Dealing With Old Home & Plaster Walls
In the dining room of our old home fixer-upper, the walls are plaster. I’ve never owned a home with plaster walls. This is completely new to me. When I first saw them I hated them. Imperfections, cracks, peeling paint. Some have said to cover them with a textured paint. I guess the textured paint is supposed to cover the imperfections. Others have recommended to remove the plaster and just put up drywall. I could not imagine the mess it would make from knocking down that plaster. I just went through a chimney removal, which was the messiest job I’ve ever seen. Removing the plaster was off the list for me.
I looked into a couple different options. Paintable wallpaper, paintable lining paper, textured paint and skim coating. After doing the research I decided to go with skim coating. Skim coating is a process of using joint compound, or mud, to fill in the imperfections. I sanded the wall first to knock down the lumps. Cleaned and prepped the wall. Then I applied thin layer of joint compound to the entire wall. A spreading trowel and a hawk was all I used as far as equipment.
Spreading joint compound is definitely a skill! Now I know why no-one recommended skim coating. It takes a LONG time to get it right! It took me a while to get the hang of it. I’m a perfectionist and this is one thing that you will not get perfect. The good thing is you have to apply two coats. Once you first layer has dried. You can lightly sand out the imperfections.
The second skim coating goes on a lot easier. This is your chance to fill in the imperfections that the first coat didn’t get. Like I said, the second coat still doesn’t have to be perfect. After the second coat dries you can go back over and lightly sand again. This should give you a VERY smooth surface that is ready to paint. Be prepared to invest some time into this. Its very tedious!
Before and After
The outcome was by far worth the amount of time I have invested in the skim coating. No more cracks, no more imperfections, no more peeling paint. Now I’m not sure long term how this will turn out. As of now it looks great! With the amount of sweat put into this room, it is now my mission to make it the prettiest dining room in the Charlotte Area.