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texture coat on interior walls

The previous owner of my 1896, victorian/craftsman farmhouse, put exterior stucco textcoat on the the inside walls of the hallways and larger rooms of the house. Over the years many cracks have developed and spread and the thick texture has accumulated dust.
I need to know how to repair the cracks and clean the walls in order to be able to paint. I want to tone down the texture, sand it down, something. Help!!!

Mary Paquet
Grand Terrace,CA

Re: texture coat on interior walls

Yuk! I feel for you! I'm anxious to see what some expert says... because I'm concerned you're in a tough situation: I think old stucco like that is probably so old and dry that it will continue to deteriorate even if you fix a few cracks. So the long term question may become: when do I stop fixing cracks vs just covering all the wall surfaces with 1/4" drywall and tape it all. One possible option (it's a long shot) is to fill the cracks with caulk and as the caulk dries, try using the head of a nail (or something else) to make the caulked surface imperfect to match the stucco texture. Then paint the walls. Good luck!

Re: texture coat on interior walls

not wanting to sound mean but sure glad it isn't me on that job. :) stucco is a cement product which makes it rather difficult to nail drywall to. even trying to use and adhesive and concrete nails usually doesn't translate to a smooth flat wall. because stucco tends to be dry and brittle, so it chuncks out when trying to nail to it. I myself if I was doing it (if it looks that bad) would go to a drywall supply store and buy some inch a half metal studs and frame a wall in front of it, then you have a straight flat smooth wall again.

Re: texture coat on interior walls

The reason the walls are cracking is the weight of the cement,as people walk about the rooms, this causes the walls to viberate, in turn the nails pull out of the studs, then the weight will take over, I would remove all the loose plaster from the wood lath, we use a flat shovel, then you can renail wood lath I use under layment nails with a ring shank, then mix up you batch of base coat, I would soak down the lath since it's 1896, If you have horses you could add their hair to your base coat, it's like a fine fiber mesh, That's why the old timers used it. Then use diamond coat for your putty finish coat. This way you keep the orignal plaster, When I hear people tell some one to cover plaster with sheet rock, I have to shake my head.:rolleyes: Good luck

Re: texture coat on interior walls

You can buy rolls of textured wallpaper to fix your problem. First use a flexible crackfiller, then paper the walls with the textured paper. Let it dry a few days, then paint. I used it to cover some badly damaged walls in my old house. The previous owner had done a horrible job of repairing the lathe-and-plaster walls, and the textured paper looked great! It comes in several different textures, and is faster and cheaper than trying to patch and repatch.

Re: texture coat on interior walls

I'll second Frankawitz - it would be unfortunate to cover the original plaster walls. I know it sounds like a huge amount of work, but you'll be must happier in the end. I live in a pre war apartment in New york City with plaster walls that were cracked when we moved in. Our neighbors covered their walls with sheet rock and the result is disappointing. The character of the apartment was lost and the walls still don't look perfect. I chipped away at the walls where there were cracks and spent some time applying new plaster. I painted with a finishing glaze that makes the imperfections warm and 'historic' rather than trying to achieve a perfect flat wall. Is does take time - especially if you are learning as you go like I was - but it's been a year since I did the project and I still feel pretty good every time I look at the walls!

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