Repairing Plaster Lathe Walls

ken07July 7, 2007

I just discovered the adjoining plaster walls surrounding my washer/dryer are coming apart. This may be due to a water leak but I'm not sure. It is around the lower part only. The plaster seems to be delaminating. I have done work with drywall and am comfortable with it but have never tackled plaster. I feel I need to remove the bad portion of the wall and replace it with drywall. What secrets can anyone help me with to make this job easier? Thanks in advance.

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If the area of defective plaster is relatively small, 10 square feet or less, then the repair can easily be accomplished with original materials, basecoat plaster followed by a layer of finish plaster. However, if you need to do more extensive repairs, it will likely be faster to tear out the plaster, and put sheetrock over the exposed lath.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:58AM
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First, find and fix the water leak, or whatever else is causing the damage.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 1:12PM
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Unless you can get your hands on a copy of 'Plastering Skills' and have a decent source for materials forget the real stuff.
If the leak has been repaired and the top finish coat has come away from the base you can make repairs using either Easysand or Durabond. These are setting type join compounds ( a modern plaster with retarders already added).
The compound is mixed about as thick as peanut butter and can easily be applied with a plasterer's trowel for large areas.
For really large areas a darby can even be used.
Use at least 120 minute compound unless the repair is small.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 7:13PM
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Home Depot is now selling 210 min setting type compound. The highest set time for what Lowes sells is 90 min.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 3:33PM
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1/2" or 3/8" thick drywall will can usually be placed directly on the bare wood lath and patched.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 5:49PM
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Please don't replace with Drywall! You can save your old plaster and reattach it to the lath beneath without the waste.

Plaster has significantly different acoustic properties from drywall and makes the room more "live" feeling. Plus it keeps plaster out of landfills.

A complete tear out may cost much much more than repair. A family member of mine just recently paid $8k just to have a bonus room drywalled and insulated. This room was unfinished so there was not demo or trash removal to pay for.

You can't buy the craftsmanship that went into your walls today. It hardly exists anymore and, in this day and age, labor costs as much as or more than materials.

There are great ways to repair your plaster with a plaster adhesive.

This Old House covers the topic, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: plaster adhesive

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 1:19AM
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If the plaster is only loose and dammaged you can re-attach it.

plaster buttons

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 10:04AM
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