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Old 07-12-2010, 02:21 PM   #1
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Wood Lath


Hello,

Writing from St. Louis, MO area. I recently purchased a wonderful house built in 1904, 2 1/2 stories with full basement. Just turned the the second story light circuit on the other day after replacing the knob and tube throughout the house.... wow.... that was a job.
Now I am looking forward to some crack repair in the wood lath plaster covered walls. I have a couple of walls/ceiling completely removed and will be re-doing them 3-coat plaster. I took some bad advice at first and removed those walls... hind sight coupled with much reading and research says I should have/could have fixed the walls and ceilings I removed. At any rate... here I am now and I am beginning to repair the plaster cracks and holes and put up a few new walls and ceilings.

I guess my first question would be.....
I am beginning with crack repair after removol of loose plaster, vacuuming out and slightly under cutting the cracks.
Most of my reading has led me to purchase durabond, which I got in the 90 minute set time. I have a bonding agent I will be applying as well.
Are there any issues with adding some sand to the durabond to try and match the old texture?
I am trying these first cracks where they won't be very visible.

Thanks in advance for your time,

Jeffrey

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Old 07-15-2010, 01:45 PM   #2
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You can add clean sharp/masonry sand to Durabond.

Also, you don't need any bonding agent - just make sure the old lath and plaster are damp (not dripping!) when you place the fresh Durabond/plaster so that they don't suck the water out of it. However, when doing a whole wall it's easier to just paint the laths in bonding agent than to keep spraying them - but don't bother getting some fancy plaster specific agent, generic masonry/concrete bonding agent is fine - the keys are what hold the plaster on, it doesn't need any special plaster "glue".

I've actually been doing some 3 coat plaster walls at my parent's 200+ year-old cottage and I don't envy you doing full ceilings. I managed to avoid having any full ceiling tear outs - in places where the ceiling was sagging due to broken keys I put in a bunch of plaster washers and, tightening each washer only a little at a time, gradually cinched the ceiling back into place (didn't even crack it).

I don't know if you've decided on what you're using for the plaster yet, but if you don't have your heart set on doing traditional lime, I recommend a 2:1 mix of Structolite and Diamond Veneer Plaster for the scratch coat, a 1:1 mix for the brown, and a 1:3 mix for the top coat. And round the corners off your trowels with a slight upward bevel so you don't gouge the plaster when smoothing - makes a big difference.

I applaud you for going with good old-fashioned "wet wall" - much nicer than that modern dry stuff (plus, there's no sanding :D).

Julia

P.S. I hope you're re-nailing the old laths with galvanized nails before plastering them.


Last edited by jules4; 07-15-2010 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply and the info.
I did sort through in my mind and realized I didn't need to use the bonding agent for applying the durabond. :-)
I will renail the lath strips, clean the old keys out and be putting metal lath over top, at least on the ceilings, but am also thinking about doing metal lath over the wood on the walls as well. I already got the masonry/concrete bonding agent.

As far as what plaster I am going to use....
I have some structolite base I am going to be using on some larger hole repairs with Kal Kote finish.
For the complete walls and ceilings I actually talked with a rep from USG and they confirmed my research on the products to use. I think I will be ordering some Structo Base and Red Top Finishing plaster. The thing with the Structo Base is that I will have to add the sand aggregate, which will be ok.

I am working on getting one of the bathrooms completed so we can move in; no fully working bathroom yet. I had a family member put porcelain tiles on the floor and lower part of the wall, the wall had tiles on it when we moved in. The part where the tiles transition to the wall is pretty ugly in spots(please see attached pic). Can you give some advice on how to approach that please? The simpler the better. I simply want to have painted wall from where the wall tile stops all the way to the ceiling.

I have attached another pic...
The paint in the bathroom was very cracked, looked like an eggshell. We have been scraping off the cracked paint and now the underlying finish plaster doesn't look so well. It is certainly good enough to put a primer and paint but I was thinking maybe even another finish coat on that might be needed. Will you please look at the attached and let me know what your thoughts on that is?

I will probably have a ton more questions. :-)


Thanks,

Jeff
Attached Thumbnails
Wood Lath-bathroomwallplastercrack.jpg   Wood Lath-bathroomborder.jpg  
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:39 AM   #4
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That's the nice thing about the structolite-diamond mix, no need to add aggregate to any of the layers (other than the perlite that's already in the structolite).

If you want simple, fix the major hole(s) in the bathroom wall and then just paper over the plaster with "paintable wall paper/covering" (it's heavier then normal wall paper - more like fabric). Nothing could be easier and it will give you a nice surface. I plan to do this in a stairway that never had a top coat put on (they left it at the brown coat and then just papered over it).

An alternative to paper is to remove the top coat from the old plaster (it usually separates pretty easily with a metal putty knife) and put a new top coat on. (Even if you paper for now, you could always go back and do this later.)

Cheers,
Julia

Last edited by jules4; 07-16-2010 at 08:43 AM.
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