Remembering why i dont mind drywall.

ReverendRevolver

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Last fall one of my children threw a dog toy at the wall. It was a spot on the landing, an exterior wall. The outer layer of plaster broke, and kept breaking all around a roughly 3'×3.5' area that was always a domed squishy part since we moved in.

Prior to us owning this house, the house next door burned down. The proximity and heat seem to have done damage to the plaster at the layer where the scratch coat attaches to the slats, the "key" layer I think I've heard it called.

I hate plaster. I worked with it maybe twice. I recall mixing very quickly, working it on even faster, and getting chemical burns for my troubles. That would've been around age 20.

But, old house, and the "bubbled" part where the damage was done was exactly too noticeable and stupid shaped/small to justify ripping out wall for a piece of sheet rock to go in.

I had to look at bare, wiggly scratch coat for months now, because I didn't want the whole thing to not settle right due to cold outside and warm inside.

2 weeks ago in my "vacation"(that involved an awful lot of going to my job to do things...) I but the bullet.

I used overkill grade liquid nails (couldn't find plaster adhesive and washers) and reattached the scratch coat layer to the slats using the liquid nails shot into the gap between the 2 layers (I drilled holes) and then screws and washers left in 2 days while it cured.

I removed the screws and washers, made sure it wasn't moving anymore, then mixed up my first coat of plaster. The first layer (3 different mix batches) I used a pointed trowel, because I remembered using one successfully around mantles previously, and it being better than the big flat ones. It was almost impossible to keep even and consistent thickness due to the shape being patched.
Second coat 12 hours later also sucked. I know how to mix it right because I've mixed it wrong enough, but I could swear that I've gotten more than 4 minutes of workable time out of the stuff before. Maybe I'm mis-remembering, or had it real soggy back then (I was helping renovate a house someone was flipping).

Anyway, sometime around coat 2 and wet Sanding to level while it was still somewhat maliable, chemical burns happened on my wrist. Inside the glove.

I had to buy another bag of plaster for a third layer for leveling, so I stopped by my sister's house and grabbed my drywall finishing stuff, which included my other trowels. (Which were more rusted than I recall, but who cares, I'm pretty sure they're from a yardsale...)

More layering. More sanding.
More sanding.
Let cure.
One last "layer" to even out spots from me working thin earlier. More sanding.

Let it cure for a week or so.
Today I finally finished what I plan to do with we5 sanding with the coarse sander.
20220525_205519.jpg
I have an ugly moon on my landing still. Friday will be fine sanding. I shoulda taken pictures of previous steps.

But there are about 5 uneven "dips" in the area, so you know what?

I'm using drydex/mud. Whatever I have more of right now. I'm just done. It'll look 100% better than all the other obvious plaster repairs in my house (one from an old door, several from what were probably fists...). It will still be a smooth, albeit slightly uneven, spot on the wall once painted.
But I hate plaster.

It's awful.
I've never hung drywall as a job, but I'm decent at getting it hung and having almost invisible seams. I've gotten so good at patching it from idiots breaking walls at the 4 stores I've been in over the last 14 years that I can make those repairs invisible, aside from the paint not always matching.

Plaster? It's $15 for 8lbs or $9 for 4lbs, requires natural chemistry mixing expertise, a feel for the pressure and trowel motion to get on the wall right, and the airborne power + your sweat leaves burns that last about a day.
I know it's a random complaint-fest, but this turned out to be quite a time sink.

For anyone who has had to use it often, how do you do it? I salute you. Anyone here work as a contractor when it was the norm?
 

ReverendRevolver

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Ohio (Nerk)
Wouldn't it be easier, to just cut away the effected area of plaster, add some support, and patch it with drywall?
At the start, I knew if I did that I would have an unsightly seam lining up with the top 2 steps, visible from walking in the front door into the living room.

In hindsight, the seams aren't all that bad where I did that before. Even if they were the ugliest things on the planet, probably woulda been worth it.
Edit: and cost less, I have half a sheet of drywall and some scrap from patching up my mom's house. Coulda saved $20 in plaster.
 

Vibroluxer

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Wouldn't it be easier, to just cut away the effected area of plaster, add some support, and patch it with drywall?
Well kow there's liquid nails involved! 😎

When I remodeled the kitchen I never laid tile and was worried about using mortar, my 1st time. The contractor friend didn't miss a beat when he said use liquid nails. So I did and if anyone ever decides to replace the floor they are going to be cussing me out. A lot.
 

archetype

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Western NY
Plastering is a skill, but the nuanced art of it is acquired only though doing it and doing it more. I can do minor patching, but nothing like my late wife who was a badass plasterer. A few weeks ago I was in a conversation with a great nephew who was weighing college vs. a building trade. He had drywall skills and I counseled him to expand that with building expert plastering skills. The latter pays right and will get him into cool restoration jobs.

BTW the "slats" are called lath.
 

