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vallorie
1913 Historic Home

I purchased a fixer upper, and I have plaster walls, that were wall papered, I am taking down the wallpaper, but the walls have plaster. Do I replaster the walls, or should I use drywall? If I replaster the walls is it something I can do myself? If so, How???:confused:

Clarence
Re: 1913 Historic Home

Being in the plastering trade I would say you should use a lime based plaster finish.
My preference would be Master of Plaster but there are many others on the market.
When selecting make sure that the product is a lime based material.
The M.O.P product requires no bonding agent and is the most user friendly plaster product that I know of no mixing required.
If your paint is load bearing you should be ok.
To check for load bearing use this test.
Use a box cutter score a one inch square than score it into 1/8 inch squares apply tape over the test area,pull off if 50% of the paint remains on the wall you should be ok to apply the plaster.Also If all wall paper glue is removed you should be good to go.

dj1
Re: 1913 Historic Home

Congratulations on your purchase!

Now the hard part: the actual work...

After you remove the wallpaper, inspect the condition of the plaster. If you're lucky, you'll have plaster in decent condition, that needs minor work, like: fill in small cracks, holes and minor imperfections.

If the plaster is in bad condition, consider drywalling. Now, drywall is not someting that can be taught in 2 minutes. It takes experience and hard work to learn how to get a perfect wall. If you are facing a tough situation, hire a drywall pro.

Just remember this: paint can't hide an imperfect wall.

Tacoma John
Re: 1913 Historic Home

Dear Vallorie, please dont be offended, but this is one of the worst questions I have seen. I, as a painter, have seen work done by clients that could not paint their way out of a wet paper bag. On the other hand, I have seen clients that do work as good as my mine. Only you know your skill level and the look that you are trying to achieve. My perference, if budget and time allows is to rip the plaster off and dry wall. This is because it was built in 1913 and odds are that many cracks are in the walls and ceilings. This will give you the best look and last many years. Having said that, second best is to cover it with 1/4 dry wall. I have done this a lot. The up side is that it is kind of cheap, easy and gives you a smooth look with out cracks. Down side is that you will remove the reveal of the trim. The third way is to dig out the cracks, fill the cracks with caulk and mud and tape over said cracks. This is only a temp fix that will reappear. Wind storms, earthquakes or settling may make the cracks reappaer. As I said, pocket book, how picky you are, skill level and time will determine your choice. Good luck

Re: 1913 Historic Home

Cmon John, be kind to the newbie.

Vallerie, congratualtions on your new house and best wishes in making it your dream home. I have in my old house both plaster walls and, due to the idiot who owned it before me, there is drywall installed over some plaster walls, WHICH I CANNOT STAND TO LOOK AT because they did not pull of the trim, just put it right up against the trim. I cannot stand that look, and when I have the energy I will pull it off and do it right.

Big no no to that option.

Tacoma John
Re: 1913 Historic Home

Historic sign, your right I was I little rough, sorry Val. Having said that, I have seen male Docs that couldn't change a flat tire and women that can do as well or better than myself in home repairs. To ask "is this something I can do" is a question only Val can answer. In a 1913 house chances are that the "keys", the way the plaster is held to the lath, have broken. Here in Tacoma, earth quake country, this is one of many ways those keys have been broken. Other ways include house settling, wind storms, heavy traffic, (trucks), kids, and other vibrations. Should you choose to remove trim before dry walling there is one important thing to remmeber. When you put the trim back on, around the doors there will be a gap. This can be fixed easly if the trim has been painted using a filler strip. If the trim has the orginial stain and varnish, and you want to keep that look, omg you are in a world of hurt. I am sure that there are people out there that can get it close, I am not one of them. Expect to pay top dollar to fix this problem. Any way you choose, good luck. P.S. Should you decide to remove trim, drywall over plaster one more thing shoud be considered. All the walls have now been moved in by at least one quarter inch. This means that all the base boards must be trimed to fit the now "smaller" area.

Clarence
Re: 1913 Historic Home

Follow DJ1 advice on leaving the plaster and replace only if the plaster is failing.
If the plaster KEYS are broken off or have failed you can detect this by failing plaster, very bad cracking and buldging outward.
Also check in your area to find out the value of the home with the orginal plaster in place.
Than price it with drywall installed.
In my area depending on the date constructed the home would lose value if plaster is replaced with drywall.

jpsmithny
Re: 1913 Historic Home

Here is a solution actually featured in TOH.

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1628100,00.html

Clarence
Re: 1913 Historic Home

The solution used on TOH is one of the best' I have used it many times. Work very well for reattaching plaster to wood lath.

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