DIY Doctor

Renovating plasterwork in 60 year old house

Postby arogueant » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:02 pm

Hi. Just joined the site as have found other posts useful in the past. Just bought a 60 year old house to rennovate. Stripped wallpaper anticipating re-skimming walls, but have the following questions to which any answers would be appreciated;
1) I read conflicting view about gaps between boards when boarding a ceiling or wall, anything from no gaps (butt tight to each others) to 3mm. If I aim to board (square edged) and then tape and skim, do I leave a gap (between boards and at joins to walls) or not? are the rules different for wall and ceilings?
2) I am replacing skirting board and architraves, but hoping to re-use door linings. Given that the linings are currently flush with the old plasterwork, after reskimming they will be recessed behind the new plaster finish. I thought that skirts and architrave went on after plaster finish, but in this instance should I get the architraves on before getting the walls skimmed?
3) There are various placed (particularly around windows) where the plasterwork is off down to the brickwork. Is it OK to apply a reasonable careful bit of patching plaster to these bits expecting the skim coat to make the patching indistiguishable from the rest of the wall?
4) The external corners of the plasterwork are finished with curved wooden strips. Im a bit concerned about just skimming over these, but if I try to replace them with metal corner beads, there will be a thickish area beneath the new beads which is unsupported (the wooden corners are recessed into the plasterwork) - what is the best way to go here? I don't think metal beads will go on over the wooden ones rather than replacing them, but does anyone think that might be an option given only skimming over the top?
5) I need to get rid of a small upstairs fireplace - can I just remove fireplace, frame out and nail plasterboard across, tape and the just skim over?
6) I have the reverse problem with the skirting that I have with the architrave. The old skirting was recessed into / under the plaster rather than nailed on flush after plastering was finished. I therefore have quite a big recess over which new skirting needs to be fitted (which will get a bit deeper after new skim coat). Should I wait until after skimming and then attempt to do a lot of packing out to get skirting on flush, or try to get skirting on first (like the architrave) and then skim down to it. Also is there and alternative to packing out (e.g. getting in a load of patching plaster at the bottom of the wall where skirts have come out, and then getting skim coat over walls extended down over patching plaster and then putting on new skirting after skim)? I'm not to sure how good an attachment I'll get for the skirting if nailing / screwing into a couple of inches of patching plaster!

Any help much appreciated - doubt it'll be the last post I make! Thanks
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:44 pm

1) personally i say no gap - butt the boards up. leave a gap and you only fill it up with brittle plaster anyway. most important thing is to tape the joints.

2) probably best to put architrave on first, otherwise you'll have to chip the dry plaster off the door liner.

3) yes, absolutely fine, in fact that's the correct way to do it. first remove any more loose plaster/render from the area. seal with pva diluent. build up with bonding or undercoat plaster (or browning if you prefer) flush with existing plaster then skim topcoat. you can even scrim tape the joint between new and old if you are concerned about cracks but shouldn't be a problem.

4) use metal corner beads. if the wooden strips are firm, sound and secure you can use drywall adhesive to attach the beads. double advantage of solidly filling the void behind the bead. a few nails into the wood here and there to secure whilst the adhesive sets and bob's yr mother's brother.

5) yes. don't forget that the flue will need some sort of vent to prevent damp.

6) if the old plaster was flush with the skirting and the skirting was sound i'd have left it in place and fixed the new skirting to it with screws. you CAN pack out with patching plaster/bonding coat but as you say it will be pretty thick. i'd be more inclined to use a cement render mix to give a little more strength. if your walls are good and true and you can rule off the plaster or render at skirting level so it's nice and flat then you may not need screws for the skirting, just gripfill or similar adhesive such as sikaflex-ebt. or you could get longer screws, say 3-inch and go all the way through the plaster into the brick for a solid fixing.

good luck!
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