Plaster wall repair

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  #1  
Old 01-10-17, 02:43 AM
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Plaster wall repair

Moving into a house that was built in 1909. Trying to fix up the hallway walls (plaster) which are a total mess... bulges, cracks, etc. I was happily scraping away at wallpaper when all of a sudden I goudged away at what I thought was wallpaper until it was just too late... :/

I have no idea what I got myself into.

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Anyone have an idea on best way to repair this? Am I even capable of repairing this? Sorry that I'm a complete noob to this website and to home repairs. I am a young single broke chick so cut me some slack. Considered burning the house down but then I found this website...
 
  #2  
Old 01-10-17, 04:03 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm not a plaster or drywall guy but often make repairs to walls prior to painting. IMO plaster isn't diy friendly, not that I've ever used actual plaster I always make plaster repairs using drywall products. I'd prime the area if it's dusty and then apply a setting compound like Durabond or EasySand. Regular premixed joint compound will also work although it won't dry as hard as plaster or durabond [it is easier to work with] It will take at least 2 coats of mud. The neater you apply it the less you will have to sand! I'd rather apply an extra coat of mud than do extra sanding. Hopefully our plaster pro will be along later.

There is probably always a time when burning the house down seems like a viable option
 
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Old 01-11-17, 05:06 AM
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I see three distinct layers. If you continue to scrape off what is loose or bulging how large an area do you guess you will have? Do I see fabric in one of the layers? How thick are e top two layers? You did nothing wrong. If the plaster scraped off that easily it needed to come off. I am guessing more is loose. Take for what is loose then report back and show us more pictures ncludng the big picture.
Unless you get down all the way to th lath joint compound is probably your best bet. Marksr is right about plaster not being amateur friendly. It harder to get it straight and flat if you have multiple layers.
I think you have plaster that someone plastered over. That looks like the stuff that is loose and should come off easily. The layer behind that is Hy original finish coat of plaster. It might also be loose. If so take it off. I guess you are the judge f what is easy to scrape off. A stiff taping knife should be what you use to scrape. Don't use a hammer and chisel.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 12:40 AM
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Thank you for the reassurance guys but after tonight my heart is in my throat haha.

I took the advice and started chipping away the loose pieces.. this is what I ended up with.

Should I apply a layer of plaster and then joint compound and then just texturize the walls? Should I just get a professional? ((Should I burn the house down?))

Do you think I need to chip anything further? There are cracks in the original plaster.. not sure if I should be concerned about that.

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Old 01-12-17, 04:35 AM
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If more comes off easily it's best to remove it but don't struggle to take any off. The fix remains the same. I generally take the edge of my putty knife [screwdriver will also work] to 'scratch out' the cracks and fill them with durabond. If you use premixed joint compound those cracks should be taped [like how you finish drywall]

While a pro can do the job quicker, there is no reason you can't do a decent job if you are motivated. It will take more than one coat of mud to get the wall level. Premixed j/c will crack if it's applied too thick. Plus thinner coats of mud are easier to manage than a heavy coat.

Should I burn the house down?
Only if you have weenies and marshmallows ..... and invite us
 
  #6  
Old 01-12-17, 11:57 AM
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First a little information about what you have:
The deepest layer is the gypsum plaster brown coat. It looks good. Maybe there is a spot that has gotten wet once upon a time. Behind this is likely wood lath.
The next layer is the plaster finish. Its main ingredient is lime. It might also have Keenes cement which is harder or it might have gauging plaster which is not as hard.
It looks like at some time in the history there was a patch at the corner and the material was also spread over the (probably painted) finish. The reason the corner is still good is because behind the plaster is metal corner bead and for some reason what ever caused the finish(es) to delaminate did not effect the corner. Or else there is a patch at the corner done at a later time maybe there used to be a wall there and it was taken out and a corner installed. Houses like yours tell a story if you can interpret it.

Now if everything that comes off easily is off you are ready to put it back together,
I suggest you use a setting type joint compound to start with. You buy a bag of it. There is a number on the label that is the set time in minutes. The reason for setting type mud is you can put on a next coat as soon as the prior coat it hard. Mix it with water to a suitable consistency about loike peanut butter or a little thinner. mix only what you think will be enough, not the whole bag. If you mix more than you use doln't mix it with water thinking you can use it later. You can't just clean your mixing containier and start the next batch with a clean container. clean water and new stuff. Spread this on and don't pile it up on the right edge. When you are almost done is the only time you put mud on that edge.
Get a straight stick that will span the width of your wall. Do you see the edge of the plaster peeking behind the door casing? Use your thumb and finger to make a depth gauge that will hold a consistent depth against that casing, Wet the stick with water. Drag the stick up the wall holding the same depth on the left and holding it tight to the existing on the right. This is how you get a patch that large straight and even. When the first coat has set add another and do the same. When you drag some off with the stick that means it is even. Don't add more mud in that area. When it is all nice and flat and flush I think you should tape the right joint. There is a good chance it will crack there if you don't. Now switch to ordinary joint mud because it is easier to sand and tape the joint, skim the whole thing all the way to the right corner, When it is dry (because it does not set, only hardens by drying), then give it another coat until it looks good then sand and inspect one more time. Recoat any flaws and sand again and prime and paint.
This is really not too difficult. Start and make sure you don't leave any high spots. If you run into more problems and have more questions then come back. Show is progress pictures and pictures of the finished work.

You can do this.
 
 

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