If you find fulfillment in doing your own home repair and renovation projects, then this may be a delightful new challenge to take on. Old plaster develops problems over time. Things like holes, dings, cracks, water damage, and bulges. Or maybe you already have a textured wall and you’re just tired of that look.
Well, don’t throw up your hands in despair. These plaster problems are not all that hard to fix.
And there are resources on the web (as in my website, for example) that can give you the insights you need to do a great job.
In the end, after repairs, you are still faced with the need to tie everything together. Skim coating can bury old texture and render your patchwork invisible. And then … it is texture time.
Applying new texture to old plaster can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it.
Let’s talk about making it easy.
When you are engaged in the texturing process, you are simply breaking up a flat surface with some new kind of look, a thin three-dimensional application which you hope will be attractive.
Drywall finishing materials – either regular joint compound or specially formulated texture compounds – will be your medium of choice. They are cheap and easy to work with. You can try one thing or another, and if you don’t like what you see, you can “erase” it – scrape it off.
Practice is invaluable. Some folks I know have used their garage walls to practice on. You can also set up cardboard, or painted plywood, or buy an inexpensive sheet of drywall to work on.
Practice gives you a feel for the materials and the tools. This is the time to play and discover what you can do, the time for experimentation.
Your tools can be things like large paint brushes, small wisk brooms, sponges, wall paper paste brushes, special texture rollers, taping knives and plasterers’ hawk and trowel – even your hands.
The texturing process has two basic parts: getting the compound on the wall, and working the design into it. With brushes, you can apply the mud and work the design into it immediately as you go. Or you can choose to spread a thin layer with other tools and use a brush or some other tool to create the design.
Sometimes it is a good idea to have another person work side by side with you, maybe one person putting on the thin layer and the other working in the design.
This is especially helpful when you are working on a hot day or over a porous surface. The point here is to keep that outer working edge of your texture advance as fresh as possible. In this way, you can prevent laps marks from showing up in your finished product.
In some cases, it may be wise to put a good coat of PVA drywall primer/sealer over your wall (if it is covered with new material, as in skim coat) to slow down the absorption of water from your texture compound. You want your mud to stay wet and easily workable.
With two people, you have the advantage of greater speed as you travel across a wall. Just be sure that each of you is doing a different operation, not the same thing. Some textures really are a two step process, as in knockdown textures.
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