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Barefoot Andrew

Plaster skim alternative for DIYers?

My dining room needs redecorating, which will involve removing all the old ladyish wallpaper and replacing it with sommat. One option is lining paper, which I've done elsewhere. Trouble is, I'm fairly useless at hanging wallpaper.

Another option is a paint-on style goo that recoats iffy plaster and creates a new smooth surface that can be painted. I've experimented with stuff from B&Q which is easy to use and works well, but it's really only intended for repairs and not doing an entire room with.

Anyone any suggestions for an alternative?
A.
Jonnyboy

B&Q stuff can either be very cheap, or very dear.

It may be cheaper to get someone in to replaster the room, although as plasterers are a dying breed i may be soooooo wrong.
steve01

2 options
see how the paper comes off should not take plater off wall if it does and you want to use linning paper it should be hung horizontalty after filling holes
replaster if you get a good platererer for a perfect paint finish (good plasterers are hard to come by )
Treacodactyl

I didn't get on with the ready mixed skim when I tried, it would also work out very expensive to use too much. Even though I've learnt to plaster walls from bare brick I don't like the idea of just skimming old plaster myself and, as people have mentioned, getting hold of a good plasterer might be difficult.

Now I carefully remove the old wall paper, making sure it's been soaking for a while. Then wash down the wall thoroughly to remove the old glue and while it's still very damp then fill any large holes with filler, let dry, smooth off and wash again and then go over the finer imperfections with a tub of ready mixed fine surface filler. I find filling the holes while the wall is still damp make the job much easier. I also don't try and do too much at once.
Barefoot Andrew

OK, ta for the replies. When I remove the old wallpaper the plaster underneath won't be in good shape. I'm not about to hire a plasterer, so if I decide against usage of ready mix it'll be an opportunity to practice that paper hanging...
A.
sally_in_wales

That plain paper with the little bobbles in it (not woodchip, there is a nicer version that is just a bit textured) is very good for covering a multitude of sins.

I do sympathise though, the plaster in our house is 90% coal dust/ash and 10% plaster, and its disgusting, black, crumbly stuff. We have severalrooms that really need replastering. but it isnt going to happen any time soon, I'm just too much of a coward.
toggle

sally_in_wales wrote:
That plain paper with the little bobbles in it (not woodchip, there is a nicer version that is just a bit textured) is very good for covering a multitude of sins.

I do sympathise though, the plaster in our house is 90% coal dust/ash and 10% plaster, and its disgusting, black, crumbly stuff. We have severalrooms that really need replastering. but it isnt going to happen any time soon, I'm just too much of a coward.


my interior walls appear to be concrete slabs made from ash. it's plastered over though so is less of a nuisance.
cab

Re: Plaster skim alternative for DIYers?

Barefoot Andrew wrote:
My dining room needs redecorating, which will involve removing all the old ladyish wallpaper and replacing it with sommat. One option is lining paper, which I've done elsewhere. Trouble is, I'm fairly useless at hanging wallpaper.


Do you know for sure that the walls underneath the wallpaper are going to be that bad? If you take some care stripping the paper then you may not have SUCH a bad job.

One ex-plasterer I used to work with always diluted finishing skim with white emulsion paint to apply as an undercoat before decorating. Swore by it. Haven't tried myself.
Barefoot Andrew

Re: Plaster skim alternative for DIYers?

cab wrote:
Do you know for sure that the walls underneath the wallpaper are going to be that bad? If you take some care stripping the paper then you may not have SUCH a bad job.


They were in the front room - the plaster was sound (in terms of being stuck to the wall and not crumbly) but wasn't so good aesthetically.

Quote:
One ex-plasterer I used to work with always diluted finishing skim with white emulsion paint to apply as an undercoat before decorating. Swore by it. Haven't tried myself.


It's that kind of trick I was thinking about: a thin veneer that could be applied - easily - over large surfaces. Might have to experiment...
A.
Gervase

Whatever route you take, you'll have the problem of surface finish unless you deliberately opt for a textured finish and use a brush, roller or sponge float to finish it off. If it's a large area then the finish is all the more crucial as it's harder to sand the surface down afterwards.
Whatever approach you take, it's best to prime the surface beforehand - wet it thoroughly and apply some PVA diluted 1:1.
As for what you use for skim, to be honest the best stuff would be the real thing - a bag of finish plaster from your local builder's merchant. Mix it to a creamy consistency where it will hold a peak in the bucket (a mixer attachment on an electric drill is by far the easiest way of doing this), dollop it onto a hawk or clean spot-board and use a steel float to apply a 1-2mm coat. It stays workable for 15-20 minutes if the substrate is damped down to control the suction, so you can get a reasonable finish. Then, after about 25 minutes, get a bucket of water, a large brush, and your squeaky-clean metal float and work on the finish - brush water on, immediately followed by the float; keep the leading edge slightly up to avoid digging in, and take large sweeps. Don't overpolish, though, as the plaster will be a bugger to paint. Find an inconspicuous area to practise on first; under the stairs is a good place.
If you do have nibs, bumps and ripples you can always cheat and sand them off when it's dry (a very dusty job - be warned).
Allow any new plaster to dry before applying a 1:1 diluted coat of trade emulsion, and let that dry and settle for at least a week before thinking about any other paint finish.
dpack

learning to skim is not too hard
practice on a board a few times
i use a pump up garden spray to wet down
plank access is needed as steps are a nightmare to plaster from
easier and much cheaper than getting a good result with diy products if the walls are really messy

fill and lining paper is also good ,
if you lap and cut and remove the strips at the joins it is quick and easy to cover large areas
James

dpack wrote:
learning to skim is not too hard
practice on a board a few times
i use a pump up garden spray to wet down
plank access is needed as steps are a nightmare to plaster from
easier and much cheaper than getting a good result with diy products if the walls are really messy

fill and lining paper is also good ,
if you lap and cut and remove the strips at the joins it is quick and easy to cover large areas


Iíll second this.

That instant fix pre-mixed skim stuff is terribly hard to use. Its gloopy and takes ages to get right. Then it sets solid, and on my wall it cracked.

After Iíd done a 2 foot x 10 foot wall in that it looked worse than before I started. I found it easier learning to skim.

Like dpack suggested, practice on a wet board first to get the knack (I used an old piece of ply) Make sure your wall is wet. A day or so before you skim, get rid of all loose plaster, wash down the walls & gob a load of course plaster in the holes (or patch large holes with gyproc board & dry-line cement). When skimming, Keep the wall wet, keep the tools clean and work with confidence and speed.

If your going to use lining paper & then paint it, it doesnít need to be as smooth as a babies bottom, so donít worry, just do it.
Barefoot Andrew

Ta to all.
A.
vegplot

I've tried skimming and I need a lot more practice to be considered anywhere near acceptable which is why I'd go for lining paper, as long as the wall is reasonably sound.
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