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ethansj
Nailing into plaster

I just moved into a '20's bungalow and am excited to add crown molding in a couple rooms and add some chair railing in the dining room. I don't have a nail gun (old school) and want to know the trick to nailing through the plaster into the studs or boards. Drill each hole first? Thanks for your help!

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Nailing into plaster

The trick is to glue nailing blocks to the wall/ceiling joint and let them set before nailing up the crown.

Rent a nail gun. You'll thank yourself.

ethansj
Re: Nailing into plaster

Good idea. And a nail gun won't crack the plaster?

jpsmithny
Re: Nailing into plaster

A nail gun drives the nail in one shot. There is no pounding on the nail and subsequently the plaster causing breakage.

Glue blocks are a great idea.

jpsmithny
Re: Nailing into plaster

There is also the lightweight crown molding made of foam that can be glued up. Whose gonna climb up to the ceiling to inspect it?

jkirk
Re: Nailing into plaster

the foam crown still needs to be nailed up to hold it while the adhesive sets up,

plus simply glueing moldings onto a wall rarely holds long term, i dont know how many homes ive worked on where the homeowner only used glue to put trim on and the trim was laying on the floor because the adhesive let go

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Nailing into plaster

On later hard plaster (which you may have) a nail gun presents a problem; unless driven in very straight to the wall plane, the nail will deflect off of the hard plaster. So for crown, which usually has some angle to the approach, hand nailing or screwing could be the way to go. Trim head screws do a pretty good job, but pre-drill the wood, because they can split hard pines, oak. Poplar is probably OK.
Casey

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Nailing into plaster

PL Premium advanced is an excellent adhesive and will keep those nailing blocks in place forever. No doubt about that. Use tape to hold the blocks while the glue sets OR tack nail them up while the glue sets, which takes about 20-30 minutes.

Worknot
Re: Nailing into plaster

Maybe you have some other kind of issues going on there if the plaster crack as you nail into it. Moisture may weaken plaster causing it to flake, bubble, or crack.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Nailing into plaster

We installed wood crown in a condo a few years back, maybe 10 or 15 years ago. The walls and ceiling were all concrete. We glued the blocks into place. Everything is still there.

The key is to add many more blocks than you'll think you'll need.

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