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Plaster Wall Nightmare

Hello all!


I recently bought a house that was built in the 1920s and we're ready to start repainting it.

However, the walls are plaster and in desperate need of some TLC. We want to paint them but the walls are bumpy and uneven.

Would replastering all the walls and then sanding down the uneven areas be an option?

We cannot sand the walls now because the previous owners just painted over the original paint (which contains lead).


Any ideas?

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Posted 2013-02-09T16:28:55+0000  by newhomeowner13 newhomeowner13

I grew up in a house that had plaster walls (before we knew about lead paint) and one room at a time we removed it and replaced it with drywall. It was fascinating to see how a 100 year old house was built.


There are a couple of ways to approach your project.


1. Apply smooth drywall panels (1/2 inch or 1/4 inch) over the existing walls.  This would require a little adjusting to the electrical boxes as well.


2. Smooth over the existing wall with drywall compound.  This is labor intensive and may require a couple of layers to achieve the desired results.  Sand, prime, and paint.  


*I recommend the first option.  Plaster walls tend to constantly crack and separate. Applying the drywall panels will provide a "new" surface that is not susceptible to cracking. Prime the wall with PVA primer before painting.

Posted 2013-02-10T14:38:57+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL



You might want to consult with a professional plasterer. There are specialty plaster products that will allow for the skimming of a thin coat of plaster over the whole surface. Of course, this would depend on the old wooden lath still being tight. It was not uncommon for especially ceiling lath to let loose with age. These products don't significantly build up the wall thickness and result in all your outlets and moldings being at different levels. They also don't require sanding with its inherent dust.


Unfortunately, in this day of drywall, plasterers are getting harder to find


There is one addtional advantage to what PaintPro suggests in replacing the walls with drywall: it gives you access to the wall cavities  and allows you to upgrade wiring , plumbing and insulation. A 1929's house would have virtually no insulation. Removing plaster and lath is ,however, not fun and extremely dusty.

Posted 2013-02-10T17:25:39+0000  by ordjen
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