Joint tape failure
Allow me, if you will, to describe what I did and then what happened. I’m sure somebody out there can tell me what I did wrong and what I should do in the future.
I’m rehabbing my house and its wood lathe & plaster walls. After the old panelling and wallpaper came off the plaster looked like a monstrous spider web of cracks. I dug out the loose cracks, taped them with fiberglass tape, did a first coat of mud with Durabond Easy-Sand, and did finish coats with your basic bucket of light-weight joint compound. All seemed to be going well until I applied a coat of primer. At this point, every tape joint with the Durabond peeled off the wall.
The plaster had a faint glossy finish which I washed with TSP before mudding. Note that some of the patches were done with joint compound after I ran out of the Durabond. The patches done with joint compound alone did not peel.
So. What happened, and what should I do in the next room?
Compound was explained to me this way. Regular bucket mud- contains the most adhesive, topping-a little less adhesive. Easysand? no mention of quantity of adhesive. I have not had the problem you had using regular (hard to sand!) Durabond. I have on occasion used plasterweld to prime when I thought I might have a problem with adhering compound to plaster...........or after I had a problem adhering compound to plaster. I also have sanded the areas b/4 using compound to get a better bond. Did you use latex or oil based primer? A long tiime ago I remember sucking the skim coat off a wall when I used oil based (sticky) primer. Don't know what use you'll have with this info. Best of luck.
Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.
I explained this in a couple of other posts . You might try the search engine , I forgot the name of the thread .
Regular USG joint compound , and Durabond have a lot of binder . All taping must be done with one or the other. For plaster repair Durabond is reccomended . It sits up harder than joint compound.
There is low shrinkage mud also , plus its easy to sand. Plus 3 compond made by USG commonly known as lite weight mud. Durabond easy sand is the same thing but sets up at different times as the regular durabond does.
Plus 3 and Easy sand should only be used on top coats above any tape coat . Only after heavy fills are bedded. These two types of mud do not have the binding power of the previous mud.
Any time you scape out plaster it should be blown out with a compressor to blast loose powder particles, thus enchancing bond. Liguid latex in thinned form would make an exellent bond , but should not be necesary. 1 to 10 mix.
Edited 1/13/2003 7:55:14 PM ET by Tim Mooney
Tim, I use an acrylic latex bonding agent first. Is this what you mean or just plain latex paint to seal it? .
Excellence is its own reward!
Sorry to not be specific. Latex bonding agent . Would be a bad idea to use latex paint and it could have been misunderstood as such. Thanks .
I was getting ready to learn a new low cost solution... Oh well..
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I was getting ready to learn a new low cost solution... "
That does seem to be the new trend here in posting .
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I'll toss in my 2 cents.
We have a lot of these type of walls and I have seen what you are referring to. So, here goes.
1. Dollars to donuts you used a latex or water based primer. Bad, very bad.
2. I won't ask what brand because I have had this happen with Pratt & Lambert.
3. Woulda, coulda shoulda used an alkyd primer. I personally refuse to use anything other than Ben Moore's All Purpose Alkyd primer. It has NEVER failed me. I am sure there's other great stuff out there but it's too risky for me to test them out on a job that took weeks just to get to the primer phase.
4. When dealing with this type of wall, I first prime the walls with the BM's Alkyd primer; do the patching and "taping" and or skimming; and then spot prime or if there was a lot of repair prime everything again.
5. In my "limited" experience, the latex primers are for new drywall which has not been skimmed. The latex primer will be absorbed by the drywall paper and therefore bond. This condition does not exist with a wall that has already been "sealed" by previous coats of paint or compound. If the wall has been skimmed or plastered the alkyd primer soaks into the veneer and creates a superior bond whereas the latex doesn't. Why it bonds to the taped joints on drywall and not taped areas on an "old" wall I don't know. BM tech's have told me to stick with the alkyd. Why argue?
This is just what I have witnessed and accurate analysis or not, the bottom line is, it works for me. As an aside, I was doing a project where the Client wanted the painter who did her country house to paint her NYC townhouse. I told him to use the alkyd primer. He noddded and proceeded to use BM's latex/ acrylic (?) primer which he "always uses in the country". He had been painting for 15 years so he knew best. What he refused to acknowledge was that new construction surfaces react dif than old construction. Half of the primer peeled off that day. I mean it blistered. I was able to pull off 8 1/2 x 11 sheets.
