What is Horsehair Plaster? What is Horsehair Plaster?
If you are moving into an older home, you will likely be dealing with a product called horsehair plaster. This hasn't been used for a number of years now, as the new products on the market are more durable and less subject to cracking. Cracking is the general complaint about this type of plaster. The plaster itself is constructed of thin fibers that peels open over time. Since most of the houses that have this in them are more than 100 years old, general aging can be considered the prime cause for the issues experienced.
Dealing with Cracks in Horsehair Plaster
If you find yourself facing a cracked plaster, you can try to first put mud and mesh tape over the area. Some people would suggest that you "v" out the crack, but that depends on the integrity and age of the plaster. Avoid joint compound, as it has a tendency to shrink, thereby making the crack worse if anything. There is also a product called patching plaster, but it does not work any better than the joint compound. Consult someone at a local home improvement store for further details if your situation seems a bit more extreme than normal. Worse comes to worse, consider replacing the plaster altogether.