We moved into a 1930’s bungalow last year that has plaster and lath
throughout the house. We are looking to update our kitchen. Previous
owners installed weird vinyl sheets of tile looking material on the
bottom half of the wall and then added a textured spray paint over top
of this. It looks absolutely hideous! We have removed a small portion
of this in an unobtrusive spot to see what we’re dealing with. It
appears that the vinyl was glued directly to the plaster. When we
took it off, the plaster completely crumbled exposing the lath.
We are looking for some advice as to what to do with this. Currently
we are considering removing all the weird tile stuff, which will most
likely cause most of the plaster to come down. Two of the walls are
exterior walls so we would like to put some insulation up as well. The
cost of totally re-plastering the whole room is probably greater than
what we have planned and budgeted for.
Our current game plan is to
1) remove the vinyl stuff and the plaster down to the lath, sadly this
will be floor to ceiling because I can’t figure out a good way to do
only the bottom half of the wall where the vinyl is attached
2) Install 1x3 furring strips and insert 1” pink foamboard insulation
on the two exterior walls. The alternative is to remove the lath here
as well and frame a new wall with 2x2’s or 2x3’s and insulate.
3) Hang drywall over the lath or insulation (1/4” over the insulation
and something thinker over the lath)
4) Install beadboard wainscoting with a ply cap on the bottom half of
What we are concerned about is how to deal with the existing moulding
around the doors and windows. It’s really nice and we fear it would
get damaged if we had to remove and reinstall it.
We have also had a suggestion to remove the lath on the interior walls
and just affix the drywall to the studs.
Any suggestions as to what to do with our mess? This is our first
major DIY project and we’re just a little on the nervous side!
I have done this quite a few times. Careful work can save the trim.
First score the joints at the wall and where it meets the wood on the other
side. A utility knife or one of those scoring tools made for hardie backer
will cut the caulk and paint and break the seam.
Then slowly and carefully start prying at the bottom on the wall side using
a flat bar. The miters at the top will be cross nailed from the sides and
the top. Extra care is needed here.
Label each piece as you remove it. Don't drive the nails back out. Pull
them from the backside using vice grip type pliers.
If you break a piece just glue it back together.
Your studs will need to be furred out so that half inch drywall will mate
with you window and door casings.
Questions? I am a regular here.
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