drywall over plaster


Old 12-15-01, 09:15 AM
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drywall over plaster

We have removed my plaster ceiling in our dining room and have replaced with sheetrock. My question is my walls which are plaster also have little scrapes and chipped paint. Is it posible to texture over these walls with mud? If so what preparation is needed first?
My house is 100 years old not sure of how many layers of paint and what all is on these walls.
Thanks to anyone that can give me a little advise on this issue.
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Old 12-24-01, 04:46 AM
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Tear outs of plaster and lathe are the worst. I suspect that after doing your ceiling, you realize what an awful job it can be. I wouldn't suggest using mud to cover the cracks and blemishes in your walls. You'll do all that work and it will just crack again. There are two options:

1) Screw drywall right over the existing plaster and finish with mud. Be ceratin your seams hit wall studs and a little contruction adhesive on all backside seams wouldn't hurt. You'll need 1/2" electrical box extensions to flush out to the new surface, and any window, door or other trim will need to be modified/adjusted to appear correct.

2) Tear out the old just like you did the ceiling. On an exterior wall, this will give you the opportunity to insulate if required, (plus you might find something cool that was left inside there when the structure was built). You may need to use 5/8" drywall, or fir out the wall studs slightly and use 1/2" drywall to get back to the original depth since lather and plaster combined are generally thicker than 1/2".

Maybe someone else has better ideas. If it were me, I would choose Option #2. You'll feel better about the job when it's finally complete.
Old 12-24-01, 04:54 AM
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One other thing, if the the "little scrapes and chipped paint" is really that minor, then the answer to your question is 'yes'. You can smooth out the chipped paint with drywall mud and shoot a texture which will stick as if you were doing it on drywall.
Old 12-29-01, 05:31 AM
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Cool Doing the exact Project

I own a house in Mass that was built in 1815 and I have crumbling horse hair plaster. I had zero insulation when we started. In my bedroom I ripped all the walls down and left the ceiling. It was a major pain in the ass, in the demo and clean-up. My interior walls are also very, very thing and do not have real studs.


I'm now doing the project that Gary outlines in option 2, in what is my gues bedroom. Just demo'd exterior walls and insulated and will put 3/8" drywall over existing plaster on ceiling and interior walls. I am using 3/8" on exterior walls to because those walls are not plumb(square?) so I can use the increased flexibility in thinner board.

But I have some questions too...

1. This page says on low ceilings (Mine are 6' 10") to hang drywall horizontally for less seams, do you all agree?

2. I have always used drywall screws this page says to use nails? MY screws have worked fine and my only experience with nails is that they "pop" out on some of my existing old drywall.

3. What is the deal with tapered edge on dry wall, how does verticle and horizontal effect using tapered edge?

I hope someone can answer me and I hope my situation helped the starter of this string.

Old 12-29-01, 06:12 AM
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Hi Tim,

Typically, a guy would hang the drywall perpendicular to the ceiling joists rather than parallel. Tapered edges should always be next to tapered edges. The ends of the drywall (or any cut side), should always be adjacent. It's nice to minimize the number of seams made up of end-to-end pieces (butt joints). Butt joints take a little more time to finish properly, especially if you plan to have smooth walls rather than textured surface.

Hanging a tapered edge next to a end or cut edge doesn't finish well without alot of extra and unnecessary effort. The rule of thumb is: Don't do it.

I use a ringshank drywall nail on the perimeter and use screws in the field. This works well for me, but all screws works good too.

You'll prbably want to use 5/8" drywall on the ceiling. If you plan on using 3/8", then use two layers. Code calls for minimum of 5/8" on the ceiling because it will last longer in a fire. The thinking is that it could save the framing above, but that's unlikely.

Maybe I don't understand, but I can't see where the height of the ceiling has anything to do with the number of seams in your drywall (unless you are referring to hanging drywall on the walls, in which case I would hang it vertically). I think the dimensions of the room and the framing in the ceiling would dictate that.

I don't understand what you have for framing in your walls if they aren't real studs.
Old 01-01-02, 04:58 AM
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Very similar

I have repaired lath & plaster walls, and replaced them with wall-board. I have never hung sheet rock over plaster. I am not a professional, but it sounds like painting over wall-paper to me.

To repair the walls:
Scrub down thoroughly with TSP substitute (or TSP, but I can't find that anymore.)
Cover any crack with wall-board seam tape (the nylon mesh tape is too thick for this; I think the paper tape with perforations is best for this.)
Spread at least one thin coat of wallboard joint conmpound over the entire wall, filling in all the little scratches and holes; I think this is easier than looking for all the little flaws. No matter how carefully you have cleaned the walls, you will scrape plaster crumbs off the walls, so wipe down the blade often.
Use a very fine sanding sponge to sand the walls, NOT sandpaper.
Prime the walls before painting.
You could do this in a weekend.

Replacing the walls:
Think twice; if you rip the room down to the studs, you will decide to replace all the wiring while you're in there, and the difference in width between plaster and wall board causes hundreds of little problems.
However, you might want the insulation in Iowa, and the wiring probably needs to be replaces, and if the wood trim has any lead paint on it, this is a good time to replace it.
If you do replace the plaster walls, insulate the interior walls for sound proofing; it really helps.
Old 01-01-02, 05:20 AM
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After reading your comments, I can understand why you would think hanging sheetrock over lath and plaster would be like painting over wallpaper.
Old 01-02-02, 04:48 AM
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Umm, was that a dig?
My husband is really pushing to repair some walls by wallboarding over them (he is convinced the painted over wallpaper is the only thing holding the plaster walls up). I am concerned about the little trim on top of the baseboard; will I be able to find thinner trim that will fit on top of the old baseboard with wallboard behind it?
Old 01-02-02, 05:15 AM
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By no means was I implying anything other than what I stated. Drywall over lath/plaster sounds a little bit like a "hack job"...like paint over wallpaper. But in some situations, it is the solution. I personally find it easier to tear-out the old if the plaster is coming away from the lath, but some don't want the mess...and to others, it's the opening of a can of worms.

No offense intented...and none taken.
Old 01-02-02, 07:13 AM
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No, no offense. Nasty as the mess was when I took down the wall, the expense was worse; I couldn't believe what we had to pay the guy to take the old plaster away. We probably could have hired a whole dumpster for the same amount, but we had no place to put one.

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