Subscribe or Renew Membership Subscribe Renew

repair of cracks in horsehair plaster walls

phyllis1954's picture

I have a big old house built in 1850 interior of horsehair plaster. What is the best and easist way to repair these and what are the names of products I buy?  I also need to clean these walls to paint, I have heard of TSP and dirtex.  Would this work on these old plaster walls?  I have heard of Easysand 90 and durabond also for these cracks.  Do I use just the plain paper to cover the cracks with after sealed?

Sorry for so many questions.  I would appreciate any and all ideas.

Thanks, Phyllis

There is a special wallpaper (post #206969, reply #1 of 3)

There is a special wallpaper referred to as "wall liner" that can be used on cracked plaster to produce a smooth, crack-free surface.  Eg: .

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Best is one thing, easiest is (post #206969, reply #2 of 3)

Best is one thing, easiest is another and they aren't the same. Dan's plan will work if you have lots of time and money. Failing that some  white glue, mesh tape,  and some 45 minute Durabond are your friends. Clean the cracks, blow or sweep them out, coat with white glue then apply mesh tape. When you have a room done mix up some 45 minute mud and start filling and covering the tape. Use regular drywall mud for the followup coats since it sands easy and will give you more chances for a nice finish.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

Phyllis (post #206969, reply #3 of 3)

Old plaster sometimes seems to react with drywall compound, whether the hard setting Durabond or regular drywall compound.  I have used a product to first coat cracks in plaster and even the adjoining areas of repair-Plasterweld.

Don't know what it is in the old plaster or what they may have coated it with over the years, but Plasterweld is a cheap insurance.

Florida's white glue trick often has similar bonding results.  Might try one or the other-definitely worth the effort.



Notice I said "hard setting" Durabond.  That stuff dries hard so make it close to right the first time.  Sanding it is not easy, but the adhesive in it and it's strength afterwards is what it takes.   Easysand is not the same for the first coat.

Being a novice, you might want to increase your working time and go with Durabond 90.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.