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Patching Lath & Plaster walls

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Default Patching Lath & Plaster walls

    Fellow Renovators,

    After much consideration I have decided to patch my lath & plaster walls in my two bedrooms rather than pull down and resheet (I have just resheet the ceiling using battens over the existing ceiling which was too saggy and cracked to repair).

    Was wondering if any of you have done much repairs to lath and plaster walls and any advice you could offer.

    I am planning to just use jointing Cement and a topping coat but thought that cornice cement might be better?? Any ideas??

    It looks like that someone has already had a go patching the walls as when the light is dim you can see all these raised "rivers" running down the walls. I have tried sanding these back to no avail. Should I chip them out and redo or would I just be making a big mess and this is the type of finsh a patching job gives??



    PS I'm not after a perfect finish just a flat one.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    Re your plaster and lath renovations, if by that you mean traditional lime plaster over lath there is a person who demonstrated this at the out of the woodwork day at Rouse hill houe, Rouse hill NSW, part of the historic houses trust

    He was a mine of inforation and demonstrated origina lime plaster

    you may be able to find more information from their website

    message back if you want more about this


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    I've made, and used, lime plaster for patching (also lime mortar). Easy to make, if a bit time consuming, but you really need to be good at plastering - and I'm not!

    Friends have an early weatherboard house, c.1910, with plaster and lath wall. Over the years they have used just about every product available to patch cracks - and they still opened up.

    A couple of years ago they gave up on patching and fixed 10mm gyprock sheets directly to the plaster walls. Removed skirtings, etc., prior to gyprocking and replaced afterwards with a bit of necessary packing. Despite the drought (which contracts our clay subsoil and plays havoc with foundations) no problems have yet emerged.

    My late Victorian brick house had plaster and lath ceilings. Still has three original ceilings left but another two were covered with fibrous plaster probably in the 1920's and two with some other sort of plaster sheeting in the 1940's I think. So my friends (or you) wouldn't be the first to cover it up.

  4. #4
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Near Canberra


    We have an old (1860s) house with lime mortar over stone walls, last year we had a stone mason re render a room we were rennovating. He used jointing compound as the final coat on the walls and we have been disappointed with the amount of cracking due to movement that it has suffered. I would use straight lime putty as your top coat as the gypsum based jointing cement may be too brittle.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    It's a tough decision alright. I am renovating a 1926 Californian Bungalow which had lath and plaster walls. After restumping it, they were in a bit of a bad way, but not unrepairable. After a bit of agonising, I decided to knock them all down and replaster the whole place in gyprock. Man - as a bit of a beinner to this stuff, I was amazed at the amount of plaster that came off the walls - the house is only about 10 squares, and we filled a 6m skip with just plaster! Add another 6m skip for the laths! Dirty bugger of a job too, especially in 30deg heat.

    I know that this doesn't really answer your post, but if you were considering upgrading, I would seriously consider going over the top of the old plaster next time!

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