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skim, overboard or alternative plastering for stairway?

Tani H-S
last month

Had been really hoping to leave the old painted lining paper on this part of the staircase wall (which never got plastered when we did the room) but it was too badly damaged.

So I’ve tried painstakingly to strip it by hand without using a steamer (so I didn’t blow the delicate plaster as it’s over old 30’s lathes) which has taken me hours.

However... it’s an absolute mess underneath. Where they had knocked a handrail peg in it cracked all the plaster which isn’t stable (you can tell when you tap it) and the top of the plaster has come away from the stair section. Also gouges and other cracks.

Am I right in thinking that a plasterer won’t just be able to skim over this to correct it all???
Have I just wasted a day stripping it when they will probably have to overboard it instead? 😱

Comments (11)

  • Tani H-S

    **** or should I just patch it myself and then paper over it?? 😂

  • Sonia

    I saw your dilemma yesterday Tani, but I really don’t know what the answer is. Is all the plaster wobbly and ready to fall? I think they call it blown.........If it feels firm then I think patching it will do. My stepson is a plasterer so I’ll ask him next time he pops round.🧐

  • Tani H-S

    Hi Sonia,

    Yes the bit around the hole has blown (couldn’t remember the word) but it’s plaster on the old lathes with horsehair type wadding so it’s fairly delicate anyway I guess.

    I have messaged a plasterer to see if they can come and advise as I can’t face pulling it all off as I’m allergic to dust (officially! Lol!) so it would give me such bad health. Husband doesn’t wanted to shorten the stair width by reboarding so we might have to look at ply lining it with thin ply ie making a faux panelled wall with the section routed out worse case!

  • Sonia

    Hi Tani, I know this is a bit late and you may have resolved the issue, but I showed your pictures to my plasterer stepson and said that when the original plaster is added to the wooden laths it is pressed amongst the wood so the plaster mushrooms out the other side, thus holding the plaster onto the wood.

    He said if it was his wall he would patch the areas without plaster with Hardwall, a sandy backing plaster, pushing it through the wooden lathes letting it mushroom out. Let it dry hard, then finish with a top coat of Multifinish.

    He did say he would come round and have a look, but I do remember you are oop north? I must say I rather like your idea of panelling but of course that is a bit more work.

  • Tani H-S

    Aw thank you for asking him and yes - we are very oop North, ha ha (near Blackpool!)

    I have a plasterer coming over tonight hopefully to have a look as well and see what he thinks. It was a recommendation as the other ones we have had have been useless.

  • Sonia

    That’s good to hear. Hope all goes well 😊

  • E D

    No expert but I too did notice your plaster is the older style with laths.

    Sonia’s brother’s advice sounds like good advice and in any case, repairing the plaster will look much nicer than using (dry wall) boarding.

  • Tani H-S

    So he said that as I don’t want to pull it off, he would patch it all in - fix any holes and remove any loose stuff first. Scrim all the cracked areas and cracks where it’s blown (so they don’t come through to the new plaster) - use a blue grit plaster(?) which bonds better instead of using pva glue then final top plaster coat.

    So hopefully it will be ok 😂

  • Sonia

    Sounds good to me! 👍😊

  • Tani H-S

    Well he did a fab job! Over two long half days he prepped it really well. Taped up all the cracks then the stuff he painted on was like sand paper grit so it bonded with the new plaster. Has a great finish. Now I just need to paint it....

  • Sonia

    A good plasterer is worth their weight in gold! Glad it’s sorted.


United Kingdom
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