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Walls not flat

8054 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mrcosmo
I am decorating a house that, due to it's age, has walls that are uneven. I do not have the time or money to get them re-plastered and on looking for an alternative. I have seen some WallDoctor wallpaper that may work and some wall veneer (a thin sheet of polystyrene that you use like wallpaper). Are there any other options out there? Are there any companies that specialise in solutions for this sort of problem?

Any advice much appreciated!

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· Too Short? Cut it Again!
9,639 Posts
Those wall surfacing products are usually called for when there is a lot of loss to the integrity of plaster wall surfaces like cracks, crevices or minor separation from the lathe. They are not going to do anything to flatten them out, fix sagging or those kinds of things.

You can skim coat plaster (or even drywall compound to a point) to even out extreme high and low spots. Otherwise chalk the flatness issue up to the vintage of the house and think of it as character building---at least until you can replaster or drywall. Plaster walls and ceilings were never as flat as drywall. It was a real credit to craftsmanship and skill of the paster contractor to get them as close as many are. Not many around who do it anymore.

· Learning by Doing
3,165 Posts
Vurt said:
Thanks sdsester, looks like I will have to try my hand at skimming!

Give it a whirl. I'm skim coating an entire room right now (3 plaster walls 1 drywalled). Here are some thoughts from my learning process. These aren't pro tips. Just what works for this DIYer. Expect to be slow, you'll get better the more you do.

Use a compound out of the bag and mix it yourself.

- start by mixing small enough batches you don't end up rushing or locking up compound. The longer you practice the more mud you will be able to handle at one time.

- get good tools. At first I only could control a six inch knife; I still havent worked my way up to the 24. But I can accurately use a 12.

- I completely clean my tray and knife every hour or so. This keeps hardening bits of mud out of the mud. A 5g bucket full of water makes this easier.

- tape any cracks.

- use your 6 inch knife, dry, to knock off high spots. Just scrape it across the wall

- I've done relatively flat walls by applying the mud (thinned to the consistency of yogurt) with a roller to a small area. Then tooling with the knife for that nice satin smooth finish.

- I usually try to get things smooth enough to minimize sanding. Thin layers and careful application, it's much easier to add mud to even things out than subtract too much via time consuming and MESSY sanding.

- setting compound and the like irritates my skin. I work in nitrile gloves during mixing, application and clean up.

- I try to get things almost perfect. Then prime with good alkyd primer and it's easier to see the defects that still need to be filled.
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