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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    6

    Question Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    We just started picking at a wall that was crumbling under the million layers of wallpaper. We found that the "plaster" was applied directly to the brick, there is no lath in sight? I don't know what this material is they used because it's brown and crumbling, I'm used to seeing plaster in good condition..lol. What can we do to fix this? There isn't anything to nail drywall to or can we use masonary screws? Would 1x4's be best and just nailed to the brick? I am at a total loss here.

    OMG! HELP! Our 1851 federal just gave us a new headache!
    Last edited by debnlyrick; 06-11-2008 at 05:43 PM. Reason: misspelling and wanted to add information

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    What you're seeing I think is the first layer of plaster called the scratch coat or brown coat for obvious reasons that is applied before the finish layers. It may be deteriorating because of moisture in the wall from failed flashing, gutters or sealant around windows, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    If you've gotten rid of the moisture problem and it's not the whole wall, I have patched areas like that with dry wall compound. I think it will stick to just about any thing.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    No, it's the entire house, 4300 sq ft of exterior walls. There is only one layer of the the brown coat then the wallpaper on top of that. It looks like they used a thin layer of skim coat over the brown. In total, about 3/4" thick. So there is the exterior wall, brick, then on the interior the brown plaster coat directly on the brick, the micro layer of skim the wallpaper.
    There is no lath.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    980

    Default Re: Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    Quote Originally Posted by debnlyrick View Post
    No, it's the entire house, 4300 sq ft of exterior walls. There is only one layer of the the brown coat then the wallpaper on top of that. It looks like they used a thin layer of skim coat over the brown. In total, about 3/4" thick. So there is the exterior wall, brick, then on the interior the brown plaster coat directly on the brick, the micro layer of skim the wallpaper.
    There is no lath.
    this may sound odd to you but it actually is a very typical way that plaster has been done for ages. the brown coat which has a high sand count is easily sc****d away and was coated over with a white plaster that gave it the hard finish. the brown coat is very important because it allowed the plaster to get a smooth flat surface in which to apply the final coat over. if you use jack's method of using drywall mud which will make a strong bond I would recommend using bag mud that you have to mix up first because it will dry much harder than a premix. but top it off with a premix because you will find that the pre mix sands much easier. each product has its stong points and its weak points and it is more the matter of understanding the products you are using and using each for their strong points

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    6

    Default Re: Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    Hi all!

    Thanks for all of the advice.
    We never had a chance to use the fabric softner on the walls in this particular room. We started out by removing some of the ceiling because of an old chimney whos mortar is falling apart and allowing moisture to collect on the ceiling. When we came to the egde where wall meets ceiling, large chunks of the brown coat started to come loose from the wall. I don't believe we can save this room's plaster. Not to mention, there is no insulation because the plaster being applied directly to the exterior brick! We will have to drywall after all is said and done. Before we take that step we will think more about the plaster methods mentioned. I would rather stick to true restoration than drywall anyway!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    2

    Question Re: Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    I have a similar problem: trying to finish brick walls/no studs/no lathe. I really like the idea of plaster or stucco vs. drywall since the rest of the historic structure is plaster, and more importantly, the new electric has already been run in conduit recessed into the brick. You mentioned the insulation issue. Does anyone have any recommendations for applying a layer of insulation (foam?) prior to drywall or plaster? Can the insulation be affixed to the brick with adheasive? Could drywall then be adhered to the insulation? What would be the next application if plaster were used over the insulation?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    The easiest way to insulate is to apply 1 X 4 furring strips with rigid foam insulation between the strips. then vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) then drywall.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    980

    Default Re: Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    The easiest way to insulate is to apply 1 X 4 furring strips with rigid foam insulation between the strips. then vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) then drywall.
    Jack
    if your rigid foam is tight then that is usually counted as your vapor barrier

  10. #10
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    Jun 2007
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    Default Re: Our plaster directly on exterior brick?????

    Quote Originally Posted by havanagranite View Post
    if your rigid foam is tight then that is usually counted as your vapor barrier
    Because wood expands and contracts I would install a vapor barrier.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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