If your walls are looking a little old and tired, it could be time for a redecoration. However, to make sure your new look stands the test of time, it’s always a good idea to plaster first. One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when plastering their walls is not preparing the walls properly- this can cause the plaster to crack and crumble, making the job much more expensive and time-consuming than intended. Follow our top tips for how to prepare a wall for plastering:
Firstly, you’ll need to strip the wall you plan to plaster and ensure any existing paper has been totally cleared. If you plaster on top of wallpaper, it will be too heavy and the plaster will peel off from the weight. Stripping the walls is a laborious task, but it will be worth it in the end!
Next up, you’ll need to wash the walls down to ensure any unwanted grease or grime is removed. Excess dirt or grease on the walls could stop the plaster from adhering properly to the wall; in dirty areas, the plaster could start to bubble, crack and eventually peel off completely. Use household sugar soap, which you can get at your local DIY store, to properly clean up the wall.
Once you’ve cleared the wallpaper and washed down the walls, you need to carefully inspect the walls for any cracking or peeling. If you notice some damaged plaster, be sure to scrape it off; the same goes for any peeling paint. You’ll also need to make sure that the previous coat of plaster is solid. To do this, tap the walls- it shouldn’t move, sound hollow or fall away with the pressure.
If you have had to scrape or hack back areas of the existing plaster, you’ll fill them with Bonding. Equally, if you have smaller holes or cracks, simply use some filler to touch up these areas. Remember to unscrew your light switches and plug sockets, too! You essentially want a solid wall with no loose materials.
Now that your walls are clear, you might notice a few cracks. These could mean trouble, so it’s a good idea to apply some scrim tape where the cracks are showing to stop them from shifting. Scrim tape is a mesh that sticks directly to the wall and keeps plaster intact, whilst also allowing for movement.
When plastering an existing wall, you need to control the rate of suction. To do this, you should apply either PVA or Blue Grit to your walls. If using PVA, remember to mix it with water to create a primer, which will prevent your walls from drawing moisture from the plaster. You may need to apply two coats. The second option is Blue Grit- an extremely adhesive product that leaves a gritty coat over your wall, making it much easier for the plaster to bond to. Blue Grit is the more expensive option, but is more effective, particularly for damaged walls.
At North Yorkshire Remedials, we provide damp proofing services to customers across the North of England. Our expert team can not only damp proof your home, but also apply quality plaster to your walls, reducing the chance of damp issues arising in the future. If you’re based in York, Harrogate, Thirsk, Northallerton, Wetherby or Tadcaster, get in touch with us today to protect your home from damp.