primer for re-painting old plaster?

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FrozenNorth brought next idea :

Is this on exterior walls or interior? Can you post a shot of what you are referring?
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On 2015-12-30 1:02 PM, Eagle wrote:

Interior, no shot, didn't take pictures when I was mid-destruction the last time, and not planning to take a wall down to show you what is behind it as then I would have to fix it, and deal with my wife. "Well honey, some guy on the internet wanted me to destroy a wall so I could take a picture for him." :-)
I assume it was the next step up after the wood lathe of old, getting the wire mesh lathe installed was probably less labour intensive than all the wooden strips.
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FrozenNorth brought next idea :

Aw why not... lol

In your area, I don't know what the norm is for plastered interiors. Using metal mesh lath is usually done on comercial projects and screwed onto metal studs. here in Calif. Redwood lath is no longer used, only gyp board and metal mesh sheets and screws. There were a few tracts of homes built here in Temecula that use metal stud framing. I saw this going on while driving up I-15 and had to stop and check it out. After chatting with the Sup, I found out it was an experiment to see what the cost would be between wood framing and beer can stud framing. I never got a financial study, so I guess I should ask the sub contractor and builder what the cost comparison was.
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On 2015-12-30 1:31 PM, Eagle wrote:

I have no idea how common it was here either, of course now it is all drywall in new construction, any idiot can do that, even me. :-)
Other than this place any plaster walls I have torn into had wood behind the plaster, the metal definitely surprised a few friends when they saw it.
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DerbyDad03 formulated the question :

The pic shows the gypsum board lath with gypsum 'hardwall' squeezing between the joints. That's normal. Did you tape measure the width and length of the gyp board lath? The normal size is 2'X4'X 1/2" thick for walls, and 3/4" thick for partition firewalls between the house and garage, or in other areas where fire is a hazard. The building codes in your area may vary. The other interior plastering method is called 'THINWALL' and is mixed wet and spread on 4'X8'X1/2" GREENBOARD lath. It looks very much like regular driwall board, but the paper is green instead of grey. Fiberglass mesh 2" wide tape is either stapled to the joints, or has a impregnated glue so there is no need for staples. Some of the gyp board may be cut to size and that is why you see smaller gyp board? There is a driwall product that comes in a sac dry and you mix it with water and hawk and trowel the material over the repair areas. You can go up to 1" thick with this material, but you may get cracks after drying and have to use topping compound to fill in the cracks. Yes, the material mentioned has a 'set' time, so mix it and get it on the wall before it sets up. HTH
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On Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 1:00:49 PM UTC-5, Eagle wrote:

I never put a tape to the gypsum board lath, but I have torn out a few walls.
I'm trying to think of a place where I can see the back of a wall, perhaps in the plumbing access area for the shower. The wall that I might be able to see will be the back of a bedroom wall, extending into the closet. I'll take a look when I get home. I'm just about 100% sure that the lath is not 2' wide, but we'll see.
As far as I recall, all original walls, internal and ex, are 3/4" thick.

The paper on my lath board is more brown than grey, leaning towards the brown color of paper grocery bags.

I don't think so, but I'll check tonight, if I can.

I may have a scrap of wall that I cut out and saved as a reminder. If I can find it, I'll take a picture.
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DerbyDad03 wrote on 12/30/2015 :

Great! I await your return! :D
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On Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 1:34:17 PM UTC-5, Eagle wrote:

I was mistaken. The gypsum board is indeed 2' wide.
It's the subfloors and roof sheathing that are 1 x 6" T&G boards. (no plywood)
I can't put my hands on the wall cutout that I (thought I) saved.
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DerbyDad03 has brought this to us :

OK, thanks for the effort! Very few construction projects use traditional 'hardwall' construction anymore. It's usually 4'X 8' or 12' driwall 1/2 or 5/8 thick sheets installed with treated driwall nails or screws and all corners and joints covered with 2" driwall paper tape imbedded with driwall JOINT compound, and finished with driwall TOPPING compound over taped joints and nail/screw dents. Finished walls are sanded and spray-tex coated, or smooth finished with topping compound and sanded smooth for paint. I haven't seen any popcorn lids other than 30+year old popcorn that used asbestos in the mix. Asbestos in the driwall is another thread all together.
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On Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 12:10:35 PM UTC-5, Eagle wrote:

