I have been trying to fix a curtain pole to the wall about the front window -now working on it for 8 hours. I have just moved into this 1960's built house and have never come across this problem before. Drilling the wall is like going through butter, the hole just gets bigger and bigger (in fact you can push a hole through the plaster with a screwdriver). Here and there I then hit what feels like metal and the drill will not go through any further leaving a hole not big enough for a plug. I have tried everything I can think of to fill the holes and get the screws to stay in but the brackets have fallen off three times when putting the pole up. I just cannot think of anything else I can do. I have never before encountered this type of wall previously. I really want to get curtains up as the room is very close to the road. Please please can anyone help.
Thankyou but is this the only answer. My DIY skills are not very good and putting up a pelmet sounds quite difficult. It would require a length of over 11'. This would also mean that the curtains would hang rather far away from the window.
I have same problem fixing wooden shelf brackets in my sonâ€™s (late 19th C.) flat and intend to brush stabilising solution or diluted PVA (1 part PVA to about 4 parts water) into the oversize hole to firm up the friable plaster then, once dry, fill hole with filler (i.e. Polyfilla). Once this has hardened Iâ€™ll drill new hole and insert a wall plug shortened to avoid having to drill into the hard stuff. Iâ€™ll also apply quickgrip adhesive (Gripfill, NoMoreNails or WHY) to back of bracket to compensate for the shallow depth fixing. A labour intensive solution but I canâ€™t think of a satisfactory alternative and I think it would work for you too. Once one could buy a fibrous/powdery filler one dampened and pushed into oversized, irregular shaped holes in dodgy plaster, then poked a hole into with a pointed tool (supplied) to take the screw. It was absolutely magic but disappeared years ago (I think it contained asbestos).
If the brackets are simple L shaped metal strips (IKEA do some like this) you could sink them into the rear of the batten so that they fit flush to the wall and project over the top of the batten - put the batten up in 2 or 3 lengths rather than struggle with the whole 11â€™ . All our curtains have been fixed to the front surface of 1â€
That's brilliant, thankyou so much. I feel much more confident now and will gather all the 'goodies' together tomorrow and set to work on Saturday. I am so grateful for this helpful advice. Not sure I like the sound of the plaster and lathe walls!
Further to my original query, just out of interest, I contacted Bostik re Gripfill adhesive, querying whether I could use their product to put up a batten and then screw the curtain pole to the batten to enable me to hang my curtains, this was their response:
"Thank you for your Email dated 23 October 2007 regarding an adhesive for a curtain pole
Unfortunately we regret to inform you t hat we do not supply a product which would be suitable for your application. We would suggest that it is mechanically fixed (e.g. screws etc.)
We are sorry that ion this occasion we are unable to assist you."
We've got exactly the same problem as jangor and are intending to take the doctor's advice of fitting a piece of timber to the wall. Do you have to strip the wallpaper before sticking the timber to the wall? Or can you stick straight onto the paper?
If you stick to the paper the bond is only as strong as the paperr to the wall and we certainly would not recommend it.
With regard to the email from Bostik mentioned above. There is no doubt Bostik are covering themselves here. We have used Gripfil to hold many pelmets and even used it to hold skirting boards to curved bay walls. Its amazingly strong stuff. Always damp down the side of the timber you intend to apply the adhesive to first. Not wet, just damp. It improves the adhesion and actually states this on the tube.