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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this topic has been discussed ad nauseum here and on paint talk, which I have spent the last 2 weeks reading through, but I find very few people have posted photos. I can't really gauge my situation against others without photos, so I've decided to post my own.
I removed a wall and installed a beam to open up the living/dining space, replaced a 4' wide section of plaster with drywall where old wall that was removed butted into remaining wall, removed all wallpaper and thoroughly cleaned till squeaky, and feathered out and skimmed all drywall surfaces ~2' into adjacent plaster. The ~2' of bare plaster that was feathered over was in perfect condition- no scratches, voids, pock marks, nothing. Just put some oil primer down before joint compound.
The plaster in the remainder of the room is in nowhere near as pristine condition, which is the primary focus here. The home was built in 1958 with plaster veneer wall construction. The plaster cross section is in one of the photos, with gypsum lathe, brown coat, then skim coat. The paper removal went smoothly enough, made MUCH easier from the super hard, smooth plaster substrate. I would say I've removed over 99% of the leftover paste/residue. The walls are literally squeaky clean when I rub fingers across, but there are widespread surface defects across the walls that likely harbor some amount of residual paste. I know I'll need an oil primer or Gardz. I've got both. My goal is to eliminate any visibility of the surface defects shown in the photos in the final topcoat of paint, as well as having a uniform surface sheen across the plaster/joint compound transition.
From what I've read, Gardz, skim/patch surface damage, Gardz again, then paint would do the job, but I know it's runny and has a learning curve to apply properly. I believe oil primer instead of Gardz in that order would also work, and would be more convenient since I could prime the crown moulding and chair rail with the same stuff and not worry about taping trim off.
Any thoughts on my particular situation, and is a skim coat necessary for a uniform finish, or will these surface defects go away after 2 coats of primer/gardz + 2 coats topcoat? Also in one of the photos are some weird looking surface voids that have grain/crystal structure look to them. Any idea what those are or what causes them?
I inserted these photos as thumbnails, this is my first post so not sure if you're able to click and expand them.

2021-02-03_10-10-33.jpg 2021-02-03_10-14-02.jpg 2021-02-03_10-12-40.jpg 2021-02-03_10-14-28.jpg
 

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Looks like the plaster was never fully finished with a smooth topcoat. That would explain some voids and divots, etc. They just wanted it smooth enough to hang wallpaper which was all the rage at the time. If it were me, I would oil-prime the walls, fix defects, skim wall(s), sand, prime, and paint.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like the plaster was never fully finished with a smooth topcoat. That would explain some voids and divots, etc. They just wanted it smooth enough to hang wallpaper which was all the rage at the time. If it were me, I would oil-prime the walls, fix defects, skim wall(s), sand, prime, and paint.
Thanks for the quick feedback. I've got some Ben Moore Fresh Start Multi-purpose oil primer leftover from another project and the always on hand Cover Stain. Is the Ben Moore overkill for this job?
 

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Thanks for the quick feedback. I've got some Ben Moore Fresh Start Multi-purpose oil primer leftover from another project and the always on hand Cover Stain. Is the Ben Moore overkill for this job?
As long as any primer you use has bonding properties you are good. The plaster is glossy enough that a quality bonding primer should be used to ensure that the new topcoats stick. I'm a fan of PPG's Gripper for instances like this. CoverStain works too although the smell is intense for a day or so. 123 would work too.
 

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agreed, but oil prime or gardz first to lock down any remaining paste residue. It might be good to use 123 after that, as its nice and thick and may fill some tiny imperfections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. Decided to go with coverstain on first seal coat, patched where needed, sanded, wiped down, primed everything with 123. Used 3/8 nap microfiber and walls look fantastic.
As an aside, this was my first time using coverstain on walls/large areas, and have never been bothered much by varnish and solvent. For anyone who hasn’t painted a room with oil before, if you don’t have a solvent vapor respirator (and clean shaven face) you MUST have ventilation, like big shop fan in window/door. Prob a good idea to have both. I did not have the proper respirator but kept a 1.5hp 30” fan in the door sucking 4000cfm through the room despite 35 degrees outside. 100% would have passed out without it, fumes still got to me a bit.
 

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if you don’t have a solvent vapor respirator (and clean shaven face) you MUST have ventilation
I know the respirator manufactures state you must be clean shaven but I've had a full beard for 40+ yrs. IMO my respirator works fine with my beard. Yrs ago I wouldn't use a respirator when rolling interior walls but today I just about have to.
 
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