removing stucco from ceilings and walls from victorian home

Hi, I have just recently purchased a 105 year old house that has been stucco'd to death. Both inside and out. I don't really have a problem with the stucco outside, however, I would like to remove the stucco from the inside. All of the walls in the house are plaster over lathe. Nary a drywall board in sight.
On the lower level, there is stucco over top the plaster walls and ceilings. The stucco all over the kitchen ceiling is relatively thick with moderate "peaks". The stucco in the hallway ceiling is very thick and gloppy. The stucco on the walls is not very thick at all...with minimal "peaks".
I have had differing opinions on how to get rid of the stucco look - from, adding more plaster and smoothing it (won't that make it very heavy?, chipping it off entirely down to the lathe and plaster and drywalling, to sanding it down and adding drywall, to just putting drywall over it.
I wondered if anyone in this group has had experience doing this kind of job and what they suggest. I am on my own, on a limited budget and would like to believe that I can do it myself.
Thanks! Stuck in "stucco"
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Huh. I'd call that lucky...

Hmm, OK, it's not the dryway that you're looking for per se, but to get rid of the "texture", yes?

I'd pick an off room to work in, and practice plastering the walls. It'll make it somewhat heavier, but not in an important way: walls are already very heavy. The next most practical thing would be to gut the room to the studs and put up drywall, but that would be a shame to do to a nice old house if what's there is in good condition and just not to your fancy. OF course, if you gut the house to the studs, you can upgrade the elctric and plumbing much more easilly...
But whatever way you look at it, you're facing an amazing amount of work... Sure you can't live with it?
John
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Hi John,
I like the plaster walls, just not the heavy stucco texture. It is really quite an aggressive stuccoing job...everywhere and is a bit overwelming. Luckily, they just did the lower floor. Plastering the walls would be a good start, since the walls are not that heavily stucco'd. But it certainly is not a skill I am comfortable with, guess I will have to get someone in, unless you think it is relatively easy. The only place to "practice" is the front hall way. I would rather not gut the walls, I am on a strict budget and doing most of the work myself, (where I can)
Janet
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I am not sure that I understand. The home was probably built with plaster and wood lath. If the walls are sound and the keys have not let go, you have one of the finest type walls made. Drywall is a johnny-come-lately wall surface. I cannot see your walls, but it would be quite strange for there to be stucco on the walls. Plaster is made with sand and lime, it is about 3/4" thick keyed into the wood lath. If you are just objecting to the texture, it sounds as if someone may have applied some drywall compound or some other finish to create an effect.
If the woodwork (door jambs, window jambs, base boards, etc) looks right, be very hesitant to cap what you have with drywall or to remove down to studs. Plaster dimensions and drywall dimensions do not mix. If it is a texture problem, try scraping off the high spots in a limited area and applying a skim coat of compound to see if you can get to the look you seek. It will be a dusty, nasty job to do all walls and ceilings. Porter Cable makes a drywall sander that hooks to a vacuum system that may be worth looking into, though they are expensive.
Let us know what seems to work.
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Consider yourself lucky to have plaster walls.
Is it stucco on the inside walls, or texture paint? I've removed texture paint it by power sanding (a heck of a mess, dust everywhere) and wetting and scraping (a heck of a mess, gloop everywhere), both requiring lots of elbow grease. I've read that steaming works well (but makes a heck of a mess). I have also skim coated not-too-textured texture paint with sheetrock joint compound (works well, not too messy, takes practice to get the wall level).
You can sheetrock over it using 1/4" sheetrock if the points aren't too high, 1/2" if needed. Problems with sheetrocking are losing room area, fitting sheetrock to any moldings (which may involve removing then replacing all moldings), and added weight especially on the ceiling.
If it were me in your situation I would try to save the plaster and take my time, doing one room at a time. With a 105 year old house, you need a subscription to The Old House Journal: http://www.oldhousejournal.com/magazine/index.shtml
For other ideas on removing texture paint, try a google search: http://www.google.com/search?num 0&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&c2coff=1&q=removing+texture+paint&btnG=Search
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Luke
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Thanks for the link to the old house journal luke! very interesting
janet
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You're welcome. Fair warning, however, it can be dangerous ;-). We just wanted to "fix up" our first house, a 1920s English Cottage, found some useful info in the Journal, subscribed, bought back issues, spent the next 8+ years doing a restoration. The house was gorgeous when we sold it :-).
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Luke
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Removing stucco from drywall is difficult, and best results are often from a full tearoff, or a skim coat (after scraping off the high bits).
However, plaster is _much_ tougher, and if it's in good condition it's worth saving. Scrape, sand (with a ROS or half-sheet sander), and spot patch as necessary.
It'll be unbelievably messy. But it'll be the best approach.
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Chris, with any luck the plaster "under" the stucco has been eitther well painted or wall papered, at least then I would think that the stucco would come off easier. I think the ceiling will be the hardest part in the kitchen. VERY pointy high peaks...
I suppose I could try to "pry" it off with something....
janet
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Many stucco jobs will scrape off relatively easily, the trick being getting the result level enough to take paint (or worse, wall paper).
Try using "hook" scraper, rather than the "palette knife" variety.
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