That, of course, is how the "replacement" walls that I put up were done.
I have never been able to master the taping process so it either takes me forever + more time to get it done or I get someone else to do it for me.
My first major drywall project was a basement bathroom with all sorts of angles and joints and "shelves". Cinder block walls, wider at the bottom than at the top with a sloped ledge about 5' from the floor. Instead of building out the upper wall to be flush with the lower section, I created a flat shelf with the drywall where the walls narrowed, essentially flattening out the slope. This created additional inside and outside corners that needed to be taped/finished. There was also a box I built around a gas pipe, adding even more seams that needed to be finished. Then there was the area above the shower stall, the wall around the stall, etc. There was no way I was going to be able to tape and mud all of those joints in any reasonable amount of time, if ever.
At the time I was working for a company that had hired a contracting firm to renovate some office areas. I found the foreman, told him that I was looking for a decent drywall guy who was looking for a side job. He introduced me to one of his guys and we struck a deal for him to stop by after work for the next few days and tape/mud my bathroom.
By the time I needed some more finishing done, I had already taught my son how to hang drywall while also telling him that I was no good at the finishing. I knew *how* to do it, I just couldn't get it done in an efficient manner. He did his own research on youtube, etc. practiced on an apartment he was fixing up for a break on the rent and was more a less a natural at it. The next few times I needed some taping done, he came over and did it for me. I love it when a plan comes together. ;-)
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On 12/30/2015 10:38 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

"Plaster lath" system...
<www.tsib.org/pdf/technical/70-101-Gypsum-Lath-Behind-Gypsum-Plaster.pdf> We used it quite a lot doing reno's of the old Federal-era mansions in Lynchburg, VA, back when a young pup and were refurb'ing many of these with friends moving in just out of school. They had been converted to rooms and terribly cut up an all, but one could get a whole lot of house for almost nothing as compared to new construction if one was willing to do the necessary refurbishing. We as a group of new hires (roughly 1000 over about three years) basically did a major revitalization of a significant area in older part of Lynchburg.
There were about a half-dozen of us who made the renovation business a sideline occupation serving the purpose. I mostly concentrated on the interior architectural woodwork but these systems were used extensively as opposed to original lath and plaster as faster and cheaper but still able to match surface thicknesses and such that were extremely variable in those old houses.
They were 16" systems then as the above mentions; I never ran into anything narrower than that; I suppose there were likely local manufacturers as well with other products.
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dpb was thinking very hard :

I bet that was very interesting doing the renos on those old buildings. :D I worked on the old court building in Downtown San Diego making it earthquake proof and rebuilding the old plaster cieling mouldings. Only a small handful of old plasterers had the knowlege and skill needed to referb the court cielings. We did "bench moulds" of the original architecture and attached them to the cielings using gypsum putty. We worked on our backs some 50 feet up!
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On 12/30/2015 12:41 PM, Eagle wrote:

That'd be kewl, too! There was some fine work of that type in some of these but I didn't work on any of 'em. Being a wood kinda' guy (having grown up in far SW KS where trees were unheard of, moving to VA and having a ready supply of all that abundant hardwood was essentially heaven! :) ) I concentrated on restoring old panel walls, fancy wide staircases with hand-turned balusters, etc., etc., ... My all time favorite was one with hand-raised panel wainscot where the panels were native pine single-plank 19" to 24" wide. Hard to imagine such a tree as what those came from these days.
I was only in Lynchburg 10 years, we started the process but it was others who remained (many good friends stayed and are retired there) got acceptance into the Historical Register in 1980, a couple years after we had made the trek to TN...
<www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Cities/Lynchburg/118-0056_Federal_Hill_HD_1980_Final_Nomination.pdf>
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On 12/30/2015 1:12 PM, dpb wrote: ...

Man, this is a nostalgia trip!!! Been almost 40 yr since we left now and I've not been back even to visit or just drive thru in over 20...but found the following for a few photo's...
<http://www.federalhilllynchburg.com /#!photographs/caq0>
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On 12/29/2015 3:59 PM, Eagle wrote:

Frenchman?

I'd like to learn how to do "smooth" -- folks here won't touch it; always opting for aggressive textures (to hide their sins!). Any pointers besides "practice, practice, practice" (joint taping)?
We're also debating ceiling treatment. Popcorn had to go -- nasty and dirt magnet. Not particularly fond of the various "knockdown" textures as they are common on most walls, here. Grew up with brush swirl but I'm not sure even that would fare well, here.
Might opt for something like a slapbrush as it would be a bit more forgiving without being as "noisey" as the knockdowns.
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Don Y formulated the question :

Lakota.

I like smoooth as well! Start with a fairly smooth wall and use a hawk and Trowel to spread the driwall topping compound on the work area. Smooth the area with the trowel, and if needed, wet the trowel face and keep smoothing the work area till you are a happy camper. :D

Scrape off the popcorn, it will be messy so cover everything with thin sheet plastic first so you can fold the mess into the sheet plastic and dump it. Use driwall topping to 'fix' any divits and holes. Use Kilz to seal the lid and spread topping smooth, or do a 'skip trowel' method of texuring. There are several types of texturing walls and lids, so consult a driwall pro, or better yet, a journeyman plasterer in your area. [What state are you in?]
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On 12/30/2015 11:19 AM, Eagle wrote:

Ah! Most of the plasterers I've known over the years were French.

