Cracked/falling plaster

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Oceanrose, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. Oceanrose

    Oceanrose Driftin' Away

    Mar 25, 2005
    Where the path takes me
    The house has a crack in the plaster of the ceiling, which is falling. It's about 5' long, and hanging about 2". I'm guessing this is old plaster dating back to 1919 or so when the house was built. How is the best, and easiest way to repair this???
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Heather there is no easy way. The plaster was held by the back side that extruded between the lathe strips when the plaster was in the mud stage. The back of the plaster has broken and that is why you have the sag. I tried very hard to repair some adhered but crack plaster that was about the same age as what you referenced. I would get it looking good and in a few days hairline cracks would reappear. The least costly and more permanent repair to your ceiling is to remove the existing plaster and replace with dry wall. Sorry

  3. RedTartan

    RedTartan Icelandic Sheep Supporter

    May 2, 2006
    Northeast Ohio
    Well, there is one other option.

    The parts of the plaster that squished through the lathe (small wood boards) are called keys and yours have broken. You need something else to hold up the plaster. I have heard of people using screws. Have one person gently push and hold the plaster up where it should be. Have another ready with a screw gun. Use as many screws as you seem to need and be sure to drive them into the lathe far enough that the screw heads are kind of counter-sunk into the plaster. The screws are now holding up the plaster in place of the keys. You can then use drywall mud to cover the screw heads and the cracks. Prime and paint.

    If this doesn't work, you will have to drywall the ceiling.

    Proud owner of an 1825 Colonial
  4. sapphira

    sapphira Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    Do get everythng out of the room and save it from the falling plaster. My in-laws had this happen in two rooms. Old house. About 50+ yrs. old. Original plaster cielings. S.
  5. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2005
    IIRC, Fine Home building magazine had at least one detailed article by a guy who did this for a living. In many cases it can be sucessfully patched, so don't be too quick to start tearing ceilings down. BTW, I'm sure I'm not the only one here who will attest to the fact that one definition of living hell is trying to live in a home while tearing old lath and plaster out. You want to avoid this, if at all possible. Good luck.