Plastering ceilings with "issues". Advice anyone ,

5 Aug 2009
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United Kingdom
Hi all

I've been lurking for a while, knowing that this forum was going to be a required element of our house renovations :LOL: We're doing well, the two of us, in renovating the entire property (terraced place) and enjoying the work - no arguments so far ;)

We're having a bit of a quandry, though, with the ceilings in our house. Obviously looking for a pro plasterer to do them.

Main issues are that we have long cracks running across bits and pieces of the ceilings, no bowing or bending or loose plaster, fortunately, but it seems that most of them have been lined - and the cracks are still showing through.

We've been told that we can have them cut-in, skimmed with plaster, ready for painting, and that some will need plasterboard then skimming over.

I really don't want plasterboard put up as it'll ruin the cornicing we have (period property) but main query is...

Can we have skimmed plaster over the lined/painted ceilings, or will it all just come down? Is there any point in doing it that way?

SO don't want to take the ceilings back to beams/plaster and lathe if we can avoid it.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received for this newbie ;)
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hi doughnut! :LOL:

when you say lined, you mean lining paper? if so then it's a bad idea to skim, the moisture from the plaster could re-activate the paste holding the paper up there and it could indeed come down.

i understand completely why you don't want plasterboard up there, tricky one this, and a little out of my league if i'm honest, one of the the other chaps will be along soon to help out...

if the ceiling is in good nick it's possible that 'oldie worldy' building techniques and movement in the property are causing the cracks and a re-skim may even suffer the same effects, plaster will tolerate a certain amount of movement but not much.

anyway as i said, an old hand will be here soon...sorry i can't help!
Suggestion - look up or get hold of a plasterboard edging bead -not a stop bead or angle bead. It fits onto the edge of the board so that when you skim the face of the board, you have a nice finish on the exposed edge.

You can then tack your ceiling (ie overboard it ) but keep the outside edge of this new layer a uniform distance from your cornice. Say 150mm - 250mm, whatever you think looks pleasing. You can draw th eoutline on the ceiling to give you an idea how it would look, and give you a guide for the new layer.

Then you can skim the new layer without fear of it cracking. You can PVA and scrim the cracks and skim in the perimeter area , which will be the existing ceiling. This way you will only lose a small bit of definition on the cornice. If this perimeter band is not cracked, or only a couple of minor ones, you could use easfill/ames or similar and sand it down , to lose even less of the top member of the cornice.

I have done this quite a few times where the ceiling is too flawed to successfully bond and set it, and the client wanted to keep the definition of the cornice.

Another method would be to seal, pva and bond the ceiling out , but bed fibreglass mesh onto the whole ceiling into the wet bonding- these rolls are made by Weber or Sto and are like a thick roll of scrim 1200mm wide., lapping all joints 100mm.

This is a bit trickier and still means you lose 5 mm at least, and you are still adhering to the old ceiling rather than having new board fixed with suitable length screws
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:D Thank you for your replies

Micilin, the plasterer we contacted said that he would put beading on the edge but I didn't understand what he was on've explained it far more clearly and I don't mind losing a little bit on the ceilings, I just really want the best finished look possible. Excellent - thanks for that!

It does appear to have lining paper on the ceilings, so again, thanks for the advice, both, on not skimming on top of it. I didn't think it was going to be possible and you've definitely confirmed that that's not the way to go (advice from another plasterer who I didn't think was being as honest as he should have been)

The ceilings are indeed in an old house that hasn't been touched apart from incredibly superficial features, in about 50 years :eek: The cracks are definitely from "settling" from the age of the house but no new ones/extension to the cracks in the last 10 years, which I'm taking as a good sign.

Many thanks again for your input, it makes life easier when speaking face-to-face with the plasterer and understanding what he's on about.

I have seen a job that he has done and , as well as being reasonably priced, the finish was rather super.

No doubt I'll be back !


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