Plaster pulling away from wall

nyboyJanuary 27, 2014

A good friend who is a single mom with NO money just inherited her grandfathers house. It is a old house that nothing was ever done to it. She scraped togather some money for gallons of paint, problem is some of the plaster is pulling away from walls. Is there any way to anchor with screws the plaster back to walls?

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newenglandgarden

If it's just cracking, you can put mesh and a little "mud" over it and then prime and paint. If it's really coming off, it may be better to cut out that section and replace with drywall. We've had pros do both, I've never done it myself. Neither was expensive.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 3:24PM
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RehabReuseRepurpose

I used plaster repair washers several years ago that I picked up from Lee Valley Tools. It was an inexpensive, effective and easy solution to the plaster separation problem in my old place.
So the idea behind the washers is pretty simple, plaster walls and ceilings are held in place by the first rough coat of plaster being pushed into spaces between the wood lath creating keys(?) to hold the plaster in place. When the bond is broken between the plaster and the bonding keys behind the lath you are left with a section of wall that people usually break away and replace or try to skim over. The mesh is a great solution if the wall is stable or plaster over brick, but if the plaster is pulling away from the wall/lath you have the option of using plaster repair washers to create new keys to bond the wall back to the lath.
You need:
construction adhesive
caulk gun
drywall screws (1.5"- 1.5/8")
drill
plaster repair washers
drywall tape (mesh or fibatape)
patching compound
pencil
mud and finishing tools.

Drill holes 3" or so away from the crack spaced 10" apart following the crack perimeter (don't use a bit with a gauge larger than the drywall screws). Your need to hit the wood lath for the washers to work so if you miss the lath try again and be sure to circle the successful holes with your pencil. Once you have worked your way around the crack fill all the drill holes (even the ones that didn't hit lath) with construction adhesive until it oozes from the hole. Then insert your drywall screw into the plaster repair washer and screw into the circled holes along the perimeter of the crack being sure to countersinking for clean coverage. Then mud, tape, and finish.
You will have solved the problem and won't get any movement in that area in the future. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 4:44PM
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nyboy

Thanks Thats just what I was hoping for!!!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 5:30PM
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PRO
Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

RehabReuseRepurpose

great response!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 5:36PM
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worthy

Watch This Old House video using the method.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 6:36PM
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nyboy

Great Video thanks!!!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 8:47AM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Hi,
there's a more high-tech solution which uses an acrylic adhesive injected underneath between the plaster and lath, then mechanical pressure is applied (plaster washers or poles/supports if a ceiling). When the adhesive has set, the mechanical force can be removed. Anyone who has used a lot of plaster washers on a ceiling will know what this means; it takes a very thick skim coat to make the washers disappear; with the adhesive you need only fill the screw holes and you are better than new.
It saves labor. Unfortunately, I have no name brand to give you; probably find by searching under historic plaster conservation or some such.
Casey

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 10:54AM
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worthy

This Old House again. Thanks, hadn't seen this before.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 8:55PM
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StoneHouseGuy

Im reading this and wondering if the "belly" on an outside wall of my parlor, where I have been removing wallpaper, needs to be "reattached"

It doesn't move when I gently press on it like some other plaster that I reattached using adhesive. there are no cracks or damage int eh area at all - just an area of plaster - about 9 x 15 inches - that bellies out about 1/2 inch from the wall surface.

What do you guys think I should do ?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 2:30PM
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StoneHouseGuy

Im reading this and wondering if the "belly" on an outside wall of my parlor, where I have been removing wallpaper, needs to be "reattached"

It doesn't move when I gently press on it like some other plaster that I reattached using adhesive. there are no cracks or damage int eh area at all - just an area of plaster - about 9 x 15 inches - that bellies out about 1/2 inch from the wall surface.

What do you guys think I should do ?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 2:36PM
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nyboy

Going to help my friend today, picked up the anchors hoping it goes well. Thank you everyone.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 8:47AM
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RehabReuseRepurpose

How did everything go?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 3:44PM
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Marvin Forssander-Baird

Stonehouse, I had the same sort of 'belly' protruding from an anteroom wall. I finally got tired of looking at it and just pulled it down. After filling it with drywall and moving on, I am glad I decided to part with it even though I was loathe to remove original plaster. I never could find a reason for why it was like that.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 8:14PM
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lsimms

I'm in the process of reattaching my plaster to the laths using a version of Big Wally's Plaster Magic. I bot Weldbond white glue for the "conditioner", Big Wally's plastic daisies for affixing and Dap Weldwood Multi-Purpose Floor Adhesive to do the heavy work of attaching the plaster.

Using a 3/16" mortar bit, I drilled holes on either side of the crack at the laths (so the drill was stopped by the lath.) I drilled about every 3". Laths are usually 1" in width with a 3/8" space between. Vacuumed the holes to remove loose plaster. Spritzed some Weldbond glue (3:1 dilution) in each hole and waited for about 10 mins. for it to set. Used a tiler's sponge to mop up the drips. Then, using a syringe, I pushed the floor adhesive into the holes. I don't do caulk guns well, so if you can find a good latex adhesive for a caulk gun, that'll work. You'll be able to tell where the lath is pulled away the most because you'll be able to push a lot of adhesive in. Then I put in the "pressure daisies" by drilling into the lath. Do not! use the holes with the adhesive in them as seen on TV. Totally schmutzes up the screw and the daisy. The holes you've already drilled will show where the lath is so just go left and right of those. You'll know you've got good adhesion if you see the glue ooze out as you tighten.

Run water thru your Weldbond sprayer and spritz until it runs clean. They say the latex adhesive cleans up with water, but it is the stickiest stuff ever. You can use a latex paint cleanup product to get every speck. I used that to clean up my daisies and screws. Just threw about a tablespoon full in a jar with everything and shook. My beautiful tiler's sponge is now totally covered in adhesive, yuck. On the second round, I just used a very wet washcloth for the adhesive. Drill is also sticky, lol.

Let the adhesive cure for 24 hours. You can remove the daisies and fill in the now stabilized crack with regular old joint compound in a tub. Spritz the crack with the Weldbond white glue and fill the crack. Scrape it well to avoid sanding...and use the tiler's sponge to smooth. If your wall moves as you are using your scraper, your plaster isn't affixed. Back to square one. That happened to me on a section. Just redid that section and it's rock solid.

I had a lot of fun doing it and learned a lot in the process. Hope that helps.

This post was edited by lsimms on Sat, Mar 22, 14 at 6:40

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 4:56PM
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