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Old 11-02-2009, 08:57 AM  
Evil Scotsman
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Default Sheetrock OVER Plaster? Can it be done?

I bought my grandmothers house and we have been in it for 3 years. The walls are covered with wallpaper that has been painted. (both by my grandfather and myself) I would LOVE to remove the wall paper completly but am VERY fearfull of what is underneath it. I know there must be AT LEAST 3 - 4 layers. What my thought is if I sheetrock over it I would have a nice smooth wall. The dining room and kitchen are covered in paneling (via 1976) lol and I would love to remove the paneling and sheetrock them also?

Feasible idea? Bad Idea? What would be involved? It is lathe and plaster underneath it all. Also the wallpaper in the upstairs hallway is coming away from the wall. (assuming glue has dried out!)

Thank You



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Old 11-02-2009, 12:33 PM  
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Sure, you can drywall over plaster walls. You'll need out shim out the electrical boxes, which may have really outdated wiring. If you do need to update the wiring this would be an opportunity.



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Old 11-03-2009, 05:44 AM  
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Thanks I was figuring I would have to shim, but should I put up nailers first and shim them? Like 1 x 2 or equivelant to lathe so that when I screw in the sheetrock it is alreay level?

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Old 11-03-2009, 06:27 AM  
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Thanks I was figuring I would have to shim, but should I put up nailers first and shim them? Like 1 x 2 or equivelant to lathe so that when I screw in the sheetrock it is alreay level?
Yes, if the wall is not flat and true, it is best to use firring strips or nailers that have been shimmed to level. Be sure to make the electrical box openings level with the new drywall.
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:33 AM  
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Thanks Travelover, but now I have something else to thing about! LOL which is going to be easier, most cost effective, and most important come out the best! Do you happen to know the size of ferring strips? I am going under the assumption that I could basically use the thinnest sheetrock available because the plaster and lathe would already act as firebarrier?

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Old 11-04-2009, 08:51 AM  
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Thanks Travelover, but now I have something else to thing about! LOL which is going to be easier, most cost effective, and most important come out the best! Do you happen to know the size of ferring strips? I am going under the assumption that I could basically use the thinnest sheetrock available because the plaster and lathe would already act as firebarrier?
Generally drywall only needs to act as a fire barrier between a garage and a house or between apartments. I usually cut my own strips on my table saw, though they must be available commercially - ask at your lumberyard. 3/8 and 1/2 inch drywall costs nearly the same, though 3/8" is certainly lighter.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:29 AM  
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Evil Scotsman:

It's not nearly as hard to smooth up a plaster wall as you're probably thinking. Just get yourself a bright light and hold it close to the wall, but a few feet from where you're working. The sharp angle of the lighting will exagerate the roughness of your wall. You use that critical lighting to expose the bumps and depressions in the wall. If the bumps are small (like the size of a silver dollar or smaller, you can scrape them off with a paint scraper or sand them down. Depressions of similar size can be filled with joint compound.

Remember, the wall does not need to be perfectly flat. No plaster wall is, and most drywall walls aren't either. They just need to be smooth. As long as the wall is smooth, your brain will presume it's flat for lack of evidence to the contrary. And, if you use critical lighting to locate the high and low spots, you can make the wall smooth relatively easily.

If there was wallpaper on the walls, I would scrub the old glue off with wet green Scotchbrite pads before priming and painting.

You gotta remember that 70 or 80 years ago, the people who worked as plasterers were highly skilled, and would have made those walls smooth enough for painting. Unless they were damaged removing the wallpaper, they should still be smooth enough for painting. Gouges in the plaster are not a problem because they can be easily and quickly filled with joint compound.



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