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secutanudu 11-01-2009 07:35 AM

Replacing plaster with drywall
I have a bedroom closet that has plaster walls (studs..lathe..gray cement board...plaster). The ceiling and one of the walls is crumbling due to an old leak, which has been fixed.

Can I rip everything down to the studs on just the ceiling and one wall, and simply replace them with sheetrock? This would mean some of the corners would be half plaster (from the remaining walls) and half sheetrock. Can you tape/mud with one of the walls on an inside corner is plaster? Or do I need to tear the whole thing out?


joed 11-01-2009 07:57 AM

Yes you can do that.
Drywall mud will stick to the old plaster. Just tape and mud the corner like normal.

Thurman 11-01-2009 08:04 AM

joed is correct in that this process will work, and very well. My son had an older house with plaster walls and ceilings. We remodeled one closet to make it larger and removed all of the walls and ceilings during the remodel. One thing I will tell you--be careful when removing the ceiling, as we were tearing out the plaster, it wanted to break out in large hunks which would surprise us: on the head. It never failed, as we were trying so hard to break it into small pieces while still overhead, large chunks would break off and bang us hard. When we tied the new closet area back into the plaster walls and ceilings it went very well as far as taping and mudding. Good Luck, David

secutanudu 11-01-2009 11:29 AM

Good advice. I also just had an asbestos test done, luckily it's clean. THere is old loose-fill insulation above the ceiling. I'll wear a had, gloves and safety glasses when that stuff comes falling down.

There is an inaccessible attic above this space - is it feasable to build in a small access panel into the ceiling, since I am sheetrocking it anyway? The whole closet is only about 3'x6'.


Gary in WA 11-01-2009 11:45 AM

Use a long handled flat nosed shovel when demoing plaster, both on ceiling and walls. Place many cardboard boxes on a blue tarp on a blanket, on the floor to catch the material. No scratching the floor when sweeping, and the wall stuff is self filling of the boxes. Wear a painter's mask, don't stand under the shovel. Use paper tape.

Cut the ceiling joist, if necessary, and add 2x's to make a box. Insulate it well and weatherstrip:
Be safe, Gary

secutanudu 11-01-2009 11:48 AM

Wow, thanks Gary!

secutanudu 11-01-2009 06:44 PM

Another the hallway on the other side of one of the walls of this closet, I decided to put in an overhead light (See the image below). I may also put in an overhead light in the closet. There is already wiring where the new switch will be, so I can tap into that to get power.

Any advice on how to cut a neat circle in my old lathe & plaster ceiling in this neighboring hallway so I can mount a box for a light?

The gray/red is the ceiling/wall I need to get rid of.


secutanudu 11-02-2009 03:53 PM

So I just took a hammer to part of the wall, and behind the plaster is the cement backer board, and behind that is...drywall? Is this normal? I break through that and i'm right in the stud pocket, no lathe to be found. Should make the demo easier...

joed 11-02-2009 04:33 PM

That is the newer old system. They started using drywall type board as lathe instead of wood before they went to straight drywall.

secutanudu 11-02-2009 04:49 PM

Ah ok - Should be easier to take down than wood, but messier. Think I need to test that drywall-type board for asbestos? Or is that stuff new enough not to need to worry about it?

Gary in WA 11-02-2009 05:25 PM

I'd test it as it was probably original to the 50's:

It replaced plaster and lath- not lathe, a metal or wood turning machine, yet asbestos was still being used up in the late 70's when I started framing.
Be safe, Gary

secutanudu 11-02-2009 07:55 PM

Thanks, I'll get it all tested.

secutanudu 11-15-2009 06:54 AM

Got everything tested: Plaster, backer board, drywall/lathe, insulation, all asbestos-free.

Wall is down, removing the ceiling with loose-fill fiberglass insulation above it is a mess!

I plan to run new wiring up the wall and through the new ceiling. Is it safe to run romex inside insulation? or should it be on top of it?

Scuba_Dave 11-15-2009 08:56 AM

Wiring can be in insulation
In the wall I go up a stud when the walls are open
In an attic I prefer the wires to be visible
But that is not always possible or practical
IE -with wires on top of the attic joists it can make it harder to walk around
But if you don't/won't use the attic for storage many people lay the wire on top of the studs when running perpindicular
When running parallel to the joist I attach to the joists

Gary in WA 11-15-2009 11:44 AM

"But if you don't/won't use the attic for storage many people lay the wire on top of the studs when running perpindicular
When running parallel to the joist I attach to the joists" ---------- Provide guard strips within 6' of attic scuttle...NEC 320,30,34.23
This is minimum code any licensed electrician would follow for safety. Figure 46:

Be safe, Gary

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