How do I cover plaster walls?

Our walls are plaster and for the most part in very good condition. wall in the living room has several cracks. In the past we have covered this with wall paper but I really want to paint my living room and maybe use one wall as a accent wall. We are now senior citizens and don't want to go to the time/expense of tearing down walls. Do you have any ideas on how to solve this problem?

  7 answers
  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Jan 30, 2019

    Patti, you can use drywall compound to fill the cracks. If they are long cracks, you will probably need to tape it as well. As you use the drywall mud, you will need to apply several thin coats, allow to dry in between, and sand between coats. Each coat should be progressively wider than the first coat. Your final skim coat should be done with a 10 or 12 inch knife. Make sure you prime the dried drywall compound before you paint.

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Jan 30, 2019

    You should be able to fix the cracks by filling them with plaster or perhaps even joint compound.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jan 30, 2019

    Lath & Plaster? As in you have a 100 year old house?

    If cracks keep on forming in previously-repaired walls, then the walls are still settling and this hopeful is not a structural problem.

    If so, then that’s an area where I can point you the right direction.

    For now, try gouging out the cracks, vacuum them & then apply paintable painters caulk. Putty knife it flat, clean up when wet, as it’s not sandable. It will flex and not crack.

    If the application wasn’t perfect, then you may be able to skim coat it with drywall compound and sand to blend in.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 30, 2019

    Dig the crack out so it's deeper under the surface than on top. Then use dry wall compound, sand, prime. Or you could drywall over the top of the plaster.

  • LeeAnn LeeAnn on Jan 30, 2019

    I think I can help you. I had almost the same problem. Home Depot, Lowes has a product that is almost like plaster. It is a wall texture. You can use it two different ways.

    1. You can use it with a drywall trowel, or puffy knifes they make all different sizes. (I do not know how big of an area you are doing). OR

    2. You can change the whole texture of the wall by rolling it on the wall. Not only will it fill in your problem areas but it can give a whole new look to your room! There are different nap rollers that will work for this application. It's all located in the paint department. I found that it was a little to thick for what I was doing so I added a gallon of paint to it. Oh yeah, you can change the color. so you are texturing and painting in one step! If you get the super course roller be sure not to wear anything. No jewels, clothes that you love cuz it flicks and is hard as heck to get out of rings. Ask the paint dept when they will have a class using it and you will know for sure if this is something you can and want to do. Have fun.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Jan 30, 2019

    How old is your house? fix the cracked part then skim coat the wall then paint banter on drywall compound & plaster

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 30, 2019

    I'd get a wallpaper steamer and remove the paper. Fix the cracks by enlarging the crack so it is wider under the surface, fill with drywall compound, sand, and prime.