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construction adhesive on walls and ceiling

Our 1920 craftsman bungalow has black tar-like construction adhesive on the walls and ceiling in our entry and stairwell. What can we do? We have tried a heat gun creating a sticky mess. We have tried scraping it off, creating a mess of the plaster. We have tried skim coating it with joint compound, leaving hills and valleys.

Re: construction adhesive on walls and ceiling

I'd hang drywall over it and hide the whole mess. It doesn't sound like you're going to get it off the walls so just hide it.

Good Luck.

Re: construction adhesive on walls and ceiling

How do you install the drywall over the plaster walls? We have a similar situation. Can you just use liquid nails to install the drywall or do you need to build a frame 2x2's to attach it?

Re: construction adhesive on walls and ceiling

I do not know about liquid nails - dry wall is heavy, hence the hesitation to try to put it up. We are also looking into other ceiling treatments such as a wallpaper that can be painted to look like a tin ceiling.

Re: construction adhesive on walls and ceiling

I would remove the wall covering to studs and drywall it. The tar adhesive was probably to put up cheap plastic tiles but that's a guess. Once it's there it's always there, there is no cheap and easy way to remove it. But, removing everything to studs and applying drywall always works and is a reliable and reasonably affordable approach.

The best other choice would be to apply drywall over what's there and applying it to lathe/plaster walls isn't much different from a normal application; the walls are just thicker and you need to find out where your studs are. Yet, on the other hand, it applies a layer over a bad job which, I think is always a bad idea.

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