How to Remove Horsehair Plaster

Lead Image for How to Remove Horsehair Plaster
  • 8-24 hours
  • Beginner
  • 200-700
What You'll Need
Respirator mask
Thick work gloves
10 by 12 foot drop sheets
Flat pry-bar
Drill with 1/2 inch bit
Stud finder
Shop vacuum
Broom and dustpan

Horsehair plaster is typically found in older homes, but because of cracking issues, many people opt to replace it with more sturdy options from modern times. If you wish to remove this from your walls, follow the guide below.

Turn Off Power Supply

There is often a lot of wiring in horsehair plaster, and the last thing you want to do is electrocute yourself. Turn off the power supply to the wall you will be removing plaster from.

Remove Wood Trim

Use your pry-bar or a similar tool to remove the wood trim surrounding the plaster. Be careful with it if you plan to reuse it. Otherwise, dispose of it accordingly.

Find the Studs

Use a stud finder to locate all the studs along with the plaster. Mark those with your marker for reference. Also, mark any outlets or other issues you may have to worry about.

Setup the Room

Put drop cloths down on the floor, and then tape them to the ceiling so that they hang down and shield the area. A lot of dust will be flying around, so you want to minimize where it goes.

Make Yourself Safe

Be sure to put on your goggles, mask, and gloves prior to working. Safety is crucial here as you do not want to inhale excess dust that could lead to respiratory problems. If you have such problems anyways, you might want to avoid this project entirely.

Drill Starting Holes

A few inches away from the stud, drill a starting hole with your 1/2 inch bit. You'll want to work in sections, so just try one part at a time.

Cut out the Section of Wall

Put your reciprocating saw in the hole that you made and cut out the section of plaster. Try to make the cuts somewhat neat just so everything peels away easily.

Pry the Plaster off the Wall

Use a pry-bar to pull the plaster off the wall, starting from the ceiling. If a piece breaks, just continue prying and pulling until everything has come off. Use the reciprocating saw on the horsehair plaster if the section seems too big.

Finish Taking off the Horsehair Plaster

Repeat the steps above for every section of the wall. If there are some nails remaining in the wall, use the pry-bar to remove them as well. Check for any pieces that may remain and pull off accordingly.

Clean Up

Throw away all of your plaster, and then carefully roll up your drop sheets. Try to contain as much dust in the cloth as possible. Vacuum the area thoroughly and then take down the sheets hanging from the ceiling. Vacuum once more to get up any dust that may have fallen from the ceiling cloths.