Asked on May 16, 2017

How do I repair cracks in lath and plaster walls?

Naomie Moore aka baileyanddaisey, Castaic CAJewellmartinShoshana

Answered

I live in a house built in 1902. I still have the lath and plaster walls. Gravity always wins and I constantly have cracks in the walls. How do I repair them and still have them look nice?

3 answers
  • Jewellmartin
    on May 16, 2017

    Historic walls are delightful--in a historic museum. Walls sit on foundations. Are you sure the foundation is level and strong. The lathe and plaster wouldn't usually be showing in that aged house. What siding or additions have been made to the outside? What shiplap, paneling and other surfaces have been remodeled inside the house? If the plaster is slipping regularly and you have repaired this before, nail small slats beneath each place where you will be replacing the plaster. The slats will act as little dams for the vertical plaster. Also, any thin screening or film or foil taped or tacked over the repairs will allow the plaster to set up without spilling out. Or you could use the formula for plaster used by the Native Americans and French settlers around Natchitoches, La , which is older than New Orleans: mix mud, moss, and deer or horse hair to a thick plaster. Let cure without covering. Best wishes!
  • I have a 1926 house in CA earthquake country. I hire someone to fix for me but only need to do so after an earthquake or two. Since you are experiencing so many cracks, it leads me to think about the foundation and settling and anything else that may be going on. I would have the house inspected to be sure you do not have a bigger issue that may need addressing.
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