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Painting prep for damaged walls

I need to do the proper prep for old cracked and peeling plaster walls in a 1920s bathroom. The walls and ceiling have substantial cracks as well as very thick peeling paint that almost seems like very thin plaster. The last time this small bathroom was painted, a supposed “professional“ did very little prep so it unacceptable and I would like to do the most professional job I can. I also will need to use kilz since there are small spots of mold in a few places. I’m hoping to get a fan installed too in order to solve the moisture problem.

  • (Cindy) MarketingMomx4
    (Cindy) MarketingMomx4 Kingsport, TN

    You can try a method called skimcoating to cover the cracks. But I would put shiplap on the walls and beadboard on the ceiling instead of fighting the plaster. Here's a link to how to skim coat: https://www.familyhandyman.com/drywall/how-to-skim-coat-walls/view-all/

  • Janet Panos
    Janet Panos Alsip, IL

    Hello- Apply caulking to your cracks and allow to dry. Also address mold problem at this time. When caulk is dry, sand it down to the level of your wall and at the same time sand off any peeling paint. Now the wall is ready for primer. Apply your primer and allow to dry. Next apply your paint. Depending on what type of paint you buy, apply two or three coats. The better the paint, the fewer coats you will need. Ask your local paint store, Home Depot, Menards, or Lowes. As far as installing a bathroom vent, there are a number of tutorials on YouTube that you can check out.

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      Maisie Bentley
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  • Kauai Breeze
    Kauai Breeze Hershey, PA

    Skim coating with plaster will probably crack again since your house seems to move. I would cover the walls and ceiling with moisture resistent sheet rock, either 3/8" or 1/2" thickness. It would eliminate fine cracks and give you a smooth finish for a great paint job.

  • Sharon
    Sharon Florence, OR

    I would skim coat with joint compound.... here is a good tutorial.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mob1K_P_L8U&t=71s
    I use a 6" and 12" taping blades, and a mud trough in one hand
    Make sure you mix the pre-mixed joint compound up real good before starting. Sand, prime and paint.
    If you want to recover the ceiling, I would use 1/4" drywall.
    Remove all mold first.
    Knock off any loose stuff. If the paint is real thick and alligatored you might want to use stripper to remove it or sand down,

  • M. M..
    M. M.. Pleasant Hill, CA

    Yes, California houses do wiggle all the time. Supposedly we in Calif. have eq's every day... Even if your house is older/settled, a stiff wall covering is always going to give way. Have you considered textured wall coverings? They are applied a lot like wallpaper but you paint over them. If the wall does develop minor cracks, the paper, which is almost more like cloth fibers, will not crack.

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