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Advice on smoothing plaster wall



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 2nd 03, 11:52 PM
Fraser
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall

Hi,

I'm completely redecorating a room in my hundred year-old flat. The walls
are old horse-hair plaster and were originally covered in wallpaper. I want
to get the wall as smooth as possible for painting.

After removing the wallpaper with a steamer, and clearing up the leftover
paste, I filled and sanded repairs on about 20% of the wall. I thought this
was adequate, as the wall appeared pretty level.

However, after priming and putting on two coats of white emulsion, the wall
surface looks pretty bad in daylight. Most of the repairs are individually
not too bad, but the overall effect makes the wall look shoddy. Under
artificial light (which I painted under), it's not bad at all. It also seems
as though when the room was last decorated, the intention was to wallpaper
and the walls weren't skimmed, as the unblemished areas aren't too great
either.

What are my options to get the smooth finish that plaster deserves? I'm
thinking of taking an orbital sander to it, but after hand-sanding on a
sample area, it looks like that'll be messy and a lot of work. I've also
tried a diy skim with caulk where required to smooth bits out, which was not
bad, but a lot of work and won't be suitable for all parts of it. Another
option would be to go with painting over backing paper, which looks
relatively easy & cheap.

I could alternatively reskim the walls, but I don't want to spend a large
amount of money on it. The room is approximately 3x4 meters, height 3
meters, does anyone know an approximate cost of getting it skimmed? Would
the new paint need stripped off first? Skipping the door-wall might be an
option, as I'm fitting wardrobes that'll use the wall as their back, so the
finish isn't essential here.

Any advice would be welcome! I passed the "wish I hadn't started" stage some
time ago... ;-)


Thanks in advance,

Fraser

PS thanks for the previous discussions, google groops has been great in
getting me this far. I'm a total beginner at this stuff!


Ads
  #2  
Old October 3rd 03, 12:39 AM
Simon
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall


"Fraser" wrote in message
...

line, or even double-line the walls with a heavy weight lining paper (if
double lining go horizontally then vertically)


  #3  
Old October 3rd 03, 01:29 AM
Andrew Gabriel
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall

In article ,
"Fraser" writes:

I could alternatively reskim the walls, but I don't want to spend a large
amount of money on it. The room is approximately 3x4 meters, height 3
meters, does anyone know an approximate cost of getting it skimmed?


I guess 1-1.5 day's work for a plasterer. Depending where in
the country, I would expect you'll pay 100-200/day plus materials
(which cost very little).

Would the new paint need stripped off first?


No, providing it's not in danger of pulling off.

Skipping the door-wall might be an
option, as I'm fitting wardrobes that'll use the wall as their back, so the
finish isn't essential here.


At a day's work, you may find you are below the minimum a
plasterer will be interested in taking on. If you are
likely to need anywhere else doing too, lumping it in to
the one job might improve your chances of finding someone
willing to turn up.

--
Andrew Gabriel
  #4  
Old October 3rd 03, 10:32 AM
Harris
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall

"Fraser" wrote in message ...
Hi,

snip


there is a polycell plaster repair filler which is pretty good at
covering problems...

I always paint the walls with a cheap white paint, this shows up the
problems, fill all the bits, then paint it again with the cheap stuff
just to make sure its ok, then paint it for real...

I would suggest just filling the really bad ones, sanding the wall by
hand (i found it quicker than an orbital sander? and you get a flater
finish because your not just sanding little areas at a time) just to
remove any lumps, then use lining paper.... then paint..
  #5  
Old October 3rd 03, 11:55 AM
BillR
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall

Andrew Gabriel wrote:
In article ,
"Fraser" writes:

I could alternatively reskim the walls, but I don't want to spend a
large amount of money on it. The room is approximately 3x4 meters,
height 3 meters, does anyone know an approximate cost of getting it
skimmed?


I guess 1-1.5 day's work for a plasterer. Depending where in
the country, I would expect you'll pay 100-200/day plus materials
(which cost very little).

I just had quote of 200, inc materials, for similar sized room in SW
London.


