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Protecting Oak Wainscoting

I am in the process of purchasing a home built in 1902. It has oak wainscoting all throughout the first floor. The knob & tube wiring has to be removed and replaced with today's wiring. The wainscoting along the walls is approximately 4 feet high from the floor. The walls are plaster.

Question: Whatever has to be done to the plaster to get access short of removing it. How do I protect the wainscoting because I don't want to remove it?

I intend to protect the oak flooring with hardboard but don't know how to protect the wainscoting.


Re: Protecting Oak Wainscoting

You need to be a little more descriptive of what you are wanting to protect the wood from. Or are you referring to the plaster walls?

My house has the same thing, wainscoting and plaster. I have completely rewired this house from a 60 amp knob and tube to a 400 amp MC. Not once did I have to open a wall. You do not have to remove the wiring that is inside the walls. Just cut it off where you can most easily access it. What is in the wall will not hurt anything to leave it. Our house is a 3 story Victorian, so wiring the 2nd floor was a bit of a challenge, but it can be done without channeling an opening in the wall.

After removing the many layers of wallpaper, I did have to patch some of the cracks due to the structure. I did replace and repair the structure first and made the house level again before working on the cracks in the plaster. But mixing a bit of plaster is no big deal. The problem that we had was finding horse hair to mix into the plaster. There are not too many horse farms in the Mt Airy area. But we found a riding farm fairly close by and they gave us a bucket of hair. Although the cracks were not large, we cut up a little hair and mixed it in to the plaster mix. But not into the skim coat mix. By repairing a crack in plaster, one should actually make the crack larger before filling in with plaster mix.

Are you wanting to protect the wood or the plaster walls or both?

Handy Andy in Mt Airy NC


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