Top layer of plaster peeling?
Up and down one short wall in our stairwell, the plaster is peeling. I'm not sure how to describe this, but it's like these thick pieces that are the entire top layer of plaster. It's definitely more than just paint. Underneath, the plaster is smooth. One spot has entirely broken off, two others are cracked, and looking closely, there are lots of small areas. It almost looks like the top layer is somehow buckling?
The area in question is at the landing halfway up. Interior wall. The problem only goes for a couple feet, and then the rest of the wall up the stairs looks fine. I can see this "buckling" all the way up this one area though. The adjoining exterior wall is also fine. No other place like this in the rest of the house.
So, my questions...
1) What causes this? It was like this when we moved in a year ago, so I'm not sure how long it has been like this. Is this actually buckling from settling?
2) How in the world do I fix it? Patch it where it's bad, or scrape off the plaster on that entire wall? Either way, what do I use and how to I match the texture?