basic beginers's question: when to plaster?

Postby mtb » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:45 pm

Apologies to all for the utter stupidity of this question, but after reading through all the projects and most of the posts on the forum, one basic thing is not clear to me: when does one repair problems in a wall with plaster and when does one do so using for example One Strike lightweight filler that is also recommended on this site?

We are renovating a Victorian terraced house, and after heroically removing wallpaper we've discovered that the walls are in quite poor condition: lots of small holes, spiderweb-type fine cracks, and more seriously, chipping off of old plaster near the floor boards and around door frames. (Hence the wallpaper).

Filler for the smaller problems seems obvious, but what of the bigger problems? We knock off the loose plaster and patch up--but with what--filler or with plaster? Does it depend on the size of the patch in question? What's the guideline then--if larger than 5 inches in diameter then plaster?

We don't mind imperfect walls--a few imperfections are to be expected of an old house and we want to preserve it's character, so we want to avoid re-plastering the whole surface if possible.

Advance thanks for any guidance on this.
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:20 pm


Simply Build It

Postby DUDE DIY » Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:04 am

Hi my advice is would be to get a few plasterers out to have a look at the problem you have. They will be able to offer professional advice and give you some idea of price and the extent of or correcting the problem you have and getting the finish you want. Even if you don't use them its good to get free advice. In the long run it may save you time and effort and money.

- the fine hairline cracks are usually a result of the property being old and could even be a problem with the initial dust proofing behind the plaster. This causes hair line cracks over big areas. Depending on how stable these sections are, you could cut a 'V' shape along these hairline cracks into the wall and then simply fill them and sand them off. If there really unstable then big sections may need replacing. I wouldn't start pulling at these sections as it may cause a bigger problem for you.

- the chipping off old plaster along skirting and door frames ( have you removed the skirting boards and door achitrive? ) can be filled quite simply with a one coat plaster then sanded down when dry. This could be done yourself if your confident? Just mix up a thickish plaster mix in a bucket and apply in upward strokes with a float. Remove all loose bits of plaster first Get as smooth as possible as this will save you time sanding afterwards.

- theres no real guideline on what you do with filler or when you should use plaster, its for you to decide. I would only start mixing up some plaster for big sections simply because its cheaper than ready mixed filler. If you have a lot of small sections to do in a big room the it might be good to mix up a bag of plaster.

- as for getting perfect / flatter walls a tip is to after all your filling is done then paint the room in a cheap matt white paint. This will help you see any imperfections which you can then sand down. Its easyer to do this than try and sand whilst the walls are all patchy will filler, plaster etc

hope this helps, let me know how you get on. Cheers!

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Postby mtb » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:43 pm

Thank you so much! Extremely useful guidance.
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:20 pm

Postby DUDE DIY » Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:16 pm

No problem. Good luck with it all.
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:34 am

Postby Briggy » Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:50 pm

Hello, sounds like it's due for a reskim to me, for small cracks, holes etc... i would recomend easyfill or tetrion filler or equivalent. I personally don't recomend the light weight filler, this always remains soft and vulnerable to dent's, also gives an especially naff finish for painting. Regards.
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Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:52 pm

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