Creative inexpensive ceiling treatments?

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I had a slight leak that resulted in my painted, I think over wall paper, bedroom ceiling. It's very old plaster perhaps that is still intact but the paint stretched and peeled, taking down some paper with it. The home was built in 1888 and I want to keep the integrity of the period... IE.. No drop ceilings etc. I am open to anything else that I can manage on my own. Thanks!

  6 answers
  • Ken Ken on Dec 11, 2017
    Your plaster was put on over and in wood lath. Problem is that the keying, where the plaster squeezes through the wood lath and expands on the other side, breaks over time. This allows the plaster to come loose.

    You may be able to remove just the area that has been damaged and re-plaster but I think this is a job for a pro. I did see a system on This Old House where they drill in anchors with a large washer that will hold the old plaster up then you skim coat over the anchors. Again, unless you have experience doing skim-coats on the ceiling this is a job for a pro.

    You've seen comedies where the hapless victim is trying to hold something up while putting in another brace and the others all collapse before he can get the last one in? That's what you have.

    • Sherri Sherri on Dec 11, 2017
      Thanks Ken. The plaster is fine, just a few thin cracks. What I'm looking for is an attractive treatment to make it not look like heck. Once I peeled off the damaged paint paper combo, it looks even worse than before. Just painting isn't going to be enough, but I don't want to paper it again or add too much weight. So, a crafty cover up?

  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Dec 11, 2017
    I would call a restoration society. They can help you make the best decision to keep the integrity of your home.

  • Kim Kim on Dec 11, 2017
    How about a tin ceiling? That should match the period and is a beautiful option.
    šŸ˜Š

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Dec 11, 2017
    We have a house of similar age. The ceilings upstairs had the biggest issues. Some ceilings were replaced with sheet rock after pulling down the lath and plaster. Smaller areas, we were creative, leveling them out and attaching bead board. There is the wood type panels and now they have PVC for humid areas like the bathroom. My closet was my favorite so far, which I'm including a picture. If the plaster is solid, you can try to remove the liner paper which our upstairs hallway ceiling had, and then repair any minor damage. Ours needed too much work so we are going to put tongue and groove on that ceiling, and the downstairs hallway, we may do tin tiles. Right now, the plaster is intact and painted. in the downstairs hallway, but, not pretty.

  • Ken Ken on Dec 11, 2017
    Sounds like the ceiling is staying put. I have seen ceilings where the plaster was coming down after water damage and it is a nightmare. Glad that yours can be rescued. I had a pro do this for me and texture the ceiling but the cracks just reappeared elsewhere because my plaster was failing.

    If you remove all of the wallpaper you can use drywall joint compound to skim coat the ceiling and make it smooth for painting. Paper joint tape will keep those cracks from coming back. Ceilings take some skill to get smooth, but the good thing is the more you try the better it looks.


  • 27524803 27524803 on Dec 11, 2017
    When we removed the popcorn ceilings... I used a product called "Venetian Plaster" it was not hard to do... just a little tedious and it gave me a (temporary) stiff neck...but it worked great