Okay, maybe that was longer than 2 cents. call it a nickel.
8-1/2" x 11" eh? sounds exactically like what happened to my patches. Thanks for the info.
Oh man, I'm glad this thread was recently referenced elsewhere. It's making me feel like i didn't waste my time after all.
I've been renovating my house for the past year now. Some drywall work but mostly removing the popcorn ceiling before repainting.
At first, I had nothing but problems with painting. Before painting, I vaccumed the surface, used compressed air to clean, used an excellent latex primer/sealer, etc. No matter what i did, the first coat of paint usually caused parts of the primer to peel of or make bubbles.
I finally had enough and started using an alkyd primer as my first prime coat. Never had any problems since.
Using an alkyd primer is a pain....harder to clean and stinks up to whole house. Since I started using it, I've been second guessing myself. Not because the results haven't been good (in fact, they have been great), but because i was under the impression that no one uses alkyd primers for interior use anymore. I feel much better now.
Would I have gotten similar results by using a latex bonding agent instead ?
A blast from the past!Don't know about a latex bonding agent. You may have been able to avoid the bubbling result if you had let the paint cure at least 7 days.My thinking is "Why chance it?"Latex is appropriate and excellent for new wallboard. Renovation work - stick with alkyd while we still have it available.Others will disagree and tell me what else works and better. Fine. I'll learn about it/ experiment when I have a job with enough $$ and extra time on my hands. Wishing. Praying. Hoping.Frankie
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Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon.
Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.
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God help me every time I read about someone using Joint Compound on Lath and Plaster walls!!! I want to just punch a wall, but since I have lath and plaster walls I'd end up with a pretty well busted hand, if I could just find a wallboarded wall.....
Come on folks, do you use a skillsaw to bang in those nails too?? Use Joint compound on drywall and use appropriate materials for plaster walls. And if anyone tells me it works and looks just fine I'll show you someone who isn't paying attention or couldn't care less. Anyone who's done the work can spot a Mud-patched plaster wall as fast as they can spot the nails pounded in with that saw.
There are two products I use to patch Lath and Plaster walls, Structolite and Woncote. The only extra work you'll do is add water and stir.
Structolite is a perlited gypsum plaster and I use it for large patches and larger cracks after they're cleaned out. It and the lath(use expanded metal lath for large patches, anchored well(use old lath or similar material placed perpendicular behind the remaining lath with the metal lath sandwiched in between, two or three drywall screws each side, lay thin first coat to start, let set, then a second thicker coat to fill)), creates a strong, dense wall. Use a plaster bonding agent liberally sprayed/mopped on those TSP cleaned areas immediately around the area to be patched, I haven't found any one bonding agent to be particularly better than another, your choice.
Woncote(it's not the only one but it works for me) I use for a fantastic finish coat, or for small cracks that don't need to be tied together for wall integrity. I think it's a high lime mixture, but in any case it can be worked to a Marble finish but you don't have to and it's still awfully nice. It can be sanded so don't worry about screwing it up, but I would recommend using retarder for large areas if it's your first time using it. And by the way, Structolite can also be sanded clean and painted well but it is a little rougher finish.
Have some fun, try something new and definitely a far, far better way to go.
Thanks for the pointers.
I had heard that regular drywall mud wasn't the way to go but never got the scoop on any alternatives. I'm an electrician who sometimes needs to do some patch work on plaster lath surfaces. When major pieces, sometimes entire ceilings, fall off I call in a plaster man but always wondered about the proper technique for small patches.
Say you (me) will be adding onto an old house but don't want to spend the time and money using lathe on the new walls yet you want a plaster finish.
Being that you seem to do this full time (I gather) what method would you consider appropriate?
I consider using rock and plaster over that (with milk to retard the drying time).
I spose I could use a CBU but that will start getting real expenxsive in time and material.