Here, I don't think I have yet to encounter a home with smooth walls -- inside *or* out! (stucco) Typically a knockdown texture over drywall, then paint.
Back east, everything was smooth. I recall a friend in beantown using a VERY aggressive (knockdown) texture -- the plaster being almost an inch thick in some places (you could put "spare change" in the nooks and crannies in the wall surface!) No idea how that fared in the long run (I imagine it would be impossible to keep clean!). And, probably something you'd tire of seeing...

So, just time and patience? :< Presumably, a larger trowel makes the going quicker and results better?

Already removed the popcorn. Relatively easy on stilts. (quickly learned that goggles are helpful at keeping all that crud from getting into your eyes on its way down to the floor! :> )
Hardest part with the texture decision is deciding what we want to *see* as well as how well it hides the sins of an aging home (frontier style roof so flat ceilings rarely STAY flat!). The popcorn was really obnoxious (looking) and catches too much dirt and "dust". When it's dry, here (most of the time), there's a lot of dirt in the air that settles on all sorts of things. Smooth (or less aggressive) surfaces can be wiped clean; popcorn is just too rough!
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Don Y was thinking very hard :

Really? What state? Most plasterers here in So.Cal. are Mexican now. All the old times like Me are retired, and the Unions are mostly gone now, so the only folks who get into the trades are Latino and get half of what wages were in 1995, and the only health insurance available is with the employer. This is a much better way to get health coverage than what the Unions negotiated for by FAR. Unions are another thread!

True. It's much faster doing texture finish inside and out, therefore cheaper for the sub-contractor. Smooth finishes are special order and the cost is tacked onto the final price of the home. Stucco material is a special mix for smooth finish as the regular stucco mix will check as it drys.

We did a tract of homes in San Diego [Mira Mesa] with that super heavy texture on the front of the house. The base coat was sand finish, then a texture finish was applied. A second texture finish was applied over the first, and the third texture layer was added using extra #16 grit silica sand. The result was texture that stuck out like 4 inches over the whole wall! It sold lots of homes, but after ten years or so, the owners would have all that dirt attracting texture removed and sand finish stucco replaced the nasty dirty texture, or brick or stone or wood siding was done.

Exactly. I used a pool trowel to smooth driwall since that trowel has round nose and ass so no trowel marks are left.

Did you use a hood and long sleve shirt to keep the dust off?

Sounds like you have it well in hand Don! :D
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On 12/31/2015 10:31 AM, Eagle wrote:

That would have been back east (New England).

Yes, same here (S.AZ)

Yes. My stucco point was that its rare to see even a *brick* house, here. They slather stucco (and texture) over EVERYTHING! Even wood-framed homes.

Exactly. That was the problem we encountered with the aggressive popcorn texture on the ceilings: air blowing past it (ceiling height vents) would result in dirt getting caught in the texture. You'd literally see these brown steaks across the ceilings, originating from the nearby ducts.
Of course, you can't just wipe it down with a wet cloth as the surface is too rough. You could *spray* it with a fine mist and hope the dirt DRIPS off... :< Easier just to remove it.
Walls have a pretty bold knockdown texture in most places. Makes small patches a bit of a chore as you now have to try to match a "random" pattern (instead of just sanding it smooth) and repainting. But, at least you can wipe it clean.

Ah! I will have to look for that! Thanks!

<grin> No. Just my typical short-sleeved T-shirt. No head covering. So, a good long shower after each "shift" -- with a couple of shampoo cycles (long hair).
I seem to have a conceptual problem matching shirts to the job at hand. E.g., Short sleeve when I should have covered my arms to scrape the popcorn. Short sleeve when I should be wearing something long and THICK as I pick the citrus (large "thorns" scrape the hell out of my exposed arms as I reach into the trees). White shirt when I work on the cars (can you spell "grease and oil"?). Black shirt when baking (can you spell "white flour"?).
<shrug> I always realize my mistake -- AFTER having made it. But, never seem to learn/remember for the *next* time! :-/

(sigh) A shame there isn't some quicker way to get from "here" to "there"...
Thx!
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Hi George,

We repainted my in-laws 100+ year old house a few years ago. Like you, it had the original plaster and lath.
We used TSP to clean the accumulated grease and grime from the walls, then patched up holes and whatnot with drywall joint compound. The plaster was cracked and separating from the lath in places, so I drove in some drywall screws to secure it. I added mesh drywall tape over the cracks and skim coated over the top for a nice smooth surface.
We applied a coat of "Kilz" brand primer on the walls, then two coats of our top coat paint.
Turned out great and still looks nice today.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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