11/01/2005

I have plaster! (somewhere...)

It didn't feel much like Halloween yesterday, probably because I can't really do anything to celebrate. How can you when you're at work (and at a job that absoloutely requires a uniform...)? We didn't even bother to decorate, what with the wallpaper project and all. I was hoping to put a few things up for fall in general, but there's really nowhere to hang or put things where they won't be in the way.

All things considered, the wallpaper removal is going well. It's much more time-consuming that I had anticipated, but I'm very pleased with the progress. Last night I finished the front wall of the living room. It was probably the most difficult wall, since it has a set of windows as well as the front door. Until my next 3 days off, I can only work on the wallpaper before and after work, so progressis slower than I would like. There seems to be 3 layers of paper, then a layer of painted paper over the plaster. The first layer came off very easily, but after that, it's all scraping and peeling after wetting it down. I'm laving the final, painted layer of paper on for now, since the plaster underneath is "naked". I was expecting ugly, cracked, patched plaster after feeling all the bumps and uneveness under the wallpaper, but our plaster managed to surprise me. It's actually in very good shape. There are cracks, of course, but that's really about all. Except for the fact that it's missing its finish coat. This was done to save money and time, and I've heard that it's fairly common. Only, instead of painting, it was papered, which was more popular at the time, but has caused a snafu in our plans. The final layer of paper is VERY stuck to the plaster, and I have no idea how to get it off. I'm afraid to use chemicals, since the plaster is porus, and I'm afraid the primer won't stick to it if we do that. I don't want to scrape too much, because of the sandy texture. It's much softer than a finish coat, and I'm afraid it will just come off the wall. It will look nice once we paint it, judging from the upstairs closet that was painted, but I have no clue how to get that last layer off. Here's a pic of the painted paper with the plaster showing underneath:The picture doesn't show it too well, but there is sand and horsehair right on the top layer. it's actually very interesting to look at.

Funny thing: I thought that the wallpaper was up because the plaster was in horrible shape. It's great to know that the plaster is fine, just kind of unfinished! :)

Next step: remove the baseboards and window/door trim. Get that danged paper off the walls, and start stripping the woodwork. The ceiling tiles will also come down and we'll deal with whatever is under there. at the same time, we'll also pull up the carpet. It's helping to keep the dust down right now, but it really has to go. We'll then paint the walls and ceiling and have the floors refinished. It's exciting to make progress, no matter how small!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ceiling tiles... yeah I have that through a lot of my house from the previous owner. Behind the ceiling tiles is generally 3 layers of wallpaper, a layer of contact paper, and a layer of paint. The walls had even more layers.

Some of the plaster in that room was a bit too easy to take off - pulling wallpaper off the wall sometimes removed a foot square of the plaster, so I elected to NOT use chemical strippers on the ceiling. I scraped and scraped, then used a quarter sander to sand it smooth to the plaster. Next I'm using an oil based primer on it, but I'm still 2 weeks away from doing that.

Good luck with yours...

-Tony

MandaLiet said...

I did something extremely bad, something that I will have to live with the shame of for years to come. In our main bedroom, there was a similar situation going on, where when I tried to peel up the wall paper it would actually remove the finish coat of the plaster. So I patched the areas I tried to remove, and (oh nos!) I painted the wall paper. THE SHAME! I've admitted it. It really doesn't look bad though. But I'm sure something horrible will happen to me, karma and all that...

Craig Spangler said...

We used a steamer that is made for removing wallpaper to remove the canvas taht was covering the plaster. It takes a whiel but it worked well for us