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textured plaster walls

Can I skim coat over existing textured plaster walls to get a smooth wall surface or do I need to tear out the plaster walls and replace it with dry wall? I am helping my daughter renovate her house and she doesn't like the appearance of the large textured surfaces.

A. Spruce
Re: textured plaster walls

Yes, you can.

Re: textured plaster walls

A better and cleaner look would be to drywall over the plaster walls. You could use 3/8s or 1/4 inch drywall and not even worry about tearing out the trimwork and redoing it. If you are not a trained drywaller skimcoating takes a great deal of skill and a whole lot of work.

Re: textured plaster walls

When doing our house we skim coated all the surfaces. But the important point to remember is to fix any cracks or loose plaster that is currently present, otherwise the skim coat will fail. The problem we had was tiny imperfections still showed (drywall would have given a better appearance). So we went over the skim coat with a really light texture to hide any imperfections we had. It looks great!!

Re: textured plaster walls

The problem with veneering new drywall over the old walls is that it throws all the woodworkand trim in the room out of alignment with the new thickness of the wall. Door amd window jambs will have to be fitted with wooden strips to increse their thickness. Also, all outlets will now be in too far.

Personally, I would go the skim coat of drywall route. I have an old friend who is slowly working his way through his whole house topping off the textured drywall that is so popular here in the Pacific North-West. His wife thinks he is crazy, but he, like I, was raised in "smooth wall" country and hates the textured look.

Re: textured plaster walls

Thank you for the encouraging replies, from one and all. I prefer to skim and not to veneer the textured plaster. I understand it will be alot of work to skim the plaster, and that the surface will likely not be perfectly smooth. Can you give me any recommendations on what to use as the skim coat and any additives that would make it bind better to the surface? I asked one dry waller (who did very good work on my home) for an estimate and he said it couldn't be done. I have some other names of dry wallers to call and I want to be sure that this project is doable and not just a pipe dream. Thank you

A. Spruce
Re: textured plaster walls

If there is any damage to the plaster, that will need to be repaired first or it will telegraph through before you get the paint on the wall.

  1. Start by vacuuming all surfaces to be skim coated.
  2. Repair with "hot mud" and fiberglass mesh tape. Hot mud is a dry mixed joint compound that chemically sets like concrete, rather than drying like normal premixed joint compound. Apply the tape over cracks and larger holes, coat with hot mud and smooth out as best as you can.
  3. Skim coat with premixed topping compound, it is smoother, and is easier to sand than normal joint compound.
  4. Once dry, scrap your drywall knife over the surface to remove large ridges and chunks and apply a second coat. When that drys, assess whether you can scrape and sand or if a third coat will be necessary.
  5. When you sand wear a high quality dust mask. It would be best to use a sanding pole attached to a shop vac to contain as much of the dust as possible. Mark spots that need just a little more filling as you sand so that you can go back and address them.
  6. After the final sanding, vacuum the walls again and apply two coats of a good primer, such as Zinnser Bullseye 123 (blue label ), and two coats of good quality paint.
  7. Sit back and enjoy your hard work.:cool:
Re: textured plaster walls

Cool tips, by the way! :) Thanks!

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