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Plaster ceilings, walls and a new homeowner

15 years ago

Hi everyone! We've just moved into our first house, a 1930 colonial. I've got a few questions about repairing the plaster that I was hoping for some input on. This is a little long so please bear with me :)

1. We have plaster ceilings in very poor shape. Holes (from a drop ceiling), water damage (the leak has been fixed), extensive cracking, some discoloration. We want to put sheetrock up right over the damaged plaster rather than try and take it down. Can we really do this or should we have the plaster removed? It's in bad enough condition that it MUST be either removed/replaced or covered. It would be too expensive for us to hire a plasterer to try and salvage it.

2. In the upstairs hallway and over the stairs, the ceiling are also plaster and have some textured treatment on them, the realtor called it "Craftex" I looks to me like someone intentionally did the worst spackle job of thier life. We saw it in quite a few houses around here (lower NE). The question again, can we cover this stuff with sheetrock? Or use a power sander and smooth it out? It's starting to buckle in one place, but other than that is just ugly. We don't know what *exactly* it is, so we weren't sure what to do with it......but we know we don't like it! :)

3. I've been scraping wallpaper from the plaster walls using DIF, it's coming off pretty well and most rooms only have 1 or 2 layers, so I can't complain about that. Unfortunately, taking the paper off exposed huge holes on the walls where the previous owners forceably ripped off the 6" molding.....some damage extends up the sides of the doorframe moldings as well. We're not sure what would be better......trying to repair it (other than this the walls are not too bad), installing new molding to cover the holes, or buying yet another load of sheetrock and covering the plaster altogether.

4. Is there a product people like best to even out the texture of the plaster walls? They are very rough in a lot of places. Actually it looks like the finish may have come off or something It's very rough and greyish tan/brown in some spots. We want to paint the walls in the long run, so the walls need to be nice and smooth.

Any and all help would be hugely appreciated! I'm going to head over to the bookstore tonight after work and see what they have for maintaining/repairing an old home.


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