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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Littleton, NH
    Posts
    3

    Default Horse hair plaster walls

    We have an 1885 New Englander in the North Country of New Hampshire. It has horse-hair plaster throughout. Fortunately most rooms are intact, but many have several layers of wallpaper over the plaster. We gutted one room, painted over the wallpaper in another, but need to remove the several layers of paper in what was the library/sitting room.

    Any suggestions to get all the wallpaper off without damaging the plaster underneath? Any suggestions for refinishing the walls?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Littleton, NH
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Horse hair plaster walls

    ~Bump~
    Does anyone have ANY ideas? Has anyone EVER dealt with horse hair plaster?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Derry, NH
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Horse hair plaster walls

    I have used the old wallpaperer's razor sc****r after thoroughly soaking the paper but the condition of the plaster may be pretty soft and make being careful a struggle.

    Depends how flat the surface is.
    It is best to soak the paper well. Some one told me Downy detergent was a good paper remover other than the conventional removers. I have tried it and it seemed to work but i never had the chance to try it on plaster walls.

    I use a small pesticide pump and spray at will as often as the wall needs it until it just about falls of.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Littleton, NH
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Horse hair plaster walls

    Thanks!

    The walls are pretty dry and not that flat. Obviously were meant to be covered.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Horse hair plaster walls

    I have been repairing "horse hair" for thirty years. It is composed of lime, sand, and hair. The most cost effective method to remove wallpaper is to use a steamer. Plaster is most cost effective when repaired. Anything you replace it with will be inferior in quality and longevity.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Horse hair plaster walls

    Howdy my 104 year old grand home in renovation has had wall paper laid over a heavy matting. Some came off without any plaster damage- most showed how the plaster had deteriorated when the wall paper was removed it had been holding the plaster in tack. So most of the horse hair plaster is now a memory going back with sheet rock, drywall, mainly because i know how to install it and i know how $$$$$$$ plaster work is. Boy do i have a giant pile of lath. other then kindling anyone have any ideas what to use it for?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Horse hair plaster walls

    Quote Originally Posted by PlasterMaestro View Post
    I have been repairing "horse hair" for thirty years. It is composed of lime, sand, and hair. The most cost effective method to remove wallpaper is to use a steamer. Plaster is most cost effective when repaired. Anything you replace it with will be inferior in quality and longevity.
    A steamer is a great way to remove wallpaper. I very much agree here.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Horse hair plaster walls

    The best (ie. easiest) is to use hot water and vinegar, which breaks down the glue. The older the glue is, the better. Use something to perforate the wallpaper (especially if it's been painted) so the hot water can get behind. If you have a couple people, have one going ahead and pre-wetting the paper. They can perforate the wall, use a sponge to apply the water vinegar mix and the second person can work around the room with a 6" putty knife to sc**** it off. I think it works best to do a rough job and then go back and resoak the tougher stuff. An electric kettle makes quick work of it because you get lots of really hot water. Don't try this with drywall board.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Horse hair plaster walls

    I would carefully scratch the paper with a sharp object and then soak the paper in hot water. Do this a few times and then use a steamer. It should come off ok.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Horse hair plaster walls

    Hello, Tripp here. New to site. I have moved in to my old family home finished in 1860. The plaster walls have cracks and some appear to have spots where they are starting to "sluff" off, along with previous patching where no time was taken to sand the patchwork.

    Q1: What is the best way to repair cracking horse hair plaster? (any methods mixtures ect. will be greatly appreciated)

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