Tackling My First Popcorn/stucco Ceilings Over Plaster.....

Discussion in 'Walls and Ceilings' started by Bster13, May 2, 2012.

  1. May 2, 2012 #1

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Everyone,

    I'm a new to this game (have painted mostly as well as put up drywall on walls in new construction as well as small repairs). I'm tackling my first set of popcorn/stucco over plaster ceilings in a one story ranch built in the 1950s. Here are the pics I took initially w/ measurements:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8970927@N04/

    Underneath all that goodness is plaster ceilings with hairline cracks everywhere.

    Options (I think) to address this after stripping down to the plaster:

    1) Skim coat. (NOT RECOMMENDED. It'd be fast but the cracks in the underlying plaster will just come through the skim coat eventually and I'll have to go back and repeatedly fix it.)

    2) Use wide mesh tape and then skim coat over. This will give a buffer between the cracked plaster and the new skim coat so the cracks won't come back.

    3) Don't completely remove popcorn/stucco ceilings, but just knock them down a bit then screw drywall ( 1/2" or 5/8” thick) into ceiling joists, then tape and mud.

    I haven't priced out the drywall yet or jacks but I may just make my own deadmans, but here are my questions:

    - Which repair will last the longest?

    - What type of repair will take the longest to complete? (hanging drywall vs. scraping/sanding popcorn/stucco)

    - Are there any "gotchas" I am not thinking of?

    Many thanks.
     
  2. May 3, 2012 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,887
    Likes Received:
    3,114
    Clean out the cracks and taping will work but if the ceiling has been paint no 3 might be better, but you have to watch how much weight you are adding, best check size and length of ceiling joists. If undersized like meny are you may want to pull down and start over.
     
  3. May 4, 2012 #3

    Underdog

    Underdog

    Underdog

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    8
    I have successfully defeated spider cracks on plaster by using liner paper. Since it will be painted over, I suggest using a vinyl over vinyl additive to the water as liner papers are mostly pre-pasted. This will give a secure bond. Let it cure a few days. If you feel insecure, primer with an oil base paint. This will reveal any remaining flaws. I've done this on houses for repeat customers over a decade ago and the walls and ceilings are still pristine. The liner paper just becomes the new surface. It definitely gets rid of the hairline cracks.
     
  4. May 4, 2012 #4

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm feeling more comfy with leaving stripping the popcorn from directly below the plaster, then nailing furring strips to the ceilings joist, then hanging 1/2in drywall to the furring strips, tape & mud, sand, primer & paint. Any objections to that plan of attack or things I should watching out for?
     
  5. May 4, 2012 #5

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually another question I have is about about recessed lighting.

    I purchased 5 of these:

    "Halo 4 in. LED New Construction Recessed Lighting Housing"

    And 5 of these:

    "EcoSmart 4 in. 9.5-Watt (65W) LED Downlight"

    The plan is to cut out a wide berth in the plaster, in the general area where I am putting the recessed cans. Mount the cans flush with the bottom of the joists, then put up the drywall (mounting to furring strips attached to the plaster under the joists).

    My worry about this scenario is with the extra depth of the plaster/furring/drywall that the somewhat adjustable can (mounted flush with the bottom of the ceiling joist) won't be able to extend down enough to mount the LED bulb w/ integrated lip over the drywall, low enough.
     
  6. May 4, 2012 #6

    Underdog

    Underdog

    Underdog

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    8
    It would be brand new, brand new is good.
     
  7. May 4, 2012 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,887
    Likes Received:
    3,114
    My only question is the strength of the structure. Can each ceiling joists handle another 85 pounds without sagging.
     
  8. May 4, 2012 #8

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is a question of mine as well... they are 2 x 10s, 16 on center I believe. A buddy says it's not like the ceilings joists are carrying the weight of people walking on them, they'll be fine. Another friend says "use thin drywall, you don't want the weight of the plaster plus the popcorn/stucco and then the drywall to weigh things down too much" Hrmmm....
     
  9. May 4, 2012 #9

    Underdog

    Underdog

    Underdog

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    8
    Maybe brand new is not so good, paperhanger out since I'm not a structure guy.
     
  10. May 7, 2012 #10

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,887
    Likes Received:
    3,114
    2x10s sound substancial but you would want to check the span tables for the weight they can carry depending on how long they are.
    1/2" drywall is about 55lbs per sheet. The plaster is anybodies guess. you would have to remove a square ft and weight it.
     
  11. May 15, 2012 #11

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, the 1/2 "Ultralight" Sheetrock is up! But we have a problem...


    So we cut holes for the recessed lighting in the kitchen, through the new drywall that was erected over the old popcorn ceilings. We saw what looked like copper piping sandwiched between the underside of the ceiling joists and the plaster ceiling in two of the holes we cut.

    So tonight I donned the respirator and started diving in fiberglass insulation up in the unfinished attic. This is what I found:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8970927@N04

    What you're looking at, from left-center-right over the span over 6-8 feet is some sort of copper colored piping looped in the attic. One of the pipes looks to have a small pinhole in it.

    What's weird is after this "set" of pipes, to the right another set starts...and at that point I gave up trying to trace this stuff.


    The house was built in 1957 with plaster ceilings. The boiler (not furnace) w/ the gas lines is in the basement. It was an oil furnace until 2011 when the previous owner had it converted to gas. The washer dryer and what I think is all water lines emanate from the basement as well.

    Thoughts on what these pipes are/were for?
     
  12. May 15, 2012 #12

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Only other thing in the attic is the air handler for the central air, but the A/C has only been in the home for a few years, pipes look like they've been there for ages.
     
  13. May 15, 2012 #13

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,887
    Likes Received:
    3,114
    The pipes are radiant hot water heat, showed up big in the 1950s. If they set the heat to high the boiler would cycle to much and crack the plaster when the pipes expand and contract.
     
  14. May 15, 2012 #14

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you're absolutely correct!

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/127971/Radiant-ceiling-in-plaster

    Instead of trying to trace those lines, I should only need to crank the heat and listen for the pipes starting to creak or being hot to the touch. Heck of a lot easier than trying to trace the pipes all over the house. If the pipes remain cool when I crank the heat I can cut them away and put the light fixture exactly where I want it...any objections?

     
  15. May 15, 2012 #15

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,887
    Likes Received:
    3,114
    no garrentees:cool:
     
  16. May 15, 2012 #16

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Bster13

    Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    haha, yeah this I know....

    From Yahoo Answers:
    the pipes were old radiant heating pipes. and yes they were sometimes installed in attic ceilings.(your ground floor could be concrete making it difficult to install there). after looking at your link , the old pipes are definitely dead as there is a hole in one. just ignore them or rip them out and sell the scrap copper. should be worth a few $ as scrap metal is at all time high.
    Source(s):
    plumber
     

Share This Page