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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1

    Unhappy Terrible Plaster Ceiling, Help?

    My mother's house is covered with these old plaster ceilings. They collect a lot of dust and have been slowly peeling away over the past couple of years, especially in the living room where we experienced water damage.
    Recently she's begun renovations on the house and has finally moved to the ceilings. She'd like to all together remove the plaster ceiling in the living room and she'd also like to replace the ceiling in the kitchen with a tin ceiling.
    The only problem is it's rather difficult to take the plaster off. We've tried peeling away at the parts that are already falling off but that only goes so far.
    So any suggestions? She's been contemplating putting the tin over top of the plaster in the kitchen but I don't know if that's possible. Help?

    Thanks a bunch

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,171

    Default Re: Terrible Plaster Ceiling, Help?

    Pulling down old plaster ceilings is in the top 3 of worst experiences on old house renovations. The mess goes all over. Get a large (30" diameter) exhaust fan and place it blowing outside from a window or door. Tape doors shut to the rest of the house. Have a dumpster ready, many metal trash cans and as many friends as you can dragoon into assisting. Keep telling yourself that you will live to tell about it. Wear a respirator.
    It may be worth the effort to find someone who can repair plaster rather than go through the ordeal. You will probably find that the old framing is not exactly in the optimal state to receive new drywall, either, and will need some shimming or planing to get the bumps out.
    One of my first jobs was installing 1600 sq ft of tin ceiling and cornice. We used the products from W.F.Norman co. in MO; they have a really neat catalog. Tin is "interesting" to install. Get really good gloves.
    You might consider leaving the plaster where you will have tin, and installing furring strips for the tin to nail into. Without any additional soundproofing or backing tin is going to transmit noise in both directions, (if there's a room above, you'd hear every footstep, clearly).
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,770

    Default Re: Terrible Plaster Ceiling, Help?

    You might want to consult with a plasterer to see to what extent the existing plaster is repairable. If the "scratch" coat is tight, you might only need repairs which can be blended into that which is still sound. The problem is finding a plasterer, it is somewhat of a dying trade. I felt fortunate to have a talented one at my call when I was contracting. On occasion, I would pull off the loose skim coat to save him time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,498

    Default Re: Terrible Plaster Ceiling, Help?

    I would knock it down, with all the trouble associated with it.

    Why? because of what you said about the condition of it AND because you may need to do something about the joists.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,059

    Default Re: Terrible Plaster Ceiling, Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmisskiwii View Post
    My mother's house is covered with these old plaster ceilings. They collect a lot of dust and have been slowly peeling away over the past couple of years, especially in the living room where we experienced water damage.
    Recently she's begun renovations on the house and has finally moved to the ceilings. She'd like to all together remove the plaster ceiling in the living room and she'd also like to replace the ceiling in the kitchen with a tin ceiling.
    The only problem is it's rather difficult to take the plaster off. We've tried peeling away at the parts that are already falling off but that only goes so far.
    So any suggestions? She's been contemplating putting the tin over top of the plaster in the kitchen but I don't know if that's possible. Help?

    Thanks a bunch
    There is no one answer here. If the plaster is fairly sound, or only small areas are damaged, you can overlay with sheetrock to good effect- just be positive the screws go into the joists, not the lath, and use 2 1/2" or longer screws. It will hide some waviness in the plaster but don't expect a dead-flat ceiling. Most people are happy with the result of this. Stoppers here will be joists not 16" on center, plaster too deteriorated, or wanting a perfect result. Tin has the same issues to deal with and will cost more though it will hide imperfections better.

    The best answer is removing the plaster and replacing it with sheetrock- a messy, labor intensive process but one that won't come back to bite you later, as would happen if covered-up plaster failed later on taking down what you covered it with too.

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