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Help with Plaster walls....

We have an interior room, interior wall that has crumbling plaster.  This is one of the last rooms we need to refinish.  I want to keep the original molding and am waiting to finish the floors until we get this wall done.  Only one wall in this room is crumbling.  I pulled a small piece of wallpaper down to see what I am working with and the plaster underneath is nothing but dust.  It falls away to the cement board.  I figure, as I cannot patch and will need to refinish the whole wall, I want to know what will be my best bet? 

Option 1.  Tear down all wallpaper and use a quickset plaster/compound by applying with a large roller and skimming with a plaster tool. 

Option 2.  set frames and replaster in sections trying to get it as flush as possible.

Option 3.  Skip the plaster and attach 1/4 drywall. 


My questions are these... If I choose to do the drywall, do I need to remove the bottom molding?  Since I am taking off the plaster, can I just butt the drywall up to the molding?  Also, a member of the team at my local Home Depot reccomended using a drywall adhesive to attach the drywall to the cement backer layer to avoid damaging the plaster wall on the other side of that wall.  I am not concerned with the bond to the drywall, but what kind of prep work/cleaning would need to be done to the cement backer layer to apply the drywall with adhesive?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  WP_000331.jpgWP_000328.jpg

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Posted 2013-03-20T17:09:22+0000  by SMFinNA SMFinNA




As best as I can tell from your pictures, you do not have "cement board", but rather you are looking at the "scratch coat" of plaster which is more than likely on wooden lath. If the scratch coat appears to be tight to the studs, my suggestion would be to build up the existing wall again. To determine whether it is tight, merely push in on it and see if it is moving, or tap on it to see if it has a hollow sound.


If it is the budget,  try to get hold of a plasterer after cleaning off the old wallpaper and cleaning off the loose plaster. If is is not in the budget, there are plasters which DYI'ers can handle. A great source of How To Videos concerning plastering can be found on You Tube.


Plastering will return the original flat , hard surface which will allign with the existing woodwork, which drywall probably will not.


If you go with veneer drywall, do not trust adhesives on the crumbly surface of the plaster you describe. Locate the studs and drive drywall screws into them, especially if the old plaster shows movement.


Hope this has been of some assistance.



Posted 2013-03-21T05:53:20+0000  by ordjen
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