1930s plaster walls

The steel making up the metal lath contained many more spaces than wood lath had contained. Historically, canvassing covered imperfections in the plaster and provided a stable base for decorative painting or wallpaper. Has anyone every painted on Kitchen sub-floor? Loved, loved, loved the look. On metal lath the minimum thickness is 5/8 inch; and for wood lath it is about 3/4 to 7/8 inch. It performs well in cold weather and has a slightly better insulating value. A plastered wall could take more than a year to dry; this delayed painting or papering. When the base coat has set but not dried, more plaster is applied to create a smooth, level surface. Obtaining a plumb, level wall, while working against built-up moldings, must have been difficult. Installing these grounds so that they were level and plumb made the job much easier because the plasterer could work from a level, plumb, straight surface. Can I paint a dark brown lampshade a lighter colour. It is important to ensure that the wood trim around the windows and doors will have the same "reveal" as before. But the best plaster was done with three coats. Consultation with the National Park Service, with State Historic Preservation Officers, local preservation organizations, historic preservation consultants, or with the Association for Preservation Technology is recommended. Cosmetic damages from minor building movement, holes, or bowed areas can be repaired without the need for wholesale demolition. Moisture problems occur for several reasons. Click to see full answer. Of course, if the lath only had one coat of plaster originally, then a one-coat patch is appropriate. Much of the building's history is documented in the layers of paint and paper found covering old plaster. To provide more reliable keying and to strengthen the patch, expanded metal lath (diamond mesh) should be attached to the wood lath with tie wires or nailed over the wood lath with lath nails. With either a veneer finish or a gauged lime putty finish coat, the room will be ready for painting almost immediately. The room is small and looks so dark. Compared to the 3/8-inch-thick layers of the scratch and brown coats, the finish coat was a mere 1/8-inch thick. However, historic houses were sometimes plastered before window sashes were put in. Old plaster walls, like this one painted a faded red in a Greek Revival mansion in upstate New York, have a textural, handmade quality that modern materials can't match. First, three-coat plaster is unmatched in strength and durability. Doing a knock down texture finish where plaster is sprayed onto the wall surface and a large flat trowel is used to remove the high spots leaving a pattern in the wall. Like a wood ground, they indicate the proper thickness for the plaster. The debris is cleaned out, and metal lath applied to the cleared area, leaving the existing wood lath in place. This information may be needed to complete a restoration plan. Repairing Historic Plaster 4. The conservator injects an acrylic adhesive mixture through holes drilled in the face of the plaster (or through the lath from behind, when accessible). A look at the common problems with plaster in historic homes, and which tools and DIY techniques are most effective for plaster repair. Plasterers general use ready-mix base-coat plaster for patching, especially where large holes need to be filled. Gypsum is also the ingredient in moulding plaster, a finer plaster used to create decorative moldings in ornamental plaster work. Then you can paint it whatever color you like. Gypsum and lime plasters were used in combination for the base and finish coats during the early part of the 20th century; gypsum was eventually favored because it set more rapidly and, initially, had a harder finish. Metal Lath. Lathers or carpenters could prepare a room more quickly. Can bathroom tile, around the tub wall and floor tile, be painted? The plaster from what I have seen so far is generally in good condition. Do your best to match the overall character, as a patch that's too rough—or too smooth—may be obvious under paint. are only 3 walls and a large open archway and 3 windows in LR. It must be combined with lime to create a successful patching mixture. (If the plasterer raked the sand with a broom, the plaster wall would retain swirl marks or stipples.) The best think you can do is to patch any holes with plaster, not spackle that comes out of the bucket. Lead, from lead based paint, is another danger. A plasterer may have skimped on the amount of cementing material (lime or gypsum) because sand was the cheaper material. I was planning to install a hook, so I needed to find a stud. Occasionally, load-bearing members were simply too small to carry the loads above them. Found in limestone formations or shell mounds, naturally occurring lime is calcium carbonate. This can be done without having to fur out the window and door jambs. When there is a paved area next to a masonry building, rainwater splashing up from the paving can dampen masonry walls. Historically, lime plasters were allowed to cure for at least a year before the walls were painted or papered. Screed. Even as late as 1930s some houses were still built with solid walls (one-brick thick). Galvanized metal lath is the most expensive, but also the most reliable in terms of longevity, stability, and proper keying. Historically, gypsum made a more rigid plaster and did not require a fibrous binder. The handwriting of the artisans, the taste of the original occupants, and the evolving styles of decoration are embodied in the fabric of the buildi… Partial or complete removal may be necessary if plaster is badly damaged, particularly if the damage was caused by long-term moisture problems. Because it absorbs moisture from the air, wood lath expands and contracts as humidity rises and falls. Preparing the plaster substrate is the key to a good paint or wallpaper finish. What type of paint can be used on a fabric lampshade? It also can be had with embossing on the surface giving you a pattern that helps hide those walls that are really in poor shape. © 2020 Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. an Active Interest Media Company. In three-coat work, the scratch coat and brown coat were sometimes applied on successive days to make up the required wall thickness. Depending on the style of the house, how about some wainscoting ¾ way up and then beautiful color to accent. Plaster could be treated in any number of ways: it could receive stenciling, decorative painting, wallpaper, or whitewash. Coatings applied to the interior are not effective over the long run. From modest farmhouses to great buildings, regardless of the ethnic origins of the occupants, plaster has traditionally been used to finish interior walls. One-coat patching is not generally recommended by plasterers because it tends to produce concave surfaces that show up when the work is painted. Before the age of gypsum and drywall, interior plaster walls were vulnerable to all sorts of potential damage. The first two coats made up the coarse stuff; they were the scratch coat and the brown coat. Too much retardant. When Damaged Plaster Cannot be Repaired 5. The plaster slumps down on the inside of the wall, forming plaster "keys." Common Plaster Problems 3. This material will produce a white, smooth patch. They now make beautiful padded wall paper for damaged or uneven walls in many great textures! Asbestos was sometimes used in plaster, and certainly in joint compounds and in some finish textured paints. Bought 1930s period property in 2017 and spent £25,000 tearing down walls and transforming the space Spent just £180 on their bathroom renovation and … The ceiling should still be sprayed unless a vapor barrier is placed behind the metal lath. Good beige carpet. (Photo: Alex and Wendy Santantonio). Stresses within a wall, or acting on the house as a whole, can create stress cracks. Then I painted the dried walls a couple of days later. I bought rolls of wallpaper from Home Depot and it is embossed and very thick. We love to re-design old spaces and accentuate their age and weathered charm. If major structural problems are found to be the source of the plaster problem, the structural problem should be corrected. Wire mesh with a rigid metal spline used on. They all sound doable. It can be applied over concrete or cinder block, brick, stone or wood. I have been using lots of beadboard! Whilst preparing it became obvious that new pointing was required below the damp proof course. Plaster is applied in three coats over wood lath and metal lath--the scratch, brown, and finish coats. Replastering old wood lath. However, it may be necessary to remove deteriorated plaster caused by rising damp in order for masonry walls to dry out. Houses built on clay soils are especially vulnerable. Hanging things on lath and plaster walls is a tricky business. Cornerite. In addition to problems caused by movement or weakness in the structural framework, plaster durability can be affected by poor materials or workmanship. That would be to hide crack issues besides I love the look of that stuff and easy to ‘glue’up. Some repairs can be made by removing only small sections of plaster to gain access. Uneven wall surfaces, caused by previous patching or by partial wallpaper removal, are common in old houses. These spaces increased the number of keys; metal lath was better able to hold plaster than wood lath had been. As long as the plaster is generally sound, cosmetically unattractive plaster walls can be "wallpapered" with strips of a canvas or fabric-like material. They could survive occasional wind-driven moisture or water winking up from the ground. Some very early cavity walls (1890s) were built with a 1 brick thick internal wall (see above drawing). Or. Roofs may leak, causing ceiling damage. It comes in rolls just like wall paper. Anyone know what comes next? Rock lath is a 16x36-inch, 1/2-inch thick, gypsum-core panel covered with absorbent paper with gypsum crystals in the paper. I had horrible walls to deal with in our mobile home. How do i paint scratched gloss white kitchen cupboads ?? When complete, the troweled or textured wall surface looks more like traditional plaster than drywall. A bad mix can cause problems that appear years later in a plaster wall. Homeowners may see a material sold as "patching plaster" or "plaster of Paris" in hardware stores. Keys may have deteriorated because of a localized moisture problem, poor quality plaster, or structural overloading; yet, the surrounding system may be intact. Perlite is a lightweight aggregate used in the base coat instead of sand. Over sanding can cause the plaster to weaken or crumble. Workers undertaking demolition should wear OSHA-approved masks because the plaster dust that flies into the air may contain decades of coal soot. Mary Lee MacDonald 1. If the plasterer has used too much retardant, however, a gypsum plaster will not set within a normal 20 to 30 minute time period. Why is my chalk paint taking forever to dry? Finally, this Brief describes a replacement option when historic plaster cannot be repaired. Large areas of ceilings and walls can be saved. Cracks in walls can also result when houses settle. Wood lath is usually made up of narrow, thin strips of wood with spaces in between. Recently I noticed that the paint is separating from the plaster, and in some spots can be peeled off like wallpaper, leaving bare plaster. This may be the most notable feature when looking at the history of lath and plaster, and the inception of building codes around the world. The minimum total thickness for plaster on gypsum board (rock lath) is Æ inch. Veneer systems include a coat or coats of wet plaster--although thinly applied--which can, to a greater extent, simulate traditional hand-troweled or textured finish coats. If a plasterer skimped on materials, the wall may not have sufficient plaster thickness to withstand the normal stresses within a building. The first base coat put on wood or metal lath. The proper proportioning and mixing of materials are vital to the quality of the plaster job. With modern ventilation, plaster cures in a shorter time; however, fresh gypsum plaster with a lime finish coat should still be perfectly dry before paint is applied--or the paint may peel. Historic plaster may first appear so fraught with problems that … Asbestos, used in the mid-twentieth century as an insulating and fireproofing additive, may also be present and OSHA-recommended precautions should be taken. But there are practical and historical reasons for saving it. The handwriting of the artisans, the taste of the original occupants, and the evolving styles of decoration are embodied in the fabric of the building. The plaster is then applied in three layers over the metal lath, lapping each new layer of plaster over the old plaster so that old and new are evenly joined. Then the crack is filled. Also, if a patch is made in a plaster wall that is slightly wavy, the contour of the patch should be made to conform to the irregularities of the existing work. Three types of lath can be found on historic buildings. at an archaeological site in Jordan. Black ash mortar was used in the construction of 1930s … Asbestos was common in building materials between 1920 and 1986.Asbestos was common in decorative plaster between the 1940s and 1980s and in the artex ceilings that were popular in the 1960s and 1970s. To prevent this, a plasterer had to add fine silica sand or finely crushed perlite to the finish coat to compensate for the dramatically differing shrinkage rates between the base coat and the finish coat. The thin profile of the veneer system has an added benefit, especially for owners of uninsulated masonry buildings. An off-white colour is typical of a lime plaster. Builders of now-historic houses had no codes to help them size the structural members of buildings. Christmas time last year. Scratch coat. (Photo: Alex and Wendy Santantonio). If repairs are not made, especially to ceilings, gravity will simply cause chunks of plaster to fall to the floor. When the damaged plaster has been removed, the owner must decide whether to replaster over the existing lath or use a different system. When cracks are larger and due to structural movement, repairs need to be made to the structural system before repairing the plaster. The most common problem with plaster walls is cracking or pulling away from the lath behind it. When plasterers work with old lath, each lath strip is re-nailed and the chunks of old plaster are cleaned out. When lime putty, sand, water, and animal hair were mixed, the mixture provided the plasterer with "coarse stuff." Additives were used for various finish qualities. However, by the 1920s two half-brick leaves were the norm. What’s the easiest way to paint the bricks of a fireplace ? ’It was actually beautiful original brick that we’ve been able to wash down with sugar soap.’ ‘We painted the living room walls in Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink. Plasterboard Another material that was also in use during the 1930s as a rigid backing board for stucco was plasterboard, which consisted of sheets of gypsum plaster covered with paper on both sides. Similar symptoms occur when there is a nearby source of vibration-blasting, a train line, busy highway, or repeated sonic booms. Lintels - 1930s to 1950s Outside Inside The vertical DPC prevents water form crossing into the internal leaf. After the first application of a quick setting joint compound dries, a second coat is used to cover the tape, feathering it at the edges. Lath movement. A second veneer layer can be used as the "finish" coat, or the veneer plaster can be covered with a gauged lime finish-coat--the same coat that covers ordinary plaster. Thanks for posting this. Homeowners may also want to try using a ready-mix perlited base-coat plaster for scratch and brown coat repair. If the windows were shut so that air could not circulate, the plaster was subject to sweat-out or rot. Download the PDF Plaster in a historic building is like a family album. Will wall paint dry when it’s still wet outside? I'll keep you posted. However, because quick-set joint compounds are hard to sand, they should only be used to bed tape or to fill large holes. Interior plumbing leaks in older houses are common. It looks a lot like a window screen only thinner. What works best for painting oak kitchen cabinets Brush or sprayer? When using a lime finish coat for any repair, wait longer to paint, or use an alkaline-resistant primer. Plaster is a hard, durable material, but it's also resistant to penetration. Around 1900, gypsum began to be used as a plastering material. (Photo: Gross & Daley). Areas of high moisture are other possible applications for plaster since it holds up better in these conditions. Of more concern to preservationists, however, original lime and gypsum plaster is part of the building's historic fabric--its smooth troweled or textured surfaces and subtle contours evoke the presence of America's earlier craftsmen. Rock Lath. For finish coats, patching compound is OK for small areas, but finish plaster is preferred for large holes. For large-scale repairs and entire room replastering, see the precautions in Table 1 for using perlite. Plasterers in North America have relied on two materials to create their handiwork--lime and gypsum. The years ahead will certainly bring advances in technology and materials that … This mixture was applied in one or two layers to build up the wall thickness. The original lath must be secure, otherwise the weight of the patching plaster may loosen it. I will just have to find someone to help me with whatever I choose to do. Can Formica countertops/desktops be painted? Now I have to figure out if I have to prime the walls before using the wallpaper on the raw plaster. These grounds help keep the plaster the same thickness and provide a stopping edge for the plaster. This minimum plaster thickness may affect the thickness of trim projecting from the wall's plane. Painting a Sink-Is it possible to paint, or is there another option? Expanded metal lath or gypsum board lath is nailed over the furring strips. I want to know what to do with them. The crack is patched with an appropriate plaster in three layers (i.e., base coats and finish coat). It is possible to fix painting mistakes on appliances? Plaster fell out of favor in the late 1940s as gypsum drywall board came on the scene. I have pulled off a tile in the bathroom we plan to revert to a bedroom, and underneath it just looks like a layer of paint a couple of layers of plaster (see pic). The area is cleaned off with a damp sponge, then dried to remove any leftover plaster residue or dust. Early plaster work, however, did not use grounds. But again that takes special tools and some bit of work to get all the walls to look the same. Gypsum begins to cure as soon as it is mixed with water. The plaster can be hand-mixed in small quantities, but bagged ready-mix should be protected from ambient moisture. Not to mention, it required a skilled plasterer to make sure the plaster was properly applied and the wall was smooth and level. Plasterers use metal or wood strips around the edges of doors and windows and at the bottom of walls. How to Use Wall Anchors in Plaster Walls. It creates a durable, hard surface that conforms to flat or curved walls and ceilings. Casing Bead. A base coat utilizing perlite or other lightweight aggregates should only be used for making small repairs (less than 4 ft. patches). A homeowner wishing to repair small areas of delaminated finish coat can use the methods described in "Patching Materials.". I have a house built in the 1930s with lath and plaster walls. Generally the woodwork was prime-painted before plastering. The finish coat is subject to "chip cracking" if it was applied over an excessively dry base coat, or was insufficiently troweled, or if too little gauging plaster was used. Although property owners cannot duplicate the years of accumulated knowledge and craft skills of a professional plasterer, there are materials that can be used for do-it-yourself repairs. These include: Structural ProblemsPoor WorkmanshipImproper CuringMoistureStructural Problems. The wet plaster is "scratched" with a scarifier or comb to provide a rough surface so the next layer of base coat will stick to it. Occupants in the rooms will be more comfortable because they will not be losing heat to cold wall surfaces. It is fast & easy to install.... and is very universal for interior design style ;) {{it fits well with farmhouse, beach, retro, modern}} This picture was taken before the renovation was complete, but you can see the basic idea. Evidence of plaster behind trim is often an aid to dating historic houses, or to discerning their physical evolution. The finish plaster, called "setting stuff," contained a much higher proportion of lime putty, little aggregate, and no fiber, and gave the wall a smooth white surface finish. This plaster system is called veneer plaster. The existing ceiling is covered with 1x3-inch wood furring strips, one to each joist, and fastened completely through the old lath and plaster using a screw gun. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber commonly used in many building products through the late 1980's. Poorly proportioned mix. I stripped the paper off the walls and came up with grey, cracked and in some places deteorating walls. The plasterer only needs to add water. If a historic ceiling is too cracked to patch or is sagging (but not damaged from moisture), plasterers routinely keep the old ceiling and simply relate and replaster over it. In rehabilitation and restoration projects, one should rely on the plasterer's judgment about whether to use lime or gypsum plaster. New skim coatings can be done but that takes experience to get the job done quickly. Hairline cracks in wall and ceiling plaster are not a serious cause for concern as long as the underlying plaster is in good condition. Plaster walls can create a challenge. The system uses gypsum-core panels that are the same size as drywall (4x8 feet), and specially made for veneer plaster. A building owner needs to think carefully about the condition of the plaster that remains; plaster is often not as badly damaged as it first appears. Marylee MacDonald is a writer and former carpenter. Lime plaster dates from antiquity. A flat patch will stand out from the rest of the wall. Otherwise I'm pretty doubtful, you can send some samples off for testing but personally I wouldn't bother unless you plan on ripping down walls and ceilings - asbestos is fine until you start * * * * ing about with it. Summary and References 7. Plasterboard with holes in it was used as an alternative to wood lath or expanded metal lath to support finished plaster walls in homes built from the 1920-s to 1950's or even a bit later. The keys holding the plaster to the ceiling have probably broken. Its applied using a roller with s special adhesive.

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