Milspec

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I despise drywall...always have since I was a kid. It is just a pita at all stages. I always try to cover the walls with ship lap, car siding, or wainscoting panels instead. I just hate dealing with all the nail holes, patching, and water issues that often return constantly with drywall.
 

Informal

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At the start, I knew if I did that I would have an unsightly seam lining up with the top 2 steps, visible from walking in the front door into the living room.

In hindsight, the seams aren't all that bad where I did that before. Even if they were the ugliest things on the planet, probably woulda been worth it.
Edit: and cost less, I have half a sheet of drywall and some scrap from patching up my mom's house. Coulda saved $20 in plaster.
I don't understand how the seams would be any more noticeable?

Drywall mud is infinitely easier to work with/blend than plaster.
 
Last edited:

Kandinskyesque

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Scotland
I'm not looking forward to ripping out an entire house full of drywall over the next few years.
The previous owner thought it would be clever to box in a 300 years old house (6' thick rubble and lime mortar walls, no dpc) with drywall backed with polythene and rockwool for 'insulation purposes'.
The result is the house is suffocating and sweating and as a result much colder.

One thing I can guarantee is that it won't be me doing the lime plastering when it gets to that stage or possibly the limewashing if I choose to go right back to the bare stone.
 

kuch

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Last fall one of my children threw a dog toy at the wall. It was a spot on the landing, an exterior wall. The outer layer of plaster broke, and kept breaking all around a roughly 3'×3.5' area that was always a domed squishy part since we moved in.

Prior to us owning this house, the house next door burned down. The proximity and heat seem to have done damage to the plaster at the layer where the scratch coat attaches to the slats, the "key" layer I think I've heard it called.

I hate plaster. I worked with it maybe twice. I recall mixing very quickly, working it on even faster, and getting chemical burns for my troubles. That would've been around age 20.

But, old house, and the "bubbled" part where the damage was done was exactly too noticeable and stupid shaped/small to justify ripping out wall for a piece of sheet rock to go in.

I had to look at bare, wiggly scratch coat for months now, because I didn't want the whole thing to not settle right due to cold outside and warm inside.

2 weeks ago in my "vacation"(that involved an awful lot of going to my job to do things...) I but the bullet.

I used overkill grade liquid nails (couldn't find plaster adhesive and washers) and reattached the scratch coat layer to the slats using the liquid nails shot into the gap between the 2 layers (I drilled holes) and then screws and washers left in 2 days while it cured.

I removed the screws and washers, made sure it wasn't moving anymore, then mixed up my first coat of plaster. The first layer (3 different mix batches) I used a pointed trowel, because I remembered using one successfully around mantles previously, and it being better than the big flat ones. It was almost impossible to keep even and consistent thickness due to the shape being patched.
Second coat 12 hours later also sucked. I know how to mix it right because I've mixed it wrong enough, but I could swear that I've gotten more than 4 minutes of workable time out of the stuff before. Maybe I'm mis-remembering, or had it real soggy back then (I was helping renovate a house someone was flipping).

Anyway, sometime around coat 2 and wet Sanding to level while it was still somewhat maliable, chemical burns happened on my wrist. Inside the glove.

I had to buy another bag of plaster for a third layer for leveling, so I stopped by my sister's house and grabbed my drywall finishing stuff, which included my other trowels. (Which were more rusted than I recall, but who cares, I'm pretty sure they're from a yardsale...)

More layering. More sanding.
More sanding.
Let cure.
One last "layer" to even out spots from me working thin earlier. More sanding.

Let it cure for a week or so.
Today I finally finished what I plan to do with we5 sanding with the coarse sander.
View attachment 987100
I have an ugly moon on my landing still. Friday will be fine sanding. I shoulda taken pictures of previous steps.

But there are about 5 uneven "dips" in the area, so you know what?

I'm using drydex/mud. Whatever I have more of right now. I'm just done. It'll look 100% better than all the other obvious plaster repairs in my house (one from an old door, several from what were probably fists...). It will still be a smooth, albeit slightly uneven, spot on the wall once painted.
But I hate plaster.

It's awful.
I've never hung drywall as a job, but I'm decent at getting it hung and having almost invisible seams. I've gotten so good at patching it from idiots breaking walls at the 4 stores I've been in over the last 14 years that I can make those repairs invisible, aside from the paint not always matching.

Plaster? It's $15 for 8lbs or $9 for 4lbs, requires natural chemistry mixing expertise, a feel for the pressure and trowel motion to get on the wall right, and the airborne power + your sweat leaves burns that last about a day.
I know it's a random complaint-fest, but this turned out to be quite a time sink.