BE a wall
"Understanding yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth"
Bear with me, I'll answer you perhaps more than you care for but I'm sure its here somewhere. I rarely get to use these boards so I tend to go long-winded a bit when I do. A friend thought it funny to point the drywall mud/plaster problem to me, knowing how I react to it.
I don't do plaster full time, but I will pitch in to keep the schedule. I do do all the patching because its better than tying up my full-time plastering crew. They're two brothers that do 'nuthing but and I keep them as busy as I can.
What I do is rehab older houses paying attention to those buyers that pay extra for attention to detail. And I mean extra. The only way it's worked is if I make sure they know the difference between one of my houses and the one down the street that was ripped apart and rebuilt no differently than that brand new subdivision down the road.
And FYI, Well built today is as good or better than yesteryear, so just because it's a subdiv and new work doesn't mean bad. But good God, if you're not going to do the job appropriate to the subject just leave it alone. Better it gets just another slap of paint than tearing out what you don't know any better than to tear out and putting in wallboard and mud and 1/2" trim. I won't touch one of those because to put back in what was torn out kills a huge portion of what I'm charging for, detail and full-dimension, and obviously antique trim, and trim detail.
But.... Older houses have better performing wall systems than today. Period. Wallboard and Mud are a system that's been refined for speed, lath and plaster wasn't anything special, it's just what they had, but it made a great wall with some fantastic properties like superior sound quality within the room and between rooms, beautiful to the eye, wonderfully cool, dense and rock solid to the touch. And, how many 30 year old drywall walls have you had to replace? Almost all of them. How many 100 year old Plaster walls? Some, but alot are still going strong and with appropriate maintenance and patching they'll still keep going(yes, I know the foundation and overall maint. has alot to do with it, no wall finish will save a bad structural problem but drywall won't take even 30 years of abuse). If your customer knows the difference they'll pay the difference, if not, then I say please go buy the other guys place and good luck when that appraisal comes around twenty years later.
I've got two answers for you. First, if you're putting in new work than blueboard and a three coat system is what my guys use. Cost is cost, can't do much about that. But maybe they've come up with something. They fill, tape and skim coat the blueboard with a rough plaster coat(this isn't structolite this is their own plaster and lime mix), let it set and apply a thin(1/8") finish plaster coat and finally another thin(1/8") finish coat. They use Plasticizer in their mixes and spray bonding agent on the board before the first coat and between the first finish coat and subcoat but not for the final finish coat(I don't know why that is). The first plaster coat is set flat and true and the first finish coat as well, finally the last finish coat is worked with a smaller sized trowel and they bear down on it Hard. The smaller size allows more pressure per inch to be applied, so they say.
The finish is extraordinary and the sound qualities and density of the wall come pretty close to lath and plaster(but truth be told, to my mind the wall itself still has a little too much 'give' in it compared to lath-plaster but, still pretty good overall). Some customers have even had us leave the finish unpainted, and by the way, there's very little, if any, sanding to finish the wall(as for me, I'm not as practiced as they and my patches are always sanded a bit and always painted). Personally I'd put something on the wall to protect it from dirt/stains but I don't know of any treatment that doesn't muddy the marble or change the color, I've heard the old-timers used to use some kind of shellac but I haven't tried it.
Now, let me tell you how I came to go from Mudding to plastering. I only knew one way but when I rehabbed on quote the customer asked specifically for plaster work. The crew I hired put up wall board, taped and mudded then skim coated it with what I can only guess was mud with maybe Lime added to it, I don't know. It didn't fly when the customer saw it and I now know why, it wasn't even close.
I found a 75 year old vegetarian who could still work any member of my crew into the dirt all day long and long after dark, and he showed me how lath and plaster was done faster than Wallboard, I kid you not.
He showed up with a very sharp hatchet and alot of rough sawn lath. With one hand he held the lath, nailing it with the hammer end of the hatchet as he went. When he got to the last stud he flipped the hatchet around and chopped off the end of the lath right in the middle of the stud and flipping the hatchet back round, nailed the end. Picking up another lath he started again. To fill in short pieces he just laid it over the last covering the whole gap and again cut it off where it met what was nailed in prior. On the very top and very bottom(and at doors too) he nailed another lath over the first as bounds or fields which he later used to run his darby on to screed the rough coat thickness to an even 3/8" or so. He spaced it according to eye and his pinky finger tip laid in enough to set the gap. It did not have to run straight and true but it was damn close. It took maybe 10 minutes for him to cover a wall with lath that would have taken at least 20 to wallboard. There was no searching for studs, measuring, cutting profiles or going back and fully nailing the field, irregularities like a door opening just fell in place as he laid in the lath. Pretty amazing and definitely eye-opening.
