Skim Coating Plaster Walls

As I mentioned in our #housegoalz post a few weeks ago, one of the items on that list was to finish up the two spare bedrooms upstairs. Currently, those two rooms serve zero purpose to us #nokids #noroomies. However, as it turns out, multiple bedrooms are a benefit to future homeowners. In the future these two rooms will likely serve as a guestroom, and an office for Dan. But, there was no rush to finish this project and LOL we still don't have floors in our kitchen, but priorities I guess?! BUT, it was an easy project, and we were just SUPER over that obnoxious red wallpaper. It had to go, like yesterday. So, the plan was to remove the wall paper so we could have our trusty skim-coating team come in and take over.

What is skim coating and WHY did we need it? Well, most of the walls in our house are plaster. Very few have drywall, and some with drywall have since been plastered over by the previous owner. Plaster is secured to walls with lath, the horizontal wood pieces attached to studs, see evidence below (hi mom!):


RIP wall...Layers of plaster are built up on this, and over time cracks can occur (either through foundation shifting or temperature changes...or just life). Most of the corners in our home had signs of cracks, with some hairline cracks along the surface. Because of this, we have had every inch of our house skim coated. It's one of those fun ways to spend money when you renovate a house!!



RIP doorway! Mesh is placed over any cracks, and then skim coated with new plaster. This reinforces the crack and allows for seamless walls once again. A very tedious and skilled process that we handed over to the professionals. We, however, do the prep work.

As mentioned, the two rooms we were to tackle were both lined with wall paper, so it was a toss up on exactly how bad the walls would be. Such great and magical surprises that every homeowner wishes for!

Avert your eyes, this wallpaper was BLINDING. And OMG that carpet, right?



To get the process rolling, we first needed to remove the wallpaper and see wassup underneath. The first room we tackled was the 'white' room. The wallpaper came off in the smallest little aggravating chunks. It seemed in both rooms, that the exterior walls were the worst, and the interior walls were a bit easier to rip off. However, still V time consuming. 


We used buckets of hot water as well as a spray bottle with hot water (and some fabric softener) to loosen the glue behind the wallpaper. We'd drench the walls in water, wait a minute. Drench them again, and then try to scrape it off using a plastic scraper (metal would have damaged the plaster).


After about 10 hours working on the white room, removing wall paper, we started losing steam. So we moved onto the other room, the 'red' room.... SO much easier. These pieces came off in full sheets. Such a relief from the work the first room took.


The speed of the red room reinvigorated us to finish the white room. And after a week of peeling wall paper, we had two rooms void of any paper!

Dan: We're Done!
Me: Now it's just the glue we need to get off
Dan:....wut
Me: This film needs to go
Dan:....
Me: We just need to scrub the walls off with hot water 
Dan:....
Me: Otherwise plaster won't stick
Dan:....
Me: :)
Dan:....
Me: COME ON IT'LL BE FUN!

We used hot water and a scrub brush/cleaning pad (like what you'd clean a dish with) to scrub off the glue. We were able to get all the glue off in the Red room after 2 nights of scrubbing.




No such luck on the White room. After another 2 nights of scrubbing, we threw in the towel and added it to the scope of the skim coaters. #knowyourlimits

Then, they got to work!







It took them 3 days to skim coat both rooms, and remove the popcorn ceiling in the white room. I asked them to keep the floor covering on, because once they left I rolled in (PUNNY) to start painting, and we all know i'm not the CLEANEST of painters. When you paint over plaster, you first need to use a primer. So, one coat of primer, two coats of paint on all the walls/ceilings. Finished ALL three coats Friday night after work #partyanimal.



In case you didn't know what painting looks like ^^ I GOT CHU!!

That same weekend I worked on the base trim, painting and adding quarter round. Why did we need quarter round YOU ASK? Well, methinks that when the carpet was installed in the bedrooms, they took out the old quarterround to secure the carpet...leaving a huge gap between the trim and the floor and it just looked...bad.


Fun Story (LOL JOKES), I started working on the trim and was actually EXCITED to do it. I'm trying to work on my trim skillz this year (but who isn't AMIRIGHT)...that is until my compressor just up and DIED on me. Which means my nail gun was USELESS. Nail guns, just FYI, are crucial to trim work. I COULD have gone and rented a nail gun, instead I thought i'd torture myself and nail the trim in BY HAND. 

Anyways, now i'm on the lookout for a new nail gun, preferably a battery powered one so I don't have to lug a compressor EVER AGAIN #trustissues 



At least it looks good?!

White Bedroom AFTER:




Red Bedroom AFTER:

 

 WANNA SEE THOSE BEFORE AND AFTERS?!





All that's left for these rooms is to install new windows, and re-do the closets. Otherwise, we are ready to add furniture!!


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