4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Plaster or drywall?

We just bought our first house and decided to remove the terrible 70s paneling and paint the walls. After removing the first layer of paneling we found a second layer of paneling, and after removing that paneling we found about 3 layers of paint and 3 layers of wall paper. We used warm water mixed with fabric softne and patiently scraped the wall paper off... and then the walls started to crumble. We now have huge pieces of our wall falling down, exposing the horizontal boards within the wall. I know our original walls were plaster, and when they installed the paneling they used hundreds of nails, which cased cracking. We have had 4 different contractors in and have received very different solutions and bids. We were told they needed to skim the walls and paint, then we were told they needed to replaster, and we were also told we should just put dry wall over the existing problem. Any ideas on the best solution to the mess we made?

A. Spruce
Re: Plaster or drywall?

Without seeing the walls, it's hard to give a definitive answer. If the plaster is just cracked with a few pieces missing, then replastering or overlaying with drywall is perfectly fine. If large patches have fallen free, then those areas must be filled, either with plaster, drywall, or furring strips before being overlaid with drywall.

The pro's of overlay are relatively clean, no demo required, the con is that there may be clearance issues with trims and moldings, as well as outlets.

The benefit of stripping to bare stud before installing drywall is that you can have a nicer, smoother finished wall when done. You can also update any wiring, plumbing, or insulation while the wall is open.

Timothy Miller
Re: Plaster or drywall?

Wow lots of suggestions. Removing the plaster and lath boards makes a whole lot of dust. But it gets you to the studs so any insulation can be addressed and exposes any past work or rot or deterioration that needs addressed.

The removal and re plaster is very costly. Removing just the plaster an installing drywall is less costly.
To just drywall over the existing means you have to extend any electrical receptacles , switches and outlets.

Just skimming over the existing plaster how much per sqft? and what is the suggested life of the skimmed walls? Someone else will have to help you with that as i haven't gotten involved with doing such over deteriorated plaster.

Re: Plaster or drywall?

Wow, this is really great information!

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.