Laying in the plaster was another lesson in efficiency, he plied in what looked to me like huge piles of somewhat stiff plaster at a time, keeping a uniform thickness and it keyed well as he went and covered the entire 10 x 8 wall in a scratch coat in about 10 min. His grunt mixed enough plaster to keep him going steady, so he didn't stop for that. Using a large straightedge float he smoothed the whole field and flat, knocking whatever excess to the drop sheet. He used plenty of water laid in with a big soft brush, making sure the lath were wet before he put in the plaster. He told me they would go through a whole house like this and by the time they were done the scratch coat was cured enough and they'd go back to the start for the finish coat. Apparently today, excelerators mean you don't have to wait three of four days before appyling a finish coat.
The customer was thrilled, the job exceeded even his expectations and that old vegetarian saved my butt and showed me the way to make a pretty good living by making it clear on what was possible if I could deliver for customers like this guy. Even with paying him to fix the work of the first crew and finish the rest I made out just fine and the next jobs even better. Sadly this gentleman has since passed on and no-one does lath work that I can find, I've even talked to the Brothers and they agree it sounds good but they've got their system down to an art and a science.
So the point of my long answer is that maybe full lath and plaster isn't as expensive or tough as you might think. But for new work, bluboard and a good dense subcoat and finish coat, well laid on, creates a very good wall with the least trade off. Just don't patch that original lath and plaster with drywall mud and tape, please!!
Thanks for that response. I'm off to work soon so I haven't had the time to really read your post as deeply as I will when I get home tonight but <<<They use Plasticizer in their mixes and spray bonding agent on the board before the first coat >>>>what exactly are those two products?
You're new here so firstly let me say welcome and secondly we could use someone like you here with your knowledge in this field.
Thirdly, the house I'm talking about that most people here know about is a circa:1680 house (L.I, N.Y) in bad shape that I'm putting back together as well as adding on to, so that's what I'm trying to replicate in some fashion without being ridiculous if you know what I mean being that I'll be doing it with very little help.
"Understanding yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth"
Couple of questions about the woncote, if you don't mind.
Can it be applied right over old or do you (I assume this to be true) use bonding agent for it too?
Since it is sandable, will it cure hard like plaster too or does it stay soft like Easysand, or do you try to sand it soon after application. You mentioned it being workable to marble finish. Would you mind descrinbing the technique? Mist and trowel?.
Excellence is its own reward!
Well I've done just what you rail against and I will put my work up against any craftsman's anywhere. So if you cannot do it and make it work it's your fault not the system's. I have in fact used a vast variety of techniques to repair and/or replace plaster and NEVER had ONE SINGLE customer complaint. Sorry that you are so sure that your way is the only one but that makes you sure to be JUST PLAIN WRONG.
Thanks for a very helpful reply. Unfortunately a bit late since the adjoining rooms are now "repaired", but I've printed your reply so I've got it to refer to when I move on to new plaster problems.
I recently had someone come in and pact a ceiling (that was drywall), and he offered to patch up the walls at the same time. The walls were plaster and they were looking pretty shabby so I said go ahead.
I primed the room with behr drywall sealer thinking that it would be good for the walls and the ceiling. The primer adhered to the walls and ceiling, but when I went to paint, where ever there was a patch on the walls, we got bubbles. I went around popping them.
I know the taper ended up using a whole bunch of different products. Stuff that would dry in 20 minutes, regular drywall compound.... Do you guys think there could of been some kind of chemical reaction?? I asked in Home Depot where I bought the sealer, I asked at the Ben Moore store were I bought the paint, they had no explainations.
Do you think there will be any other problems in the future. In the next year we will probably be painting the same room again ( Wife didn't like the colour). Should I prime with a Alkyd primer next time?