DIY Doctor

Main navigation

Replastering an early 1900s house

Postby DIYFrank » Wed Jan 04, 2023 7:08 pm

Hi everyone, thank you for taking the time to read. I am renovating my home which was built sometime between 1900-1930 without cavity wall. I am not sure how to approach the replastering since it seems to be mix of materials and consistencies throughout the house.
Currently I am working on the smallest room in the house which sits above the kitchen. The render on the walls seems to be a layer of gypsum (pink layer) over what I suspect is lime plaster (light brown colour with occasional hairs embedded). Some parts of the house also have a porous grey render behind the wallpaper.


There are hairline cracks over the windows and doorways which appear to be limited to the plaster (no damage to the brick can be seen).

There are many holes on the plaster from previous fixtures.

After removing the skirting boards the plaster behind it practically crumbles off the wall, gradually hardening above where the skirting covered the wall.

The plaster in some walls is softer than others. It seems to be softer in places where the wall has something behind it (i.e party wall, adjacent rooms).

The walls that face the outside seem to have the harder plaster in the interior.

There are gas pipes embedded on the walls of the room which will need removing.

There is pebble dash on the exterior walls throughout the building.

My objective is to end out with the highest possible quality house that I can rent out in a couple of years but since I am new to house ownership, and DIY I am seeking advice on the following:

1. Should I take all the walls back to brick and replaster everything or should I remove the lose plaster and patch up the gaps?

2. Should I replaster with lime plaster?
I know lime plaster is expensive and requires better technique, but I’ve read that other types of plaster can cause damp to accumulate within the brick.

3. Should I consider internal insulation?
I am concerned about having insulation only on the external facing walls and how that affects temperature gradients in the transition from internal facing to external facing.

4. What else should I watch out for?
Condensation is my main concern at the moment, and I am not sure what the best plastering solution is for my conditions.
Are there any building regs I should be aware of?

I am not closed to the idea of contracting professionals to help, but I would like to learn more and save some money in the process. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
room corner.jpg
room corner.jpg (7.85 KiB) Viewed 851 times
example of soft plaster behind skirting.jpg
example of soft plaster behind skirting.jpg (7.17 KiB) Viewed 851 times
behind wall paper in corridor.jpg
behind wall paper in corridor.jpg (7.85 KiB) Viewed 851 times
around window.jpg
around window.jpg (8.78 KiB) Viewed 851 times
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2023 6:10 pm

Postby stoneyboy » Fri Jan 06, 2023 10:55 pm

Hi diyfrank,
Sounds like a complete replanted would be beneficial, use one of the renovating plasters which are breathable.
The cracking over windows and door may be because you have timber lintels over the openings. Use a reinforcing mesh pinned to the lintel if you replanted.
If your pebble dash walls are painted, unless this has been done meticulously, this will be a source of damp ingress.
Regards S
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 6321
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:44 pm

Postby DIYFrank » Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:39 pm

Hi stoneyboy,

Thank you for the reply. I think you're right about replastering the whole thing. The pebble dash is an original feature so I think it's been done properly since there is no major patch of humidity visble. I will watch out for any ingress as I take off the plaster.

best regards
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2023 6:10 pm

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics