“After” Lathe And Plaster Repair

by projectbuddy

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Here is the “after” photograph from the previous post. Hopefully you would never know that there had been major water damage here. This was taken once a coat of primer had been applied. Below are some tips and suggestions that may be helpful to others doing modest preservation wall repairs.

After removing all of the old plaster that easily pulls away from the lathe boards, use a sharp utility knife a ruler to cut into the old plaster to get straight edges. This way you will be able to have straight edges matching and can use joint tape and compound.

I have used small batches of mixed plaster for any places where large amounts of material have been needed, but usually have used premixed joint compound to mend and blend the repair work in with the existing plasterwork. This has allowed me to match the texture of my other work.

The entire wall has been covered with a thin coating of premixed joint compound. This has covered irregularities and small cracks as well as larger cracks that have been chiseled and repaired with plaster. I used two 4″ joint knives to apply and smooth out the compound on the walls.

Even with some sanding once the compound dried, there is still a slightly irregular texture to the wall. For anyone looking for an absolutely flat, factory-made surface, this would not be a good technique. To me, the effect is a bit like the pleasant irregularities found in handmade paper.

These irregularities give a handcrafted feel that could be emphasized with various decorative painting techniques like Venetian plaster or glazing. I am leaving these options open for future projects. Right now, I just want to be able to have a dining room that will be usable for upcoming holiday meals!

This photograph was taken November 2012.