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Old 03-03-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


Hi!!

Brand new user here. Just moved into an older home with a ton of problems. Problem of the day is the ceiling in my daughters room. First I am having a hard time identifying what it is. Could be calcimine could be sheetrock could be drywall...really think there may be two seperate products up there. Here are some pictures. What you will see is 2 spots on the ceiling where the paint layer has peeled away. Below the paint in one area is a rough thick product (calcamine?) in the second area its smooth almost plastic feeling. You can also see the peeling paint is a different thickness. The thicker peices coming from the first area, the thiner from the second. Both areas have significant peeling.

So while correcting this is a whole other issue, i really just need to determine what it is first.

As a final note, previous to our residency this was a rental, so there is no telling how many people "worked" on this. And I would doubt anything was done properly.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


Just a guess...someone skim coated over a popcorn ceiling.

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


As you can see there are 2 different undercoats, if thats the right term. Is it possible the rough one is a scraped popcorn ceiling? I dont see any evidence of popcorn ceiling in any other room. And the second area is very smooth and feels almost like plastic.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


To me it looks like you have real plaster----and you have removed the finish coat from the rough scratch coat-----

This happens some times----often when an area has been wet and the bond broke between the scratch layer and the smooth coat.

If I'm correct-----stabilize the scratch coat and surroundin paint area with a good coat of Gardz (SPELLING?) primer---then skim coat with dry wall mud----

I suggest a first fill coat of powdered easy sand 20 or 45 minute---then a top coat of Light Weight (blue lid) bucket mix----the powdered mix is difficult to sand----
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


You also need to tape the crack with either paper or mesh tape.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:48 PM   #6
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


would it be easier to just remove it in whole and hang a new ceiling? Ive never worked with plaster before, I dont know much about it.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


You are looking at a couple of hours work----and a low cost----I'd try the patch work---

Replacing the ceiling is a lot of work----If the rest of the ceiling is in bad shape----overlaying it with drywall might be an option---

Someone here will help with instructions for repair or replacement---Mike-----
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


For the rough area where plaster fell: Remove dust and plaster debris. Fill hole to just below surrounding surface with patching plaster. When almost dry, cut crosshatch pattern. When dry, spray with water and complete repair with joint compound.

From Ultimate Guide: Drywall, Third Edition
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:18 PM   #9
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


Alright, so I beleive it is a plaster ceiling. But why is one spot rough and chalky texture and the other very smooth?? Is it different layers of plaster??
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:02 PM   #10
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


Removing plaster from a ceiling is one of the toughest jobs you will ever encounter so, no, don't remove it!!!! Like OhMike said, plaster was done in stages.......usually a "scratch" coat that was roughened up on purpose to accept the smooth coat or coats that would go on top of that scratch coat. The rough "scratch" coat gives the additional layers something to lock onto.

Follow OhMike's and Dorado's direction and you will be fine. It won't be fun sanding the patches, but, once you get them blended in with the rest of the ceiling, well, the worst of the work is over.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:04 PM   #11
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda2013 View Post
Alright, so I beleive it is a plaster ceiling. But why is one spot rough and chalky texture and the other very smooth?? Is it different layers of plaster??
The smooth area still has the finish coat of plaster with just the paint peeling.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:06 PM   #12
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


Is your house close to a train track? Trains will vibrate plaster right off the wall.

In this case thats the white coat of plaster, albeit thin. Is there a brown coat underneath? This is usually the result of a roof or plumbing leak, and I see a discolored crack in the middle of your problem. Fix the leak first.

If this were mine, I would fir out the entire ceiling with 1 x 3 furring strips, installed with bugle head screws into the joists, hang a new drywall ceiling, and install cove molding. Repairs will probably continue to fail, and with the new drywall up there, it will catch anything that lets go. You will also reduce sound transmission. Use two dw screws at each attachment point 3/4 inches OC to hold up drywall. Fasten at least every foot OC.
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Last edited by jagans; 03-03-2013 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:07 PM   #13
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Nightmare Ceiling...Help to identify what this is?!


My building's plasterers didn't use joint compound at all and their repairs lasted but I feel safer going by my book so I know I'm not leaving out anything important. Every apartment in my building has nightmare ceilings. Legend has it that the original plasterers didn't use primer. Here's my ceiling.
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