Ceiling Repair: A Helpful Tip

First off, kudos for having the courage to tackle this ceiling plaster repair job yourself, Janine. We love to see homeowners doing repairs the right way and making the effort to preserve historic plaster.

Thanks to gravity, ceilings present a unique problem when it comes to conditioning the lath and plaster in preparation for the adhesive. Indeed, the liquid will want to drip back out. I have discovered one tool that helps, though — a pressurized garden sprayer, which you can pump as much or as little as necessary to produce a stronger stream than the standard spray bottle. Continue reading Ceiling Repair: A Helpful Tip

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Maintenance is the Best Medicine

Just like an old car, your home requires maintenance. The insertion of small amounts of capital into a building over an extended time period can mean the difference between a beautiful, functional house and a falling-apart, expensive headache of a house.

At this point, you may be expecting some tips on maintaining your plaster walls and ceilings. But it’s not the plaster that needs maintaining, it’s the structure supporting it. Continue reading Maintenance is the Best Medicine

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We Could Have Saved This One!

We recently saw a television commercial that made us laugh, then nod our heads in agreement, then cry (Okay, we didn’t actually cry. But the seriousness of the commercial’s message was well received).

The ad was for a carpet cleaning service. Two cleaning techs are driving down the road in a company van when they see a worn-looking rug rolled up and tossed out on the side of the road for trash pickup. The driver of the van slams on the brakes, dashes out of the van and kneels beside the rug. “No!” he cries. “I could have saved this one.” He glances up at the offending house… “I could have saved this one!” Continue reading We Could Have Saved This One!

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Glossary of Plaster Repair Terms

There are lots of tools, processes and materials specific to plaster and plaster repair. Some of their names you may recognize, some may sound vaguely familiar, and some may be completely foreign.

Thus, we present to you a plaster repair glossary. Read them, study them, memorize them and wow all your friends at cocktail parties when you explain that a “hawk” is not only a bird of prey of the Accipitridae family, but also a flat sheet of metal with a handle, made to hold globs of wet plaster during the application process. Continue reading Glossary of Plaster Repair Terms

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6 Tips for Choosing a Contractor to Repair Plaster Walls and Ceilings

If you own an older pre-war house, you are likely to have plaster walls or ceilings. The operative word here is “older”, so you may have plaster repair high on your list of weekend projects. But what if you’re not the handyman-type, or the job is simply too involved to handle independently? In that case, you’ll need to hire a contractor to fix that cracked plaster wall or ceiling. Continue reading 6 Tips for Choosing a Contractor to Repair Plaster Walls and Ceilings

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How to Repair a Hole in a Plaster Wall: Part 1

A few weeks ago, Rory was called to a circa 1900 home to repair a hole in a plaster wall. The hole was formed when a careless electrician used a sawzall to cut a space for a light switch. The vibration of the saw caused damage, resulting in an approximately 12″ diameter hole that needed to be stabilized and filled in with new plaster. Continue reading How to Repair a Hole in a Plaster Wall: Part 1

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How to Repair a Hole in a Plaster Wall: Part 2 – Applying the Patching Plaster

The video below is part 2 of a 3-part video series. You can also watch Part 1: Stabilizing Lath and Plaster and Part 3: The Finish Coat.

Rory was called to a circa 1900 home to repair a hole in a plaster wall. The hole was formed when a careless electrician used a sawzall to cut a space for a light switch. The vibration of the saw caused damage, resulting in an approximately 12″diameter hole that needed to be stabilized and filled in with new plaster. Continue reading How to Repair a Hole in a Plaster Wall: Part 2 – Applying the Patching Plaster

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How to Repair a Hole in a Plaster Wall: Part 3 – the Finish Coat

Recently, Rory was called to a circa 1900 home to repair a hole in a plaster wall. The hole was formed when a careless electrician used a sawzall to cut a space for a light switch. The vibration of the saw caused damage, resulting in an approximately 12 inch diameter hole that needed to be stabilized and filled in with new plaster. Continue reading How to Repair a Hole in a Plaster Wall: Part 3 – the Finish Coat

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Avoid Building Permits AND Preserve Historic Beauty

Do you still need building permits if you’re repairing cracked plaster walls or ceilings? As long as you’re not doing any structural renovation, the answer is generally no, you do not building permits. Just ask Mike, a Plaster Magic® customer.

We recently got an email from Mike, who had an interesting experience while on a plaster repair job in Boston. As if there aren’t enough reasons to preserve historic plaster instead of tearing it out and putting up drywall or new plaster… Continue reading Avoid Building Permits AND Preserve Historic Beauty

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The ”Scrape and Tape“

We call this inferior method of plaster repair the “Scrape and Tape.” It is commonly deployed on a crack in a plaster wall or ceiling. The repairman uses a metal scraping tool, such as a paint scraper, to gouge a groove directly over the crack. He will then typically use drywall screws to secure the plaster around the crack to the lath. He then uses joint compound to fill in the groove, either with or without drywall tape or mesh, just as he would treat a seam on installed drywall.

“That sounds reasonable. Why is the ‘Scrape and Tape’ method wrong?” Continue reading The ”Scrape and Tape“

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How to Comply with Renovation, Repair and Painting Rules

We received a question recently from a customer about to start a renovation that involved plaster repair. He asked: “If a renovator disrupts 6 square feet or less of painted surface per room in several rooms inside one property, does the RRP Rule apply?”

First, some background. The RRP Rule is the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule. It was issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2008 to help protect against the hazards of lead-based paint.

So, to answer your question: No, the rule does not apply in this plaster repair circumstance. The beautiful thing about using Plaster Magic®is that there is no demolition involved — you are adhering the damaged plaster back onto the wall rather than ripping it out and disturbing its pained sandwich. Continue reading How to Comply with Renovation, Repair and Painting Rules

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