the horror of what lies beneath..

14 Dec 2013
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United Kingdom
Decided that I would finally tackle the kitchen wall. (London victorian property built approx 1900, renovated maybe in the late 70's)

I naively thought it was just a case of pulling of the old wallpaper and repapering....

Oh how wrong I was.

As I started scraping off the paper, the top layer of plaster started to come off with it. Decided to keep going and noticed a lot of the thicker grey coloured backing plaster was pretty crumbly and easily fell of the wall leaving the bricks exposed.

I noted that have been previous attempts to plaster this wall, in places there is multi finish onto of the original white coloured skim plaster.

Ive noticed that there was damp in one particular area, there was a piece of hardboard nailed onto the original plaster and then multi finish on top of the hardboard. Was this really how they used to repair walls back in the 70's? seems like a really dodgy job to me?

I've attached some pictures of the wall.

My question to anyone more experienced to house renovations is: is it better to just pull off the all the remaining backing plaster, leaving all the bricks exposed and then get a plasterer in to float a new backing using Thistle "hard wall" and then a multi finish skim on the top?
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You must find the cause of any dampness - why not post pics showing the outside of the wall(s) in question?

Your call but to do a proper job you will need to remove all your chattels and appliances from the room (kitchen?) and pull any wall or base units away from the walls in question.
Then hack off (being alert for hidden elec cables or pipes) all plaster back to brickwork.
Go back on with a mix of 4:1 sand & lime render.

It might sound drastic but half measures when dealing with damp and blown plaster in old houses wont get you far.
What condition is the floor in?
The skirtings look to be different profiles and newish - possibly a sign of previous damp work?

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