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Strange tile like plaster and plaster repairing in kitchen

Strange tile like plaster and plaster repairing in kitchen


  #1  
Old 03-24-14, 12:47 PM
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Strange tile like plaster and plaster repairing in kitchen

We recently bought a house that was built in the 1940's. like the majority of the homes in the area, it was initially built as shipyard housing.

we decided we were going to paint the kitchen. We peeled off a couple layers of wallpaper and a layer of paneling. Under the paneling we found something rather odd. The bottom half looked like 4"tile that sat flush with the plaster on the top half. However it's not tile. There are no seams and it's crumbly like plaster. It looks like jail cell walls. Anyone ever seen this before?Attachment 28852

Also, in the process of removing the paneling, the glue pulled off some of the plaster skim coat to reveal cement like panels. The remaining plaster has a lot of rough glue patches. I was planing on patching the holes with joint compound but that doesn't solve the remaining glue issue. In our effort to achieve smooth paint-able walls at the lowest possible cost, what would you guys recommend that I do? Could I cover the entire wall with a thin coat of joint compound?Attachment 28853

My last question. In the area pictured below, a lot of plaster was pulled off. Would it make sense to use joint compound or should I just scrape it all off and put up sheetrock? We intend to hang cabinets on this wall when we do the cabinet upgrades.Attachment 28854

Thanks in advance for any help.
 
  #2  
Old 03-24-14, 03:59 PM
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I could not open your pictures. I bet marksr will tell you how to post them. About the time your house was built it was common for the plasterer to cut joints into the finish plaster to resemble a tile wainscot. Usually the finish was Keenes cement because it set harder than whitecoat and set more slowly so there was time to cut in the joints. I have done a little of this work but not for 25 years. I enjoyed it when I did it. It takes a good level and the right tool to cut in the joints. I can tell better how to cut the joints when the pictures are up. If you want to replicate the look it is not complicated it only takes time.
About the rest of your questions I will wait on the pictures.
 
  #3  
Old 03-24-14, 07:50 PM
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As tightcoat states, we really need visuals to make the best recommendations.

Also, as he states, your finish is most likely Keene's cement which is not really cement but a version of gypsum that does provide the ultimate in workability and strength for a durable finish coat.

Although the use of this material has declined, it is still available but you may have to look hard if you intend to use it. I use it a few times a year in restoration work and have to order from a supplier nearly half way across the country. It is more popular in some areas than others and I know the Midwest and CA have relatively good access to it.

The tool that makes the "grout" lines is not really complex....more like a 6 or 8 penny nail bent and attached to a handle to allow you to draw it over the surface of the semi set plaster to create the lines. I have also fabricated custom ones to emulate a wide joint more similar to a mortar joint when I have applied the Keene's cement to replicate rough block or cut stone.

I think, without seeing the pictures, that if you are intending to have smooth walls you would do well to remove any fragile plaster and fill deeper voids with a hard setting powdered joint compound, (dura bond ), and then perhaps skim the entire surface and embed fiberglass mesh to fortify the existing material and help preclude cracking and then skim with ready mixed compound which you will be able to sand to the level of smoothness you desire.

You would do well to remove any chunky glue with a scraper and perhaps prime over any light residue with a primer/sealer prior to coating the surface.

The fiberglass mesh should be available from any good paint store or online. It is usually about 3' wide.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 03:55 AM
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I can view the pics http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html

I'd coat whatever adhesive won't scrape off with Zinnser's Gardz. I normally use Durabond when repairing plaster, you could use regular j/c although it won't dry as hard and deep repairs would require more coats.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 07:57 AM
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I ended up getting logged out while I was initially creating this thread. I'm sure that's the reason for the pic errors.

Here they are now.

Pic #1: Name:  IMAG0394.jpg
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Size:  22.1 KB We have no intentions of replicating this. We plan on using wainscoting to cover this up.

Pic #2: Name:  IMAG0392.jpg
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Size:  23.1 KB

Pic #3: Name:  IMAG0390.jpg
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Size:  30.2 KB
 
  #6  
Old 03-25-14, 08:02 AM
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Thanks tightcoat. I think your explanation is spot on. We have no intentions of replicating it. We were just curious as to what exactly it was because we've never seen it before.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 08:46 AM
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Thanks marksr. Zinnser's Gardz sounds like an excellent option. I'm not sure how much of the adhesive I'll be able to scrape off. The layer of paint and plaster is so thin that any scraping is probably going to remove the plaster. However, there are some spots where the paint is cracking and peeling off the plaster. I think I'm going to attempt to remove the paint from those areas and work my way outwards. I might be able to get a lot of glue off this way.

Fortunately for me, there really isn't any deep damage going on with the plaster due to the fact it's just a skim coat on top of very durable cement like board.
 
