I am removing old wallpaper with a few coats of paint ontop for good
measure.. Under the brown backing paper is smooth plaster (with
cracks.. 80 years old)
after fixing the cracks, does this plaster need to be skim coated
before priming/painting? it looks like there was nothing done to the
Unless you need to smooth out irregularities, there's no need to skim coat.
Just prime it. I did this 17 years ago in my old house, and the wallpaper's
holding up nicely. I don't recall what kind of primer I used, though. Check
with a real paint store.
thanks! I am knee deep now in old wall paper/paint..
I came up on (what I think will be the first of many) areas where the
protective coating on the plaster as bubbled up and when I scrape the
wallpaper and all off, along comes the plaster, exposing the gypsum
base (or whatever it is) underneath. It is still solid and intact.
Would I have to get a plaster person to float a coating over top to
make it look good? Or can I use the heaviest vinyl spackling I can
find and just patch/prime/paint..?
the one area I have now is about the size of a golf ball, but the
looseness continues on for about an inch or so (the coating still is
up, but I can press on it and it gives a little)
but, this is just the first one exposed.. there are lots of areas
where I feel a little give under neath the painted wallpaper. only
time will tell..
I have used just regular drywall mud to patch flaws in my 80-year-old
plaster. Sometimes the plaster topcoat (the white layer, maybe an
eighth to quarter inch deep) separates from the base coat (brownish or
grayish plaster about a half inch thick). As others have said, if
it's just a few little places it's not hard to patch yourself. If
it's all over the place you might want a pro. If the whole plaster
layer has separated from the lath, that's a different and worse
problem. If there are areas where the wall is bulging or feels
spongy, (usually big areas, like at least a foot in size) that would
be separation. There are ways to fix that too but it becomes a bigger
Personally I think there is much to be said for keeping the old
plaster if you can, it is much more soundproof than drywall and gives
the house a solid feel. And if you decide to take it all down it
becomes a disposal problem. -- H
In that case there are two approaches. One is fasten the loose
plaster down, using nails or screws and "plaster washers." Then skim
coat the area. The other approach is to remove the loose plaster and
replace it with new plaster or with pieces of drywall. And, of
course, then skim coat. I have never tried the washers, I have done
some replacement of pieces with drywall. This might be the time to
get a book and/or video out from the library, if you haven't done any
of that before. -- H
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