100 yr. old house w/ lath & plaster walls

I am about 4 days into this rehab. Doing a lot of demolition I was just wondering if anyone had experience in “lath & plaster” walls?

This house has paneling everywhere. Some places have 2 or 3 layers of wall paper under the paneling. In the kitchen there is a lot of linoleum type of stuff guled to the walls under the paneling. These people were nail crazy. In some places I’ll find 5 or 6 nails in a 1 ft area. I don’t know what these people were thinking.

Anyway we expected this stuff under the paneling. The plan is to fix any holes and cracks with plaster and/or “fix all” and in some places new sheet rock then texture all the walls before painting. The problem we are coming up with is there are some places where parts of the wall are just crumbling. Mostly at the bottom of the walls where the 8" crown molding goes and around the door ways. There is just more then we thought there would be.

My question is does anyone have a better solution to this then what we have come up with?

deja vu

I had the exact same experience in the last house i did and the current one I’m working on. I don’t know if this is what you want to hear, but seriously, the easiest thing to do is re-drywall. I can’t tell you how much time, energy and money I spent trying to fix the plaster. In the end, new drywall was the simplest and cheapest, not to mention best looking solution. I did have a few rooms that weren’t too horrible that I was able to patch and then textured the walls. Gotta love the older homes…best of luck…

Plaster is not always a fun thing to deal with. In most cases, when we have faced the situation you discuss, we decided to remove and then sheetrock. Keep in mind that plaster can contain asbestos so if you decided to remove,do it cautiously.

You might be able to remove your moldings and casing and just sheetrock on top. If it is asbestos based you will still have an obligation to notify the buyer that it is there.

Thanks for the replys.

I just thought maybe there was a product out there that I didn’t know about. I guess not. I will be sheet rocking up to the natural strong point and plastering the holes and cracks.

Again thanks for the responses.

How do you know if it has asbestos?

You would have to test it or have someone inspect it. The removal of asbestos is often under strick State regulation for handling and disposal. You cannot just haul it out to the curb. Older houses, those prior to turn of century, are more likely to have what is know as horse hair plaster. The problem with older houses is that there is a good chance the plaster has been repaired or maybe replaced. In these instances you might want to check it.

Just like lead paint, the dust when disturbed can linger in a home for a long time.

I had the same situation incl. countless nails + some fire damage. I was considering reparing the plaster but we ended up removing it all. It was immense amount of work and debris and I will NEVER take on a project like this again. Nevertheless we did it and you can do it too. The good thing about it is, you have great access to update ducting and electrical/plumbing.

Here is what we are going to do. My husband is going to cut out the bad stuff and replace it with sheet rock. We will only cut up to it’s strong point. Then we will fix any holes with plaster. Then texture all the walls and paint. We can not replace the whole house with sheet rock. It just does not fit into the budget. This will work great and be storng in the end.

The nails are getting crazyer, but it’s been a lot of fun and wonderful learning. It will look beautiful when we’re done.

Again I want to thank everyone for there input.

Oh, by the way we will have it tested. Does anyone know where we would take it? Can you bring it to the city?