I bought a fixer that was built in 1927. The walls are plaster that
have several layers of wallpaper and paint. There is evidence of lead
paint and do not want to take out walls and put in drywall. I would
like to skim coat the walls, sand and paint. The problem is that in
some places the paint is very loose on the underlying wallpaper. I
have scaped some of the paint off. Any suggestions?
Buy a good respirator and tear out the plaster. Painted wallpaper is ugly,
and the plaster walls will only get worse. Go back to the bank and get a
construction loan. Get bids from a few contractors first. You may not have
the patience to do the work yourself.
I agree on this one. First, leaving the existing material in place has
many advantages both in terms of the scale of the project, and in
soundproofing the home; plaster walls make the house much quieter.
However, if the top layer of paint is loose, skimcoating may not be a
good idea since the skimcoat can only stick as well as what it's stuck
to, if you get my drift. You can get 1/4 inch thick sheetrock and put
that over the walls, that will make a nice smooth wall but you have to
adjust the electrical boxes (switches and outlets -- of course in a
house that old there is probably one outlet per room!) and think about
how it will work at door and window frames. Alternatively, you can
scrape stuff off until you get down to the plaster (or some sound,
well-attached layer) and then skimcoat. -- H
I'm gonna piggyback onto this discussion because I'm planning to
skim-coat my bathroom walls to match the rest of the house.
I've torn out all the walls and the floor, replaced the tub, and now I'm
ready to put the walls and the subfloor back. The rest of the house has
plaster over gypsum-board lath for the walls.
I'm planning to use 1/2" concrete backer-board (Wonderboard?) for the
walls and then skimcoat the sections that I don't tile. Does this sound
reasonable? The bathroom is so tiny, I don't think the small sheet size
will be a big problem (just a nuisance because I'll have to do a lot of
cutting to get the joints to land on the studs.) I will tape the joints
with fiberglass mesh.
Do I skim it with a 45-minute setting-type joint compound, or is there a
special plaster I buy for skimming? I know plaster of paris sets too
fast to be workable.
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