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Ok I am remodeling a house we just bought. It is early 1900's vic. The guy that owned the home before did some nasty sand finish on the walls. I don't just mean the sand finish was bad, but the amount of plaster he used in places is unreal. They were humpty... I thought I could flatten them using plaster. I coated the whole wall. It was hard to float because the walls were so in and out. I'm finished in one room and it turned out pretty good. Better than I thought it would. I was worried for a while tho. Second room is not looking as good. I am starting to think I should have simi flattened the walls first, let that cure, then bonded a topping coat. I am using norfolk and diamond plaster. Any Thoughts?
 

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We did an addition on a c. 1910 place last year. Walls were horsehair plaster over 1/4" lath, large gaps stuffed with newspaper. Plaster was 3/8" thick at the ceiling and 7/8" at the base. One wall was out 1 1/4" in 9'. That was fun putting a cased opening in.

There were so many soft spots and bad repairs in the kitchen we just removed the trim, skinned walls and ceiling with 1/4" drywall and started over fresh. Came out great.

Sorry, no plaster advice, just wanted to share your pain.
 

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Ok I am remodeling a house we just bought. It is early 1900's vic. The guy that owned the home before did some nasty sand finish on the walls. I don't just mean the sand finish was bad, but the amount of plaster he used in places is unreal. They were humpty... I thought I could flatten them using plaster. I coated the whole wall. It was hard to float because the walls were so in and out. I'm finished in one room and it turned out pretty good. Better than I thought it would. I was worried for a while tho. Second room is not looking as good. I am starting to think I should have simi flattened the walls first, let that cure, then bonded a topping coat. I am using norfolk and diamond plaster. Any Thoughts?
I used to pick up a lot of these jobs in the Norfolk Va. area. (Ghent) I pass on most of them now unless they agree to rip out, or let me laminate some 1/4" over the old work. They also get really pizzy with me when refuse to warranty any work done on loose plaster lathe walls.

But in your case if the plaster is still solid to the lathes:

1. Walk the walls with a 4-6 foot level and mark off the high spots with a marker

2. You can knick off smaller high spots with a sharp drywall hammer or a 1 1/2" sharp framing chisel by keeping the tools at a very low angle. Don't use any sort of grinding unless you have tested for lead paint.

3. Plaster weld the wall and let it dry. The stuff I use can be applied with a roller.

4. Mix up a bag of (45 or 90) minute hot mud at a time (sometimes 2)

5. You have already indicated the high spots when you walked the wall.

6. Apply the mud to the wall at shallow areas as thick as you can to the point where it looks like its going to fall off.

7. Use a 3-4 foot spreading tool to fill the shallow areas. I use a hard rubber squeegee that I got off a concrete finishing guy. You can use anything that works though. I even used a piece of baseboard one time.

8. Use a dragging motion to spread the mud. I work from the floor to the ceiling to keep the excess mud on top of my spreader while I'm working it. Don't fuss over any voids.......you can fill them later.

Keep in mind that this is only for killing off the shallows, and you will still need to fine tune the wall with a with a finishing knife or trowel. The whole idea is to give the wall the appearance of being flat. Old plaster walls were never really flat to begin with. Once you get up to speed, you can easily do a 12' x 14' room in a couple hours.

I like to use USG Diamond veneer over repairs like this. You can lay it on smooth, swirl, stomp, and with or without sand. Just add a little retarder or it will cook off fast. It will brown out after a couple days but don't let that scare you.

http://www.usg.com/content/usgcom/e...veneerfinishanddiamondveneerfinishsanded.html
 

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If you're saying you're trying to flatten the wall and apply finish coat in one step, then that's a mistake. If you want to keep the plaster, then you need to screed on a new brown coat to level, then a new finish coat. Otherwise, switch to sheet rock as others have described. And don't try to eyeball getting to level, use long screeds, straightedges, etc. Eyeballing it is how it got that way in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you. That's what I wish I had done. I'm sure that would have been easier. I have used a 4 foot level to flatten hot mud on bad drywall. I should have used the same method. I really didn't want to build out with the 1\4 laminate because of losing trim reveal. I have never done plaster and i Thought I could float it. I was a little worried about chopping some of it out. I have a habit of going overboard. I would have been down to the wood lath.:whistling you ever work in p-town?
 

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... I really didn't want to build out with the 1\4 laminate because of losing trim reveal....
That's definitely a drawback. We see it a lot on Victorians, especially where people have added sheetrock to keep the ceiling from falling. It's all about trade-offs, with time and money driving things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you're saying you're trying to flatten the wall and apply finish coat in one step, then that's a mistake. If you want to keep the plaster, then you need to screed on a new brown coat to level, then a new finish coat. Otherwise, switch to sheet rock as others have described. And don't try to eyeball getting to level, use long screeds, straightedges, etc. Eyeballing it is how it got that way in the first place.
OK.I thought you put your base coat and doubled back with finish coat. I did all the walls like that except one. That one i'm having problems with top coat cracking. That wall I topped the next day, wetting it down first. NOW, I wish I had used bonder. On the usg bonder instructions it states on to use bonder on newly bonded plaster. After the fact, I called USG and the guy said I could have used used it. I think, he said because it was such a thin coat it would have been ok. Wetting the wall didn't work well for me. As far as flatting the wall, i should have used a screed. I was working alone so not much work time. I was busting pretty hard. The walls turned out pretty flat. I am pretty happy with that, there some places, like around tops of windows that are popped out. these places are where the prior plaster was build out so much. I should have chopped it out.I also wish I had polished more. In the second room I am finding a lot of places. We are defiantly using flat paint:clap:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I said base coat. That may be brown coat? It was my first coat on top of old plaster. I did use a bonder on old plaster.
 

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I said base coat. That may be brown coat? It was my first coat on top of old plaster. I did use a bonder on old plaster.
You don't really need a plaster base unless you are down to the original board/lathe. Hut mud works just as well, and the veneer finish sets just fine to it. They dry in together very well. If it is slick plaster, you dont need any plaster at all.

I sent another PM......gimme a call. I have a take-off to do off of Effingham and I can stop by after.
 

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omg....some of you make it sound like its so hard and add steps you don't need :rolleyes: step back and think about it. You just need the right tools and know how to run them. If its to hard and your making a mess call someone thats:clap:. I know if I was in that room there would be no mess ...no ripen and you would get a nice smooth walls
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
omg....some of you make it sound like its so hard and add steps you don't need :rolleyes: step back and think about it. You just need the right tools and know how to run them. If its to hard and your making a mess call someone thats:clap:. I know if I was in that room there would be no mess ...no ripen and you would get a nice smooth walls
Iceman, that's the reason for this post. I am trying to make it easier. DEPS Answered the original question. For future work I will (pre flatten) before veneer finish, if the walls are as bad as these were.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You don't really need a plaster base unless you are down to the original board/lathe. Hut mud works just as well, and the veneer finish sets just fine to it. They dry in together very well. If it is slick plaster, you dont need any plaster at all.

I sent another PM......gimme a call. I have a take-off to do off of Effingham and I can stop by after.
Thank you, I got a migraine yesterday so I couldn't think well. I think what I did is actually called a two coat veneer. First coat was a flatting coat , second a smooth. I did used norfok first, as I have heard it a bit harder, topped with diamond. I could have used all diamond. I was thinking, Norfolk may help prevent cracking. ? Like I said I am pretty happy with results. I think the way you described would have been better. I understand your procees. I was worried about (chipping) some of the build up. I was afraid it could start breaking free, and I would end up down to wood.
 
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