How to repair old plaster?

It is tempting to replace the plaster with drywall when renovating an old home. However, it can be the silliest of the mistakes as it would destroy the architecture and features that make it the old house. Moreover, this also adds to the overall expenses of the plan. What is surprising is that you can still repair old plaster cracks all by yourself.

The fact is that plaster has been in use for thousands of years. It has been used in various historic structures globally.

The fact is that plaster has been in use for thousands of years. It has been used in various historic structures globally. It is the nature of the plaster that prevents moisture. Moreover, plaster also allows contraction and expansion of the old house during different weather. Therefore, it is better to repair old plaster.

The history of plaster:

The earliest usage of limestone can date back to around 12000 B.C. It was a common means of covering walls up to world war II. It involved a three-coat process over the wood. Before the coating, the lath was soaked in water so that it may not absorb all the plaster’s water. The lath was placed with proper spacing so that plaster may pass from the sides and give it extra support.

However, following world war II, the construction industry replaced the plaster with something that covered the walls faster. They found a way that covered the walls without getting wet, hence the name drywall.

Repair old plaster:

Assessing the reason for disrepair:

There can be so many reasons for the plaster to fall into deterioration. To properly repair the old plaster, it is essential to spot the cause of the damage. Old plasterboard can be damaged due to many reasons such as water damage, settling of the house, movement due to weather, and even vibrations of the door. The damage can be different, such as plaster peeling from the lath, crumbling plaster, paint peeling off, etc. If there are serious cracks, it may be due to uneven settling of the house. If that’s the situation, you should consider contacting a structural engineer as soon as possible. 

Repair the cracks in old plaster:

Drill several holes on the plaster at various intervals. If you measure the depth of the penetration, you will know whether the plaster is detached from the lath or not. If it is separated, we will need to use some screws to bring them back. In extreme cases, more holes are drilled and injected with the adhesive joint compound. The surface of the plaster is then pressed with the clamping washer. The mixture is then left to dry. 

Repairing the Peeling Paint:

Another common issue with the old plaster homes is that of peeling paint. Peeling plaster is usually caused due to the application of several layers of paint over the plaster over the years. It is essential to scrap old paint first to remedy the problem. Use a wallpaper steamer and a plaster knife to remove the paint. After removing all the old paint, wash the plaster with a cloth. Don’t wet the wall too much. Let the wall dry for another 24 hours before painting again. 

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