  #6  
Old October 3rd 03, 12:42 PM
stuart noble
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall


Harris wrote in message . ..
"Fraser" wrote in message

...
Hi,

snip


there is a polycell plaster repair filler which is pretty good at
covering problems...

I always paint the walls with a cheap white paint, this shows up the
problems, fill all the bits, then paint it again with the cheap stuff
just to make sure its ok, then paint it for real...

I would suggest just filling the really bad ones, sanding the wall by
hand (i found it quicker than an orbital sander? and you get a flater
finish because your not just sanding little areas at a time) just to
remove any lumps, then use lining paper.... then paint..

A couple of coats of pva makes the lining paper easier to hang and gives a
flatter surface when it dries. The paper doesn't hug the wall quite so much.


  #7  
Old October 3rd 03, 02:57 PM
David
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall

"Simon" wrote in message ...
"Fraser" wrote in message
...

line, or even double-line the walls with a heavy weight lining paper (if
double lining go horizontally then vertically)


I've never understood why it is that you're supposed to line
horizontally, which has always struck me as a damned awkward thing to
do. Provided you make sure the seams of the lining and top layer
don't coincide - which is easy enough to do - why can't you line
vertically (I always have done so myself).

David
  #8  
Old October 3rd 03, 05:00 PM
Simon
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall



I've never understood why it is that you're supposed to line
horizontally, which has always struck me as a damned awkward thing to
do. Provided you make sure the seams of the lining and top layer
don't coincide - which is easy enough to do - why can't you line
vertically (I always have done so myself).

David


interesting point David, I don't really know why, but I know that it is done
and i have done it myself and it wasn't as hard as first thought. i assume
that the cross laying is done for a little extra strength and insurance
against possible cracks reappearing, though i am not sure how effective it
really is as the paper doesn't really have a directional grain structure.
perhaps it's because it's easier to hide the underlying seam by laying
across rather than with, because gravity and natural shrinking of the paper
along it's length stretches the top layer out and the capillary action is
less likely to pull it in to the underlying seam.
perhaps it's both of the above ;-)


  #9  
Old October 3rd 03, 05:05 PM
Bob Mannix
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall


"Simon" wrote in message
...


I've never understood why it is that you're supposed to line
horizontally, which has always struck me as a damned awkward thing to
do. Provided you make sure the seams of the lining and top layer
don't coincide - which is easy enough to do - why can't you line
vertically (I always have done so myself).

David


interesting point David, I don't really know why, but I know that it is

done
and i have done it myself and it wasn't as hard as first thought. i assume
that the cross laying is done for a little extra strength and insurance
against possible cracks reappearing, though i am not sure how effective it
really is as the paper doesn't really have a directional grain structure.
perhaps it's because it's easier to hide the underlying seam by laying
across rather than with, because gravity and natural shrinking of the

paper
along it's length stretches the top layer out and the capillary action is
less likely to pull it in to the underlying seam.
perhaps it's both of the above ;-)



I never hang lining paper horizontally

I have used lining paper extensively since the 1980's up to and including
2003 and never had a single problem

If they didn't expect you to use it vertically, it would be the same width
as wallpaper (it's wider, so, if two seams accidentally get close this
doesn't repeat)

If you have S&M tendencies (well, M really), carry on hanging it
horizontally (but no-one will ever know as you can't see the difference)

If you have better things to do than wrestle with sticky paper against
gravity, get the stuff on the wall as quickly and neatly as possible and get
on with life!

All IMHO, of course :-)


--
Bob Mannix
(anti-spam is as easy as 1-2-3 - not)


  #10  
Old October 3rd 03, 09:47 PM
Fraser
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Default Advice on smoothing plaster wall

"Simon" wrote in message
...

line, or even double-line the walls with a heavy weight lining paper (if
double lining go horizontally then vertically)


Thanks for all the responces, more than I expected!

If I were to go with backing paper, is there any good way to avoid visable
seams? I read in another post someone suggesting leaving a small gap between
each, and filling with caulk or plaster. Or can someone with average
papering ability get a decent effect by just papering normally, and having
them meet flushly?

Also, is heavy-weight neccessary? I've read in other posts that it may
shrink more than normal paper, making the gaps noticable.

Cheers,

Fraser.



 




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