I live in a 1925 built home that has several plaster walls that are "bumpy"
in texture. In one area about 24" in diameter, a water leak caused the
plaster to lose it's bumpy texture and become smooth. I have stopped the
source of the leak and and have repaired the surface so it is smooth, but I
am having difficulty figuring out how to get the bumpy effect. Thank you for
It sounds like sand finish plaster.
The last 1/8" coat, the finish coat, has a proportion of sand in
the mix. This condition is easily duplicated with Structolite,
the "aggregate" is already in there. Apply the material with the
usual trowel and strike it to finish grade. When it has partially
set, flip or spray a small amount of water on the surface and use
a float flat to the surface in a circular motion. You will get
slight variations in the finish based on type and quantity of
sand, float material (traditional is an extremely soft sponge,
cork, cedar shingle), amount of water , and pressure used.
Hope this helps.
Keep the whole world singing. . . .
Get a paint roller with a deep nap sleeve -- the deepest available --
and a bucket of pre-mixed dry wall mud (joint cement). Roll the mud on
the spot(s) slowly just like you would roll on paint. The deep nap of
the roller and the thick mud will leave the texture you want.
You might have to thin down the mud a little with water to get the
right application, and you will have to practice a bit to match the
existing texture. Try it out on a small area first and see what you
need. If you make a mistake you can scrape it off while wet with a
trowel or putty knife.
If the texture you leave on the wall is too "peaked" for example, you
can knock it down with a clean, damp roller after the texture sets up
a little. Make sure you feather the edges of your patch, as ridges and
odd swirls will show. You have to be a bit artistic and pay attention
to matching the existing texture.
After the texture dries, repaint the whole wall the color you want. I
did this on several damaged areas in my 1921 house when we were
renovating it and it worked fine. I never found it necessary to add
sand to the paint or texture. My experience with my own house and
homes of neighbors from the '20s is that sand was not used -- that was
a later method and yields a different effect. A crappier effect IMHO.
You can also buy more expensive premixed texture paint the color you
want, but you will never be able to match existing colors.
If the finish is more of a stucco style than a rolled on or sand finish, you
might try what I've done:
1) Apply a thin coat of regular drywall mud evenly over the area.
2) Using a notched trowel, the kind that you'd use to apply tile cement,
press down flat into the mud.
3) Pull the trowel up with a slight twisting motion towards the notched
sides of the trowel.
This should give you a stucco type finish. If the "peaks' are to high, or
pointed, wait until the mud dries some (but is still damp) and gently wipe
over the surface. You may need to experiment to get the finish look you
want. I found that using my hand gave me the finish I needed but you could
use a trowel or other tool.
I found that using the notched trowel rather than a straight edged is that
when you pull it up out of the wet mud, you invariably let one edge trail
behind which leaves a straight line in the mud. The notches help hide this
Play with an old piece of wood or drywall for a few minutes and you'll come
up with a method that meets your needs! I did an entire room addition like
this so it would match the older part of the house, and also did a wall in a
room where I built a closet so it matches the other walls.
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