How to plaster?


Old 01-27-06, 07:52 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 150
How to plaster?

I have a number of walls in a 1950's house that are all chipped up. The boards are about 1/4 appears to be just plywood...but hacked up something awful. They were painted but I would like to plaster? I guess. What tools should I use...just the thin set blue bucket? If I have to do a whole wall can I use a squege or some type of tool? So I want to do the whole wall, not just certain spots.
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Old 01-28-06, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 334
I don't know if I understand your situation completely, and I don't want to lead you down a wrong road.

It sounds as though the previous owners put plywood over plaster that may have been cracking, or they panelled over an "out of shape" wall. If this is the case, is there any plaster behind the 1/4", or is the wood fixed to studs?

When you refer to "plastering"; "brown coat" plaster is a self curing compound that is mixed with water and is spread over an entire surface about 1/2" thick, and then finished with a white "finish plaster" that is about 1/8" thick, also which is mixed with water.

The "blue lid" stuff is a joint compoud that dries by dehydration and is used to blend seams, fix cracks, holes, ditches, dings, and divits. (although plaster can be used for these same things too, most homeowners today use more joint compound than they do plaster)

If you are trying to just "skim" a surface, joint compound can usually be used easily, whereas "true plaster" requires more of an artistic ability due to curing times. (sometimes which are fast)

I have used joint compound to coat seams on plywood before, although it is not really made for that substrate, and for fixing dings it too works.

If your wall is just panelling over studs, I WOULDN'T recommend skimming it, as it is pretty flimsy on it's own, and all of your joints will crack when it is hit with anything. If it is only panelling, I would take it down and put up 1/2 drywall.

If you plan on coating a whole wall, it can be done too, although I don't know how long the results will last. If the wall was painted first, I would recommend using a primer sealer first, as you have a better chance of success. A 12" knife is good for what you are doing, as it is big enough to cover area quickly, and small enough to be able to control. The monster 18" knives look great, but I only use them in very rare situations. First use paper tape to coat and seal the joints, then proceed with skimming the wall.

Either way, mix the joint compound first so it is like mayonaise (so you don't have a wall full of tiny bubbles (save the bubbles for the glass of champagne when you are done!))

Another option, would be to remove the plywood and fix the wall behind it using joint compound or plaster; although you may be opening a can of worms if you do this, as someone put plywood over the wall for a reason, and the original wall "surface" may need to be removed and re-done. It's also possible that the original wall isn't that bad, and can be fixed just as easily as skimming out what you have.

(It's really not as drastic as it sounds though, if the old plaster is all "broken up" you pull it down and put up drywall, or you can try plaster if you desire)

I hope this information is more of a help than a hinder

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