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Old 10-28-2011, 10:49 AM   #1
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Coffering Ceiling to Hold Up Falling Plaster???


[INTRO]

Hi, I assume this is the right forum, since I don't see one that deals with plaster (only drywall).


Quick intro, I am a new first time homeowner with minimal DIY experience, but relatively handy. Our home was built in 1925 and the plaster, while not terrible, has a lot of "character." My goal over the next few months is to smooth all the walls and trim (chipping paint, chipped paint painted over, masking tape painted over, cracks, etc.) and paint the entire house.

[/INTRO ]

[PROBLEM]

So, the first issue is that apparently the roof leaked at some point (now remedied) and has left the plaster ceiling in the master and one of the guest bedrooms separating from the lath.

[/PROBLEM]

[QUESTION]

I am wondering if it would be possible/reasonable to fur the ceiling, and disguise the furring strips as coffering. I was thinking simple coffering, e.g., using beveled edged lumber, and painting it a contrast color to the white ceiling.

Any input on this thought is appreciated. The alternative would be, I believe to (1) knock down and re-plaster or to (2) attach sheetrock to the furring and lose a couple inches of height in the room.

[/QUESTION]

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Old 10-28-2011, 11:20 AM   #2
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Coffering Ceiling to Hold Up Falling Plaster???


I think adding the furring strips would cause further cracking and plaster failure. If you are intent on trying it, use screws to attach and don't go past snug. I think you will find the surface to be very irregular and your furring will surely mirror this.

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Old 10-28-2011, 12:27 PM   #3
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Coffering Ceiling to Hold Up Falling Plaster???


Thanks for the response 6 8 10,

There is definitely some hairline cracking. paint peel, and a little sag in some spots. My thought was that the furring would just pull the plaster back the the lath - similar to using drywall screws and washers, but with a wholesale approach.

If you don't think that would work, do you think that I am at the my second options, i.e., furring and sheet rocking or re-plastering (which really isn't an option at this point)? Or is there some other option?
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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Coffering Ceiling to Hold Up Falling Plaster???


I found myself in a similar situation a couple of years ago and from what I gathered at the time this is a pretty common issue - gravity taking its toll on the heavy plaster. If you live in an area with seismic activity, all the more so. I remember reading about specialty screws that are designed to snug up sagging plaster to the ceiling framing. If you go that way, do a search for them. Myself, I decided to install a tin ceiling. It is not that expensive or that difficult, although it does take quite a lot of time to do it right. The plywood backing secures the plaster and you lose less than an inch of height in the room. Mine looks really good.

Another option you could consider is to remove the plaster (or both the plaster and lath) , and start from there with the drywall. The advantage with this approach is it makes it much easier to re-do the electrical and install new lights, if that is what you want to do.
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