plaster restoration

I am removing wallpaper in an 80 year old house. Underneath the wallpaper is plater walls. In many areas, the top coat is cracking, or buldging away from the horsehair base. The base is still solid and intact.
I had a guy over to see about restoring the walls. He said he will hammer out the buldges, tape cracks and then go over the walls with two coats of joint compound and sand.
Is this a standard procedure? I was just reading an article on line saying that joint compound is meant for drywall, and the real way of dealing with plaster repair is to use plaster products.
The thing is, I asked him this, and he said that he doesn't have experience with plaster, all he knows is that a plaster person is alot more expensive than he is, and a plaster project is not a DIY project. but, his procedure will still work..
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The areas that are bulging - how big are they?

For cracks which you feel are minor, especially around windows & doorways, joint compound will work fine as long as there's no bulging, which indicates that the plaster's separated from the backing. For anything bigger than a dinner plate, plaster's the way to go.

Plaster can be a DIY project, but it depends on your patience level, and how long you're willing to put a wall/room out of use. In places where the old stuff's been removed all the way to the backing, the new plaster should be applied in layers so each layer has a chance to dry completely. Depending on climate and time of year, that could take a couple of weeks, especially on chilly exterior walls.
Also, you can't mix large batches of plaster because it begins to set up in the pan pretty quickly. It's much more involved than working with drywall compound. If plasterers are more expensive, that would be one reason why.
Good luck finding a plasterer, too. About 15 years ago, I was acquainted with an architect who was involved with constructing a new office building here. The lobby required some sort of fancy plaster work. They had to import plasterers from Austria. Nobody here knew how to do whatever it was they needed done.
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we resurfaced most of the walls and some cielings in our home over 10 years ago with drywall mud. it still looks perfect today.
some walls were water damaged, others like yours had been papered. the water damage occured years earlier when a previous renter got evicted. the last thing he did after not paying rent for 3 months was turn on all water, close and clog all drains..... geez what a jerk.
clean walls of all paper, lloose anything, undercut cracks fill and tape.
paint everything with BIN primer sealer for best adhesion, then a thin coat of drywall mud, with brush finish to cover minor irregularties.
then paint as usual. one of the best home fix ups we did. the walls were so bad we had considered gutting.
its a DIY project, pick a small wall and give it a try
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is your lathe and plaster? definetely resecure any bulges or lose areas, great time for blown in insulation too
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The bulges area few inches long, with a crack in the center, and the plaster around the crack separating from the backing.. underneath the crack is the base coat, still intact and flat.
but, along the stair way there is a HUGE bulge about two feet long.. and about 1/2 foot wide.. It looks like a patch someone attempted previously, and it pulled away from the base coat.
If I was to attempt to patch the buldges, what would be the procedure? Would I chisel out the loose top coat and the patch it? what kind of plaster would this be to match the thin, smooth top coat?
The guy who looked at this said he would charge me $700 to tape and patch, and do two coats of the joint compound. It sounds like an OK price, but I want to make sure this is an acceptable way. It seems to be an way, since I had another guy over whom I did not trust right away because he said he was ready to start right away and that I didn't have to finish removing the wall paper. he said he would just go right over top of the wall paper in three coats and it would look like a brand new wall.. yeah right..

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i would break up any lose or bulging areas, make certain there isnt a structural problem occuring underneath, then refiish.
have the guy do one wall or area to make sure it looks good before tacxkling the entire thing.
before any of this add any new electric outlets etc. and blow in insulation, since the walls will be getting redone anyway
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The bulges area few inches long, with a crack in the center, and the plaster around the crack separating from the backing.. underneath the crack is the base coat, still intact and flat.
but, along the stair way there is a HUGE bulge about two feet long.. and about 1/2 foot wide.. It looks like a patch someone attempted previously, and it pulled away from the base coat.
If I was to attempt to patch the buldges, what would be the procedure? Would I chisel out the loose top coat and the patch it? what kind of plaster would this be to match the thin, smooth top coat?
The guy who looked at this said he would charge me $700 to tape and patch, and do two coats of the joint compound. It sounds like an OK price, but I want to make sure this is an acceptable way. It seems to be an way, since I had another guy over whom I did not trust right away because he said he was ready to start right away and that I didn't have to finish removing the wall paper. he said he would just go right over top of the wall paper in three coats and it would look like a brand new wall.. yeah right.. ========================
Stay tune, Chris. I did plaster repairs in 4 rooms of an old house, and 20 years later, it still looks good. But, I'm busy and might not get a chance to contribute more info tonight.
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thanks again to all your responses---
I see that DAP makes plaster products-- a plaster/sand patch mix, and straight plaster of paris. so, I take it that these will be better then joiint compound, right?
Has anyone tried "Fast Patch"? It is a tape that can be painted over, with it's edges being thin and irregular that blend in with the wall better. So they say.. That sounds just to good to be true..
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You were certainly told the truth, on all counts. There is a large learning curve to DIY plaster. Setting type drywall compound is a reasonable , though not best practice, repair product for plaster walls. I would still treat all plaster repairs with Larsen's. <http://www.larsenproducts.com/plasterweld.htm Finding a plaster technician for small repair work is problematic.
Veneer plaster work is learnable, though finding the materials can be difficult. Have you yellow paged or asked around about a plasterer (commercial paint store)?
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Chris wrote:

I don't like the sound of that "hammering" idea, and taping the cracks could end up noticeable, under critical lighting, like drywall butt joints.
I saw an interesting plaster crack fix on This Old House that didn't require taping, so you'd get a much smoother job:
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1628100,00.html
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wrote:

I like hammering small hammer gently please.....
it kinda depends, if your working on plaster on blue board, kinda like plasterboard, but designed to be covered by plaster
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I worked on two jobs last year where each one had plaster walls with minor cracks and bulges. The two separate painting contractors for each job did the same repair. They each mixed plaster of paris with joint compound and used that to fill in holes and cracks. Neither one did any taping. I haven't been back to either of those jobs since I finished, but they looked good when I was there.
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wrote:

Some ppl who seem to know plaster, and love to talk: http://www.i-boards.com/bnp/wc/default.asp
G
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