Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>Installing moulding onto plaster wall
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mcomisar
Installing moulding onto plaster wall

Hello,

I'm planning to install a picture moulding in my dining room.
The walls are lath and plaster. Can anyone tell me what the best way to attach the wood moulding is?

I'd prefer not to attach it with adhesive/glue such that it could be modified in the future.

I generally dont like to hammer nails because I'm afraid it will vibrate the lath and damage the plaster

Does a finish nailer cut down on the vibration and potential plaster damage?

Or, is it best to drill pilot holes before nailing?

I've never done any trim work before, so any and all advice is welcome.

Thanks

mcomisar
Re: Installing moulding onto plaster wall

Posting a reply because I forgot to subscribe to the original post.

ordjen
Re: Installing moulding onto plaster wall

Mcomisar,

The pneumatic trim nailer is definitely the way to go, A nailer shoots the nails in with minimal vibration and shock to the brittle plaster. It was for such a situation that I bought my first nailer years ago. With old fashioned wood lath, you have a pretty good chance of hitting wood whereever you shoot. Never hurts to locate the studs though. You can rent them at any rental center, although there are many compressor/nailer packages at the home centers at very reasonable prices. There is no more handy tool to have then a nailer. I used to laugh at Norm Abrams using them all the time until I bought one!

KCPumpkinStalker
Re: Installing moulding onto plaster wall

I did this myself in my 1935 house last winter. I was able to do it the old fashioned way. In my grandfather's footsteps of overdoing everything, I located each and every stud and there is literally a nail every 16". That moulding will NEVER come down!

I started in the corner where I knew there would be a stud, then measured every 16" and drilled a pilot. I would say 90% of the time I hit a stud, the rest I moved a half inch or so to either direction and found it. The only hard parts were locating them near my front door. I marked my territory there - see below. Then I carefully hammered each nail in and used a nail set to sink them before going back with wood putty and stain. I will enclose some pictures. I myself have never used a nail gun but I'm sure it is a better way to go, I just wanted to note that it definitely can be done without one. It helped to keep it straight because I left a cove type moulding up there.

Yeah, I'm young, I know. But I LOVE old houses.

DONE!

Here you can see how the picture rail complements the floor moulding, and I think really "completes" the feel of the living room.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with my plaster corbells. They're so gunked in paint, and strippers and dental tools leave groves as I scratch...what to do.

mcomisar
Re: Installing moulding onto plaster wall
KCPumpkinStalker wrote:

I did this myself in my 1935 house last winter. I was able to do it the old fashioned way. In my grandfather's footsteps of overdoing everything, I located each and every stud and there is literally a nail every 16". That moulding will NEVER come down!

I started in the corner where I knew there would be a stud, then measured every 16" and drilled a pilot. I would say 90% of the time I hit a stud, the rest I moved a half inch or so to either direction and found it. The only hard parts were locating them near my front door. I marked my territory there - see below. Then I carefully hammered each nail in and used a nail set to sink them before going back with wood putty and stain. I will enclose some pictures. I myself have never used a nail gun but I'm sure it is a better way to go, I just wanted to note that it definitely can be done without one. It helped to keep it straight because I left a cove type moulding up there.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with my plaster corbells. They're so gunked in paint, and strippers and dental tools leave groves as I scratch...what to do.

Thanks for the advice. I think I'm going to rent a finish nailer for the job. I cant see your pictures right now because photobucket is blocked at work, but I'll check them out later. I too am young, but like old houses. Mine is a 1910 four square in St Paul, MN. I'll post a picture or two when the project is done (probably in 2-3 weeks).

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