Is this unfinished plaster on closet wall?

greyhounds_n_gardensJuly 29, 2011

I have a 1927 bungalow with lath and plaster walls. I'm working on a project to install shelves and double hanging rods in the master bedroom closet. I plan to repaint the closet before installing the new rods and shelves.

The fittings (is that the word I want?) in the closet consisted of a 1x3" wood strip around the perimeter with about a dozen wire hooks and a clothes rod mounted on the strip. The strip itself had been nailed into the wall at the joists although it's possible that holes had been drilled first--hard to tell. We removed the wire hooks and rod and then carefully pried the wood strips off the wall. We were able to remove the mounting strip without damaging the wall. I have two questions about the wall surface at this point. First, the plaster that was under the wood strip looks--unfinished? It is grayish white and somewhat sandy or gritty. I am wondering what steps I should take to prepare that area for painting. I had been planning to prime everything and then paint.

Second, there are a couple of spots on one wall where the paint had cracked a bit. I broke off the pieces that I could and under it the wall is a light brownish color. The paint broke off in small brittle bits, so I'm wearing a mask and not doing any sanding at this point Do I wet sand the edges? How should I prime this area?

I took pictures and will try to attach a link to them. Thanks very much.

Here is a link that might be useful: pictures of closet

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi, & I'll "start" - more knowledgeable people will correct me (let's hope!), lol.
I am no expert - but just based on your pics, and my house, I'd guess that the closet was roughed-in, wood strips installed, then skim (pretty) coat applied around them? I suspect that to be the case, for 2 reasons... the rough plaster texture exposed where you removed the wood, & the exposed edges above & below the naked strip look thicker to me than just a bunch of paint layers.

If I may ask - without trying to sound rude - is there a reason you can't work with the strips, or around them?

Nice, BIG closet, btw! Don't I wish... :-)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Me next--from my own experience, the brownish areas are finished plaster, looks like with old wallpaper paste residue; the 'grainy' areas I'd say are the undercoat of plaster--just skim over those areas with 'joint compound', or plaster if you feel up to a challenge. :)

I second the question--what was wrong with using the old strips to mount new hardware? My next question: what did you do with the wire hooks, and can you send me some!? My closets have just enough depth to hold a coat hanger, with a shelf running above the mounting hooks, and two smaller shelves in the end to the right of the opening. My biggest closet (you can actually walk into it, since it's about 3x6, is in the smallest bedroom.

Anyone else out there got spare closet hooks?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 9:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The newly-exposed area under the trim reveals that you have plaster applied with a sand/float finish. Not unusual for the age of the place. The browner areas appear to be where the browncoat (no relation) was exposed by some damage; removal or degradation of the white coat.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Columbusguy, I think I can "hook you up", blatant pun intended! (How often do ya get a chance like that? I had to use it, lol).

If you email me an image of what you're looking for, precisely, I'll see what I can do. (I don't "sell" to friends - & you've been one - so don't offer me anything!). I have a tin container full of closet/coat hooks & (once I locate it), I'll see if I have a few like what you're wanting. (Yes, they are old). :-) I have more of them than I'll ever get around to utilizing, so get an email to me. :-)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Casey that the surface under the wood is plaster with a sand finish.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 11:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ks, that would be great--I hang on your every post! :)

Here is a link with a pic of the kind I have--they are just dark metal, not brass or anything fancy. I think mine are the size pictured, but I can measure one tomorrow to double-check.

Here is a link that might be useful: Coat Hook

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I appreciate all the quick responses! To answer columbusguy1 and ks_toolgirl, none of the new shelves and rods would be hung at the height of the original strips, so I thought it would be better to remove them (silly me). I probably could have worked around them, though, and in retrospect, that might have been a better choice. This is the largest bedroom closet in the house, and it's 3 by 5 1/2 feet. I know what you mean about small closets, though--I once rented a flat with a tiny triangular closet in one bedroom. It held about three hangers. It must have worked better when it had hooks. Speaking of hooks, ks_ toolgirl, I'm glad you can offer some to columbusguy1--mine are being reused in other areas of the house.

Casey and palimpsest, thanks for the ID of the sand-float finish in the area under the mounting strips. How do I prepare it for painting? I don't think it needs to be smooth. The painted areas of the closet walls are not completely smooth--they have a "sandy" quality that I had attributed to a sand additive in a previous coat of paint. In fact, most of the walls in the house have a slightly bumpy finish to them. I see that columbusguy1 suggested doing a skim coat of joint compound or plaster. If I don't need to match smooth walls, do I skip that coat? Do I prime it, and if so, with what sort of primer? I saw that someone had mentioned a Farrow & Ball product on another thread, but I do not have access to Farrow & Ball, so other brands would be preferable.

Thanks again for your assistance.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 9:57PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Adding a full bath to an old house.
Hello, first post in this forum. I am relocating and...
Unique Craftsman trim & wainscotting Examples, Info, Opinions
I am looking for examples of unique craftsman and/or...
Corbin Dodge
Need color help with exterior paint on 1902 Victorian with bad siding
We have a 1902 victorian in a small town in Iowa. Unfortunately,...
Jennifer Weinman
Hot water radiators
We own a 1900 home which has forced hot water heating...
Sanity check: Huge window & shutter repair/replace bill?
Hey folks! I am the proud new-ish owner of 1740s brick...
Sponsored Products
Geologic Pendant by ELK Lighting
$178.00 | Lumens
Golden Beach Outdoor Armchair
Grandin Road
Cedar Shoe Cubby Kit - Deluxe Ventilated
Signature Hardware
Hortense placemats set of two (four sets left)
Origin Crafts
Z-Lite Directional 3-light Semi Flush Mount Light
Cumulus Flushmount 11" Wide White LED Ceiling Light
$79.99 | Lamps Plus
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™