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milbry18 06-29-2010 12:55 PM

Repairing Plaster ?
I have a bedroom I want to remodel. There is 2 layers of wallpaper with some residual glue below them. The walls are overall in good shape except for some small cracks, nothing major really but can be seen through the wallpaper. Should I repair/ patch the plaster or just re-drywall? Any opinions either way would be greatly appreciated. If you were going to fix the plaster so what products would you use for removal and patching? Thanks in advance! Bryan

Nestor_Kelebay 06-29-2010 09:50 PM


I couldn't believe you were going to tear down your plaster and put up drywall just because of a few cracks.

Of course you'd repair the cracks. And you'd do it by mixing a bit of white wood glue into some drywall joint compound to make a drywall joint compound that sticks better and dries harder. You just push that compound into the cracks with a putty knife (or your finger if it works better) and then wipe off the excess compound with a damp sponge so that the only compound that's left is what's in the crack. Allow that to dry overnight, and it'll be a near invisible repair.

You should be glad you have plaster walls. They are much stronger and not much harder to repair than drywall, and they stop sound much better than drywall. Older homes with plaster walls are quieter than newer homes with drywall walls.

milbry18 06-30-2010 09:02 AM

What do you suggest to remove a few layers of wallpaper.

What would you use to repair loose or missing areas of plaster?

Nestor_Kelebay 06-30-2010 09:45 AM

I've never removed wallpaper, but my understanding is that you have to put holes through the wallpaper with a tool called a "Paper Tiger" so that the water you put on the wall can get to the glue holding the paper on. Apparantly, lots of wallpapers are vinyl coated, and that prevents the penetration of the water to the glue.

Nowadays, no one uses real lime putty based plaster to repair plaster walls. Nowadays, everyone uses modern materials like drywall and drywall joint compound to repair plaster walls. I've been repairing gyproc lath plaster walls for almost 25 years now, and it's not difficult to do. Beg, borrow or steal a digital camera and open an account at any web picture hosting site (like w w and take pictures of the problems you're facing and I'll walk you through the repairs.

And, this is true for drywall as well as plaster repairs, always always always do the repair with a bright light shining at a sharp angle to the area of the wall you're repairing. The sharp lighting angle will exagerate the roughness of the repair, giving you a much better idea of where you need to add joint compound and where you need to remove it (by sanding) to get the wall smooth. Once the wall (or ceiling) looks reasonably smooth under critical lighting, it'll look perfect under normal lighting.

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