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Old 08-10-2011, 11:02 PM   #1
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Repairing bathroom wall

I am attempting to repair and repaint my condo's small bathroom walls that are in bad shape from neglect and improper repair over the years. The original walls are circa early 1960's. I am not sure what the wall material is, other than it does not appear to be the typical gypsum drywall nor does not look like plaster. The paint is flaking, so I have been scraping most of it off. The wall is also cracked underneath the many layers of paint. Repairs had been done with a variety of tape, mesh, and joint compound making the walls very uneven. My plan is to continue to scrape as much as paint and excess joint compound as I can, then sand the walls, and seal the cracks with joint compound and mesh or tape. Given that this bathroom has no fan for ventilation, I want to make sure that I use moisture resistant supplies that resist flaking. Any advice on how to best tackle this project would be great. Let me know if I left out any important details.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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It's plaster. You want to see if the plaster is still, "keyed" to the wall. Press the wall in various spots to see if it moves in and out. If it doesn't, you can salvage the wall.
If they're a lot of cracks, I would screen the wall. You would apply a layer of compound to the wall and lay the screen into the compound and use a taping knife to imbed the screening against the plaster. You would then skim coat the wall to get it smooth and flat. This will take a few coat as the wall looks a little bumpy.
If you only have a few cracks, just tape them and skim coat to level.


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Old 08-12-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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i hear plaster washers could help here if the plaster has fallen off the lath
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
It's plaster. You want to see if the plaster is still, "keyed" to the wall.
I have "rock board" in my house... wall composition is: 1/2" rock board, then 1/2" rough plaster and finally 1/8" of finish plaster, total wall thickness is just over an inch. The rock board is nailed to studs before the plaster layers are put on.

My house was built in 1950, so it could be similar stuff.

In my experience, once you have either finish or rough coat separate from the others it is very difficult to deal with and keep "nice". I have this going on my front hall, the feel is "spongy" because the finish coat is separating from rough coat and held together by 60 years of latex paint.

We took down a wall between our kitchen and dining room, we pulled all the interior surface from the kitchen part to facilitate plumbing and electrical work... I added blocking where the two interior surfaces needed to meet and added blocking (so the new had something to screw into) and shimmed all the kitchen studs with ripped 1/4" luan, then we put up 5/8" blue board and did a skim coat over it... the thicknesses between the two surfaces appears perfect and seamless. I intend to do something similar in the front hall when I get the time (and energy).
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