Anyone here do plaster work?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Orlando, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. Orlando

    Orlando Set The Hook!

    I live in a older home that has plaster walls. The walls upstairs for some reason never had the final finish coat applied. I have been around construction work my whole life so I am sure I can tackle this job but not sure which product to use. I found these at Lowes, they sound more like patching products than a finish coat. Any tips or ideas and what should I use for the finsih coat? Thanks
  2. For plaster I always use the dura bond in the brown bag Tough as nails, but tough to sand too, so do not get too sloppy unless you like sand with 80 grit.


  3. Elamenohpee

    Elamenohpee Banned

    Get the highest number Dura Bond they have, this number indicates the amount of time you have to work the material. The only other advice I can offer is to use a swimming pool trowel (the one with rounded corners)...makes feathering much easier.
  4. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    I have some plaster work coming up also. Those are great information posts, thanks guys.
  5. papascott and froggy both gave good advice and papascott isn't kidding about hard to sand. get the longest working time and don't mix to much up ahead of time.
  6. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    If you want to go the setting compound route, use Durabond 120 or higher if available. The 120 is supposed to give 120 minutes working time, but that varies with temperature and whether you use clean water or not! I think they make an "easy-sand" Durabond now. Don't mix the compound with the same water you wash up tools, setting will be accelerated. Mix with a high-torque drill and mud paddle in a 5 gal bucket. If you try to mix it pan-by-pan you'll NEVER get done. Dampen the old plaster wall with a sponge or roller before applying. I would put a little vinegar in the sponge water to slightly etch and clean the plaster and aid adhesion. The old plaster should be just slightly damp when applying compound. Tape and bed significant cracks with the Durabond and 6" taping knife and allow to set. Next, unless you're good with a hod and trowel, I suggest using a regular 12" wallboard knife and pan to bed the walls (the old tape-and-bed guys I knew called them "easy knives"). A good strategy for mudding a large area is to "stripe" the wall with vertical beds of compound a little less than the width of the knife apart, then fill in between these beds when they have set. This allows you build up thickness compound and still feather the edges of each bed which reduces sanding. If the wall is a little rough after all that, then sand down the uglies and skim out with regular joint or sanding compound. Also, just before the Durabond fully sets hard you can usually wet sand or wash out bad spots with a damp sponge or rag.

    If you are not building up over really old, ugly walls or repairing cracks or holes that go all the way back to lathe or through board, then maybe all you need to do is clean the walls (water and vinegar) and skim out with regular USG joint compound. I am not 100% sure that you can't go over properly prepared rough plaster with regular joint compound.

    I did some major wall repairs for a friend who owned a house on the Tremont area of Cleveland built in the 1880's. Old wood lathe and plaster walls with chunks of plaster missing all the way back to lathe, some almost a foot across. The original base coat of plaster (I think it is called the key or key coat) had horse hair mixed in for strength. I used Durabond 90 for much of the taping and rough work, then skimmed it out with regular joint compound. That was 4 or 5 years ago and it's still good. Way before that, I did commercial tape and bed, drywall, paint, spray, and some wallcoverings for about 7 years in Dallas.