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Old 03-26-14, 05:14 AM
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Last night I noticed something rather odd with the wall in pic #3. There was a hole for single electrical outlet that I found under the wallpaper. The hole was stuffed with newspaper and a piece of loose plaster was covering it. I pulled the piece out and noticed behind the cement like board was a layer of 1/2" sheetrock attached to the studs. I don't understand why someone would sheetrock then cover it with the cement like board and then plaster it. Anyone have any idea why?
Name:  IMAG04101.jpg
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  #9  
Old 03-26-14, 05:19 AM
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Back when you house was built they switched from using the old wooden lath to using strips [2' wide ?] of drywall in place of the wood lath. They then applied the brown/base coat of plaster over the drywall. It's not cement board. The plaster is applied over the brown coat.
 
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Old 03-26-14, 10:28 AM
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Thanks marksr. I'm continuously learning new thing due to this house. I'm familiar with the old way plaster was done, with the wooden lathes, but I've never seen it done this way before.

We had kitchen contractors from Home Depot over today for a free design consultation. They seemed very knowledgeable so I asked their opinion on what to do about the walls. They recommended scraping off the plaster down to the brown board and coat the walls with 90 min durabond. They said there is so much glue on the walls that it would be nearly impossible to get it down to a smooth surface. Does anyone else agree with this?




Side note: I looked for Zinnser Gardz but no place locally carries it. I could order it from Home Depot's website but they only carry it by the case. I certainly don't need 4 gallons of the stuff.
 
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Old 03-26-14, 11:01 AM
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Most paint stores should sell Gardz, call around as it should be available without having to order it.

I don't know that I'd scrape all the way down to the brown coat but I would prefer to scrape off all the adhesive and then apply durabond to make it look nice again. Gardz is also a good primer to use if the walls are chalky, it will bind it up giving a better substrate for the compound to adhere to.
 
  #12  
Old 03-26-14, 11:48 AM
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Gypsum lath resembles drywall somewhat. It is 3/8" thick and the dimensions were 48" X 16"and the paper on it was of such a nature that the qypsum crystals in the plaster would bond with the gypsum crystals in the lath. When the plaster is set and dry it is very yard to separate the lath and plaster. So what you thought was cement board is the plaster brown coat.
Here is an interesting note for interest's sake only. USG called their version of gypsum lath RockLath. USG's version of gypsum Drywall is SheetRock. USG is fond of making two words into one like EasySand joint compound.
The names tended to stick and become generic.
Now about scraping off the glue. I would scrape hard enough to take the glue off. If the plaster finish comes off too that is fine. You are going to refnish with something either way. The plaster finish, either whitecoat or Keenes cement is brittle and sometimes can be scraped off of the brown coat and sometimes is bonded too well to scrape off. If it comes off easily scrape it off. If it is well bonded leave it. If you get to the point that most but not all of the finish comes off then maybe do the extra work to get the rest off. It will make for a better re finish job.
 
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Old 03-27-14, 07:20 AM
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Thanks tightcoat. I attempted to scrape some of the loose paint off of the plaster but It wasn't all that effective. The loose paint came off easily but the rest of the paint would take forever to scrape off.

I did attempt to scrape a small section of glue off. The scraper just shaved it down little by little. I'm thinking sanding it would be the fastest way to remove the glue but I'm hesitant to do that because I've read that asbestos was used in some adhesives back then. I haven't been able to find any info on whether or not the adhesive used to hang paneling contained asbestos. Does anyone know? I realize the only way to be %100 sure is to have it tested.
 
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Old 03-27-14, 09:01 AM
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What are you using to scrape off the glue? Generally scraping is quicker than sanding, maybe you need to try a different scraper. I'd try a pull scraper like you use when getting exterior siding ready for paint.
 
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Old 03-27-14, 01:54 PM
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Sharpen the scraper frequently. Keep trying. You will get the hang of it. It isn't meant to come off so expect to sweat some.
 
  #16  
Old 03-28-14, 04:59 AM
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All I had was a putty scraper. I picked up a pull scraper last night and it made a world of difference.

Thanks guy for the help.
 
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Old 03-28-14, 05:32 AM
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I had a feeling you were using a putty knife as TC said, you can sharpen [or replace] the blade as needed.
 
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Old 03-31-14, 05:18 AM
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Update: I picked up another pull scraper and the fiance and I were able to get all the glue off the walls within a few hours. The glue on the wall with the most plaster damage was surprisingly the toughest wall to do. We patched the all the area's of missing plaster with Durabond. Once it dried, we wet sanded it and began to apply a finish coat of regular joint compound to smooth everything out. Unfortunately, our progress was halted when we realized our basement had flooded due to all the rain we're getting. Looks like I'll be gutting the basement next. At least our kitchens starting to look good.

The joys of owning a home.
 
 

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