Wikipedia Plasterwork

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fixing a Cracked Plaster Corner with Metal Edge and Flexible Grout

Defects at this corner in a high-traffic hallway were particularly daunting to the homeowner, leading to a call for help after attempted painting prep with removal of kitchen wallpaper. Enamel finish is poorly bonded. A horizontal crack is bulged out. A vertical crack 1 1/2" from the corner is unstable. Old repairs with paper tape and mud have come undone.

Here the corner is ready for grouting. No cracks are large enough to permit repair with plaster. If the only tools in the box were brittle setting mud and Fix-It-All, one would choose Fix-It-All. "Durabond" is sometimes recommended, but that is just a brand name for setting mud. A flexible and adhesive patch material will survive corner impact: my flexible grout.

All filling was done in about three troweled applications of flexible grout. The final result met the goals of prep: nothing to be seen, and confidence in durability.

The adjacent enamel paint edges are sandably stabilized by the flexible grout. The enamel adhesion is poor, but I had to stop peeling somewhere. This will hold. Where adjacent paint is latex and also not well bonded, the flexible grout is even more useful. Water in mud tends to aggravate the paint release; not so flexible grout with its acrylic base.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Grout at a Ceiling Edge

This is a common situation with plaster crack repair. A 1/4" drywall covering of ruined ceiling plaster was dressed at edges with paper tape. The walls were good enough, where several layers of wallpaper concealed cracks. Several more layers of wallpaper were applied through the years after the ceiling improvement. Now, I have the job of fixing the cracked plaster walls. The tape up onto the ceiling is simply razored into the corner, to retain texture.

Mud would NOT last here. Retaping the corner would be painful, with spread of texture damage on the ceiling from troweling and wetness. Fix-All might survive if pushed into the gap, but application would be aggravating, with short pot life, and with difficulties of cleanup.

I wet the gap by spray bottle as I progress, and push flexible grout into the gaps, by fingertips. The application will be easier yet, dispensing grout with caulking tubes. Going around again if necessary, I can spot-apply a matching texture pattern with flexible grout.