36 grit stone. When you do this is will not be evenly flat though with practice you will get better you will definitely have to recoat. And if the substrate is drywall it will probably be softer than the plaster so once you get through that you run the risk of damaging the drywall.
Now if the surface under the plaster and straw is drywall how thick is the coating in question? Here is another suggestion. If it is drywall for sure and not plaster just tear it all out. You would have that done and cleaned up in half a day. At this time redo any electrical wiring that might be advantageous likewise plumbing if any then upgrade the insulation if necessary and put up new drywall and finish it or have it finished. It really isn't that costly to put up and finish new drywall and if your time is worth much it will be immensly cheaper to do it this way.
Now the advice above is worth what it cost you.
Please let us know what you do and how it works. It makes the board more effective if we hear what does or doesn't work.
 
  #5  
Old 07-14-03, 12:35 PM
katmeg99
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Wow, I'm a little leary of blow torching something off my walls. I've had pretty bad luck with this house since I moved in (found black mold in the living room) so I'm going to steer clear of that option. I think I am going to try to sand it down, which looks like option two. However, I don't know if I need to sand it all down or, if I get most of the hay off can I just go ahead and texture over it. I've never textured walls before so I don't know if the little pieces of hay that are left will show through. Will they?
 
  #6  
Old 07-14-03, 01:09 PM
T
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I don't know how thick a coating you intend to put on. I think get off all you can then put on some texture and see if it looks like it will cover. If not you can either scrape it off while it is still wet or give it a second coat.
While you are not ready yet for this advice I will tell you what I think an amateur should do once you get the stuff sanded off.
Paint it with some bonding agent like PlasterWeld by Larsen's Products. There are other brands but a drywall or plaster or masonry supply house will know what you want. Then you have two options for material. If you want to texture you could use something like Diamond finish plaster by USG. I think, however you would get along better with a setting type joint compound. Something like EasySand 90 by USG. Again there are other brands. The number on the label is the setting time in minutes or hours according to the magnitude of the number 90= 90 minutes 1.5= 1.5 hours. You can put this on with a hawk and trowel and lay it down pretty well. If it needs another coat you can give it a coat as soon as the previous coat has set. That is gotten hard. It doesn't have to dry between coats. If you lay it down well enough yu can sand it smooth when it is dry. If you want to texture use regular joint mud for the final texture coat and texture it the way you wish. Get some drywall scraps if you can and experiment with textures on it.
 
 

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