For anyone who has had to use it often, how do you do it? I salute you. Anyone here work as a contractor when it was the norm?
This is what the pros do: they patch plaster with drywall mud.... just like scrapyardblue said
 

Blue Bill

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This is what the pros do: they patch plaster with drywall mud.... just like scrapyardblue said
Well, not all pros. If the goal is durability and water resistance, then plaster is the way to go. I usually do at least the first coat on sheetrock with plaster (Durabond), it's much stronger than SR mud. Once you get used to the mixing part, it's not much different to work with than pre-mixed mud.
 

lammie200

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I am working on a few drywall projects right now. Luckily I don’t have any lathe and plaster to deal with but if I had to patch lathe and plaster I would do so with drywall. I have learned a few things. One is to use dust control drywall mud. Another is to work the troweling such that there will be very little sanding necessary. Just thin layers and scraping the layers down before applying the next one. That way the only sanding that will be necessary is right before painting. I am not sure about wet sanding as the OP has mentioned. Never seen anyone do that with drywall or plaster. I wouldn’t go there myself.
 

scrapyardblue

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Well, not all pros. If the goal is durability and water resistance, then plaster is the way to go. I usually do at least the first coat on sheetrock with plaster (Durabond), it's much stronger than SR mud. Once you get used to the mixing part, it's not much different to work with than pre-mixed mud.
My entire house is plaster. 25 years ago I watched two guys mixing it in steel garbage cans and swirling it over every inch of the house, ceiling included. They used bags of colored powder from a local plant to achieve our desired tone.

I've had a few dings over the years and while I can't dispute that Durabond isn't a better product, I would challenge anyone to identify my patches with drywall compound 15-20 years ago.
 

ChicknPickn

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Last fall one of my children threw a dog toy at the wall. It was a spot on the landing, an exterior wall. The outer layer of plaster broke, and kept breaking all around a roughly 3'×3.5' area that was always a domed squishy part since we moved in.

Prior to us owning this house, the house next door burned down. The proximity and heat seem to have done damage to the plaster at the layer where the scratch coat attaches to the slats, the "key" layer I think I've heard it called.

I hate plaster. I worked with it maybe twice. I recall mixing very quickly, working it on even faster, and getting chemical burns for my troubles. That would've been around age 20.

But, old house, and the "bubbled" part where the damage was done was exactly too noticeable and stupid shaped/small to justify ripping out wall for a piece of sheet rock to go in.

I had to look at bare, wiggly scratch coat for months now, because I didn't want the whole thing to not settle right due to cold outside and warm inside.

2 weeks ago in my "vacation"(that involved an awful lot of going to my job to do things...) I but the bullet.

I used overkill grade liquid nails (couldn't find plaster adhesive and washers) and reattached the scratch coat layer to the slats using the liquid nails shot into the gap between the 2 layers (I drilled holes) and then screws and washers left in 2 days while it cured.

I removed the screws and washers, made sure it wasn't moving anymore, then mixed up my first coat of plaster. The first layer (3 different mix batches) I used a pointed trowel, because I remembered using one successfully around mantles previously, and it being better than the big flat ones. It was almost impossible to keep even and consistent thickness due to the shape being patched.
Second coat 12 hours later also sucked. I know how to mix it right because I've mixed it wrong enough, but I could swear that I've gotten more than 4 minutes of workable time out of the stuff before. Maybe I'm mis-remembering, or had it real soggy back then (I was helping renovate a house someone was flipping).

Anyway, sometime around coat 2 and wet Sanding to level while it was still somewhat maliable, chemical burns happened on my wrist. Inside the glove.

I had to buy another bag of plaster for a third layer for leveling, so I stopped by my sister's house and grabbed my drywall finishing stuff, which included my other trowels. (Which were more rusted than I recall, but who cares, I'm pretty sure they're from a yardsale...)

More layering. More sanding.
More sanding.
Let cure.
One last "layer" to even out spots from me working thin earlier. More sanding.

Let it cure for a week or so.
Today I finally finished what I plan to do with we5 sanding with the coarse sander.
View attachment 987100
I have an ugly moon on my landing still. Friday will be fine sanding. I shoulda taken pictures of previous steps.

But there are about 5 uneven "dips" in the area, so you know what?

I'm using drydex/mud. Whatever I have more of right now. I'm just done. It'll look 100% better than all the other obvious plaster repairs in my house (one from an old door, several from what were probably fists...). It will still be a smooth, albeit slightly uneven, spot on the wall once painted.
But I hate plaster.

It's awful.
I've never hung drywall as a job, but I'm decent at getting it hung and having almost invisible seams. I've gotten so good at patching it from idiots breaking walls at the 4 stores I've been in over the last 14 years that I can make those repairs invisible, aside from the paint not always matching.

Plaster? It's $15 for 8lbs or $9 for 4lbs, requires natural chemistry mixing expertise, a feel for the pressure and trowel motion to get on the wall right, and the airborne power + your sweat leaves burns that last about a day.
I know it's a random complaint-fest, but this turned out to be quite a time sink.

For anyone who has had to use it often, how do you do it? I salute you. Anyone here work as a contractor when it was the norm?
Two things I refuse to work with anymore: drywall, and cyanoacrylate.
 




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