Cement Plaster Wall Repair An Alternative to Drywall
In the 1930s and 40s, the texture of choice for ceilings was plaster. It was applied over a metal lath by craftsmen that troweled on a smooth or textured surface. The result was a durable and attractive ceiling with an added benefit of sound proofing. In California in the middle of the 20th century, drywall became the ceiling material of choice due to supply issues during World War II.
In the early 2000’s, plaster has come back into vogue. Cement Plaster is a much more durable product than drywall and can be applied over almost any surface including stone and brick. In addition, it can be sculpted into shapes not possible with other materials such as wave patterns, curves and arches.
Cement plaster is also mold resistant and fire resistant making it a good choice for kitchens or other areas where moisture may be present. Cement plaster is also an excellent sound barrier and can reduce the noise level in your home significantly. Even though cement plaster is more expensive than drywall, it is more durable and will last much longer without having to be replaced.
Cement Plaster Wall Repair An Alternative to Drywall
Plaster Repair using Cement
I have been doing plaster repair for the last few months. I’ve been repairing holes in concrete walls, but you could easily use this same technique to repair a hole in drywall or even a textured wall. This method of repairing plaster is much better than patching with drywall. Why? Because it’s stronger, it can’t be ripped off the wall and it can be painted to match any texture. You can also fix cracks in cement walls or cement foundations with this method.
The first step is to clean the hole. Get all loose debris out of the hole. Use a chisel to remove any material that won’t stay put when you push it with your finger. If you have a large hole, remove more material until the sides of the hole are clean and flush with the wall.
The next step is to fill the hole with Portland cement (available at any hardware store). It doesn’t matter what type of Portland cement you use since you will be applying a top coat of stucco over it later. Just get some cheap stuff and mix it up with water according to the instructions on the package. Then trowel it into the hole until it
Cement plaster wall repair. Cement plaster is a cost effective alternative to drywall. Homeowners may not be aware of this due to the fact that it is rarely used in residential construction. Although popular in commercial building and residential remodeling projects, cement plaster is an alternative to drywall that provides durable, more architectural finishes than drywall.
Cement plaster walls are typically thicker than drywall and can support screws without the need for wall anchors. This makes them extremely durable and suitable for high impact applications such as the garage, laundry room or work shop. The thicker walls also provide a more substantial appearance than drywall, making them an attractive option in higher end homes.
There are several methods of finishing cement plaster walls but they basically fall into one of these three categories:
Troweled finish – Creates a smooth surface similar to traditional stucco
Scratch finish (also called brown coat) – Creates a sandpaper like surface similar to old-fashioned adobe internal surfaces
Polished cement finish (also called skim coat) – Creates a smooth surface similar to polished concrete floors
If you haven’t heard of cement plaster (or “stucco”), that’s okay. It’s a construction material that has been used for thousands of years, but the vast majority of homes built in the last 60 years have drywall.
This website is my ongoing project to share with you what I’ve learned about this topic.
I live in a house that was built in 1929 and it has plaster walls throughout. After I bought the house I noticed cracks and loose plaster on several walls. I was faced with the choice of repairing or replacing my walls, but I decided to learn more before making a decision. As it turned out, repairing my old walls was the best choice for me and now they look as good as new. This is where I will tell you how to repair your own walls if you decide to go that route.
In addition to being a great building material, plaster is far more durable than drywall and easier to work with if you do-it-yourself. There are many reasons why I think that plaster should be considered an alternative to drywall for newly constructed homes and remodeling projects, but the main one is that most people don’t know about it!
Cement plaster walls are great for our homes. They are durable and fire resistant. Unlike drywall, they do not absorb water and break down. They also do not require painting like drywall does. Instead, cement plaster walls can be treated with a variety of finishes that are applied to the surface of the wall.
There is a misconception among people who have never experienced cement plaster that it is cold and hard and unpleasant to live with. This assumption is most likely due to the fact that most people have only seen cement plaster used in commercial settings where it is used for durability rather than comfort.
Though cement plaster is harder than drywall, it is much softer than concrete or brick which makes it much more comfortable to live with. It can also be treated with a rough coat which makes it very soft and pleasant to touch. This can be done in ways that completely eliminate the possibility of cracking or flaking off while still providing an extremely durable finish to your wall.
The process of applying a finish to a cement plaster wall is very similar to the process of applying paint to a drywall surface except that you will use different tools for each step. The first step involves rubbing down the wall with sandpaper followed by wiping down the wall with water and letting it dry thoroughly
Unlike drywall, cement plaster can be used to build walls that are both structural and finished. But if you have structural concrete block or brick walls, they will need to be covered with a scratch coat to prepare them for a smooth finish coat.
You will need to create a surface that is even and slightly rough to help the smooth finish coat adhere. To make the finish coat more durable and flexible (so it doesn’t crack as easily), an elastomeric mesh can be embedded in the scratch coat.
After mixing the plaster, you can use a flat trowel to push it onto the wall, but it is important to pull or drag the plaster along the wall with a trowel or float at about a 45 degree angle. This helps create a rougher texture so it will bond better with the finish coat.
After the scratch coat sets up, you can apply a second finish coat with a trowel or float. It is best to wait until the scratch coat has cured completely before adding the finish coat.
I have not blogged in a while, it seems. I have been working on some projects which I will blog about later, but I wanted to share a quick article that has been published in the Journal of Light Construction.
I write articles for them occasionally. This one is about plaster as an alternative to drywall. Here are two excerpts and a link to the full article:
Drywall has many virtues and shortcomings, but it is not the only game in town. For example, lime-sand plaster (also called stucco) has been used for thousands of years. Its simple ingredients are lime and sand, which are widely available, inexpensive and easy to work with. To create a stucco wall you first build a mesh “scratch coat” out of 1/2″-square metal lath nailed to the studs or sheathing every 6″ on center. Then you scratch up this coat with a stiff brush to give it bite, apply the finish coat and trowel it smooth. The result is strong, durable and very attractive.
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