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Wall Plaster Problems

Plaster is a composition of lime, sand and water used to coat walls and ceilings and allowed to harden and dry. It is a building material similar to mortar or cement and is used as a layer on an interior wall or as decorative moldings on ceilings. This method is called plastering and is used in construction of buildings. During construction people tend to give a lot of importance on the decorative aspect of the house and forget the most integral part of the house being the walls and its durability. Plaster walls tend to develop stress-cracks on walls and ceilings over time and professional help needs to be taken to repair these cracks or it could result in extensive damage to the building. This ancient material though used in interior wall finishing, have many issues along with its benefits.

Read below where Experts have answered questions relating to wall plaster problems.

How to plaster face brick that has been sealed and painted?

The surface of the wall needs to be prepared in order to ensure that the surface is rough enough for the plaster to stay on. For this, one could use a sandblaster to remove the paint or even a spinning wire wheel could be used for the same. The other method would be to attach expanded metal lathe to the wall by nailing into the mortar between the bricks. A rough metal sheet with small diamond shaped holes is nailed to the wall. By doing so, a surface is created on the wall which allows the new plaster to stick to it. An alternate method would be to nail the wall with chicken wire fencing to create the same effect of the earlier method. Finally, two coats of plaster would be required; one to cover the wire and the other for a final finish on the top.

How to repair water damage on a plaster wall?

While repairing water damage on a plaster wall, ensure all the loose and water damaged portions are reduced to a dry and stable wall. A setting type joint compound and not a ready mixed compound should be used while patching as the latter is prone to leaving air bubbles and the compound will also not adhere to it. Finally after sanding the repair and applying a layer of muddy compound to smoothen the rough or damaged walls, a primer may be applied before painting.

How to treat a wall which has paint over lime plaster?

Prior to painting, the plaster containing lime should be allowed curing or the alkali would attack the paint. Painting right after plastering would leave air bubbles and cause the paint to come off. Using a plaster based setting type joint compound would be helpful while patching. When pressed for time, the trick is to scrape the surface with redi-mix dry wall compound. A flexible drywall knife could be used to wipe it on and off. Ensure the wetness in the mix is retained by adding some water and stirring it. This enables the wall to draw water from the mix and stiffens it. This allows for painting as the skim coat would dry within an hour.

What kind of anchor should be used to hang a curtain rod bracket in plaster?

Plaster walls more often crack and break off around holes while trying to hang items. Reusing the holes made earlier without patching them wouldn’t be advisable on account of the chipping. Toggle bolts are effective as the wings pop open behind the wall and using screws tightened outside they are held in place. Another anchor suitable would be the molly bolt. If none of these work, it would be best to rent a stud finder and tie directly into a stud. The hole with the suitable drill bit size needs to be predrilled to ensure a clean entry.

How to open a plaster wall ensuring there is no extra damage to the remaining plaster?

The quickest method with the least damage would be to use a RotoZip (a tool used to cut through dry wall, ceramic wall tile, floor tile etc. in order to save time and ensure better results) with a carbide bit or a standard sabre bit though the former would be preferred. Another option would be to slash near a stud, then use a utility knife to score the plaster. The plaster then needs to be removed and the lathe slashed with a hand saw ensuring the lathe doesn’t move while slicing it. In order to reduce vibration that could cause the remaining plaster to loosen, it would be ideal to use a fine tooth blade in the hand saw.

Though a lot of building materials have remained unchanged over the centuries, modern materials have paved the way for better quality, easier methods, and quicker setting compounds. However, with modernization, there are also issues that require guidance. When questions arise turning to an Expert for help may prove to be useful.

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