Cracks in skimmed plaster

29 Dec 2013
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United Kingdom

Really hoping someone can shed some light on a plastering problem I have. We had our kitchen walls and ceiling reskimmed approx 2 months ago. Everything seemed fine until a few weeks later one of the wall is becoming covered with hairline cracks. I spoke to the plasterer and he assured me he had taken the loose existing plaster off, put on pva and allowed it to dry and then put more pva and skimmed whilst it was tacky. The cracks are all hairline. They sound hollow when you tap them. The plasterer can't figure out what has caused them but we do seem to be getting more cracks on that wall. We have also had some hairline cracks on the other walls that have cabinets fixed to them, but only a couple.

It is really causing me a lot of anxiety as I don't know whether to get the plasterer to remove all the skim and do it again? Won't the same thing just happen again? Any advice would really be appreciated.

Also I have noticed a couple of blisters on the ceiling, few cm diameter where the plaster appears to have blown. What should I do about these? If I leave them will the skim eventually fall off?

Thanks for any help.
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If it sounds hollow it needs to come off...the lot!

If the plaster below is sound he hasnt done his prep properly.

The rest of the new kitchen has been finished so we looking for a remedy that will cause the least disruption whilst obviously dealing with the issue too. I know that the thought of lining paper makes many plasterers cringe but would it be a solution to cover the wall with lining paper - literally papering over the cracks! I assume this would prevent any plaster ever falling off and none of the cracks would show?
Instead of tapping the wall/s, rub the back of your hand/finger nails over the wall, you'll hear any loose areas much clearer that way. I'm with Alastair, if it's loose/blown, it'll need to come off,, all of it, because once you start taking skim off here and there, the rest will come away with it, and nothing looks worse than patched up skim, better starting again. Preparation is everything when skimming onto an old surface.
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Just read your suggestion to using lining paper to cover over loose/cracked skim,,, i wouldn't do that. If you paper over skim plaster that might be loose, it'll still blow from the wall, causing the lining paper to bulge and disfigure, especially at the paper joints/seams.
Can you put some pics on here please, so we can see the problem, also the ceiling blisters.

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