Old lime plaster - Making good to paint/paper.

12 Oct 2011
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United Kingdom
We have a whole house redecorating project after moving in and having the place rewired and replumbed. So we are looking at the best options to make the walls good before painting.

Had the first and main room re-papered a month ago, but we where not happy with the finish, badly cut top and bottom masked with tons of dec chalk and not enough prep in general.
However there was also a lot of small bits behind the paper making lumps in the final finish, and I am worried that even if we get a new decorator in, unless he can tie in the loose bits, flat off, and get the wall sized and the paper on without disterbing the surface we will have the same again even with the new paper?

As a background; its an Edwardian house, half a larger house that's been split, majority of the walls are solid brick with thick lime plaster followed by a fine finishing skim. Some of the first floor walls are lath and plaster as are the ceilings.
The original walls are solid super flat, not issues with sheets of the plaster coming off, but in some places the finish coat is slightly friable which head created surface imperfections, and there are also areas of damage from previous and recent re-wiring work and 115 years service.

We don't want to re-skim the walls, as the thickness of the skim will cover details on the skirtings/mouldings and the broomstick corners and because as its sold walls we dont want gypsom plaster. Chases have been repaired with limelite, the two main ceilings have been repaired and skimmed with gypsom products and are not flat.

I have looked at options including at applying a very thin skim of sandable filler/jointing compound, which might be an option for rooms where we paint without lining paper but the majority of feedback suggests this might be too labour intensive for the large rooms?

Thoughts, advice and comments welcome!

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