Heather Anderson

09:07PM | 10/04/03
Member Since: 10/04/03
2 lifetime posts
Any quick tips would be GREATLY appreciated. My husband and I just bought our first home and decided we hated the Z-bricks stuck all over the living room walls. We popped them off and it (of course) pulled off the five layers of old paint below. We hadn't even thought about it but I'm certain the bottom layers of paint are from the 20's and 30's and probably contain lead.

Meanwhile, we have my mother who has decided she's going to single handedly remodel OUR home and I'm having a hard time stopping her from coming in and doing whatever she wants. Yesterday she decided to mix up plaster and go over part of this wall...paint and all.

It seems to me that removing the paint that is on the wall (which we have to do no to paint and not have these strange holes the z-bricks left behind)is better than just slathering plaster over top of it..not to mention her hand isn't as deft at applying plaster as she may think.

I have been looking at the various strippers that are out there, and ordered one called "Redy Strip" that says it will work on plaster (these are the old lathboard and plaster walls). Like most stripping products that remove paint, they talk mostly about trim. Has anyone used stippers of any sort on interior walls??? Or, is my mother on the right track in plastering right over the five layers of paint as they are, sealing away the lead paint. I really think teh plaster will just fall right off the paint with time. She seems to think not.


Heather Anderson


01:34AM | 10/08/03
Member Since: 07/28/02
1358 lifetime posts
I would try a small spot with the remover to make sure that it does not damage the plaster. It would be best to remove the old lead paint if possible but do not sand it as that will release the lead paint into the air.

Good luck.


09:26AM | 10/08/03
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Greetings Heather,

First off, I haven't dealt much with plaster personally. But I must say I don't care for the idea of either sanding or stripping what's there. A lot of dust and/or fumes in the air. Some of those can be really nasty.

Of course difficulties with one's parents (or in-laws) is outside the scope of this forum!--but heaven knows we can ALL use help in this regard! But I kind of like your mom's idea of putting on additional plaster. Now getting her to leave you alone....aha, this is another problem..., LOL Or maybe you can get her do it while you're both out, say for a couple weeks?

Good luck,
-k. in Colorado


01:55PM | 10/25/03
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
The answer depends in large part upon the condition of your paint. Given how old you suspect it is, it might be a sort of weak spot in what is becomming a "sedimentary rock," where the plaster your mom skimmed on the wall and subsequent layers all crack and fall off when the adhesion of the old paint to the wall fails.

It sounds like you are flirting with it being easier to just slap up a brand new, 1/4 inch layer of drywall and create a whole new wall surface, entirely. Doing so would also enhance insulation (sound and temperature). Drive the support screws or nails through the existing wall to the studs, making the old layers of paint and plaster irrelevant. Often, that is the simplest solution to these sort of problems.

As for your mother, there is a word you can use to prevent her from wreacking havoc in your home: "No." :-) It's your home, as you noted, and she should know your complaints more than any of us should.

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited October 25, 2003).]

Heather Anderson

04:30AM | 10/26/03
Member Since: 10/04/03
2 lifetime posts
Just a followup--

Thanks for the ideas and also the mom-thoughts. What it boiled down to is "no" doesn't work with my mom. We came in one day and she just had the first layer donw...plastered over the entire wall, patches of paint gone, existing paint, and everything. There's about a half inch of plaster all over the new wall. It looks fine...she did a decent job after all, but I still worry it's going to come crashing down eventually.

One day I imagine we will have to do something more substantial, but for now the choice was taken away from me, resulting in a huge blowout and her being told that she's disrespectful and should mind our wishes. Which she didn't even hear. She goofed up our hard wood floors a bit too due to doing what she wanted when we were away and ignoring our "no's". Next step: changing the locks? *grumbles*

Anyway, when it's time for more house fixing tips I will most assuredly be coming back to this board and asking you people for input. Very helpful, and very reassuring! Thanks.




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