Alpine Joy

06:31AM | 12/21/98
I am looking for a way to end the plaster generalized shaling and flaking that basically attacks just one one room in our c. 1810 townhouse.
The house was refurbished by the previous owner, and the plaster (I believe) is about 30 years old. The plaster is VERY hard, bending over all types of nails except for tempered "super-nails". It is in excellent condition, except for this annoying flaking problem. The paint which was applied a few years ago (latex, I think) in many places no longer holds on, but instead hangs like so much cloth tacked to the walls.
The exterior walls are brick, and the room that is attacked is the ground floor dining room. The walls seem totally dry, there is no acute dampness problem that I can see.
I dream of some kind of plaster finish coat or white wash that could be applied to these walls that would penetrate the surface plaster and form a lasting bond. I wonder about the brown staining that often occurs when new plaster is adjacent to old plaster.
It definitely seems as if a specific chemical reaction is going on here, which, if attacked properly, could be solved once and for all. Any suggestions for what ails these walls and what is the proper course to correct them?
Thanks very much!
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