Plastering ceiling tips

18 Nov 2009
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United Kingdom

I'm gonna be skimming my 1st ceiling this weekend, it's only 2.5mtr x 2mtr so only a small one for you pro's.

Was hoping for some advice on the best way to do it as its a lathe and plaster ceiling that hs a few cracks but appears solid plus its been painted but alot of the paint peels off in strips.

1) Do i just scratch up what paints i cant get off and PVA as you would for a wall

2) Do i need to scrim tape over the cracks or do i hack them out to make them wider and fill then skim

3) i'm not the cleanest DIY plasterer so getting the plaster upto the ceiling gonna be hard till i get used to it can i make the mix a bit thicker or is that no! no!

Or should i just board over it and skim that ( i'd rather the above as it will be a pain to get the boards to the ceiling hold them there and fix them on me todd). what screws and centres would be best for this or is there a bonding method for the board.

I'm always up for any more tips if there is any

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If you're not used to ceilings I would advise eye protection and a sponge float for the edges where the plaster can dry quickly. good luck
As a relative newbie to plastering the best tip i can give you is work as fast as you can without rushing, it's a small size ceiling so you sould be fine. Be fully prepared and prep the ceiling well.

Make sure you have easy access to get up there, brush your edges in as soon as you have laid on the first coat and as soon as you lay on the second. I would think that just scriming the cracks would be fine, all loose paint needs to be taken off and you need to pva.

i would have a bucket with the right amount of water in for your second mix in ready to start knocking up as soon as you have brushed in after the first coat.

Good luck.
Following on from the lads good advice. (wear glasses, but also don't work the trowel into your face, but to one side )

Preparation is even more important wiht ceilings or when time is short, which includes having the area tidy and any dust sheets neat so you don't trip.

To give yourself extra time, think about using bond it or WBA , or a PVA slurry instead of just PVA. CLean off splashes immediately.

I say this because for PVA alone you should PVA the day before to seal up, and then again before you plaster. As you need to plaster on to tacky PVA, you have to be careful to make sure it does not dry out so may have to interrupt your plastering to put some fresh PVA on. Also , if the PVA is too wet, your plaster may slide .

If using WBA etc , you can put this on the day before and you don't need to worry about it after that, you can concentrate on the plastering.

Make sure though , that you do scrim the cracks and screw them up if needed, having removed all loose .These may be harder to see through the WBA so I would get them done them as you do this ( you could use a thick chippies pencil to mark them, the scrim them after the WBA is on) - this will also give you one less job to do when plastering.

Before plastering wet the wall along the ceiling line. Make sure first coat gets a qucik flatten before the second, and don't panic - once you get he first trwoel onit it will be under control. Keep all windows shut, no matter how hot it gets. A hot humid room will be better than a breeze coming through.
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if its a lath and plaster ceiling , and paint peels off it , how can you be sure its not previously been painted with distemper? how old is it? is it lime plaster? does it have hair in it?
thats a good point that bloke!

skimmed over some distemper recently using stabilex first then WBA second before skimming, worked a treat!

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