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Redecorating old ceilings

Listed under Blog, Painting, preparation Posted Sep 22 2010

In an ideal world, your decorating materials are the correct ones for the job at hand, you have the appropriate skills and the time necessary to complete the full process. Nothing should go wrong. But this isn’t an ideal world.

Lining paper brings down a ceiling

It is a classic scenario. A lath and plaster ceiling has suffered from a major water leak, which has since dried out. At first glance, the affected section of ceiling may look solid, albeit a bit bumpy, it might even move a little, but it doesn’t look like it is going anywhere. The water incident has added a bit more character.

What can a decorator do to make it look better?

The hairline cracks won’t fill permanently because of the slight movement. Therefore:

1 – You could tape the cracks and overcaulk, sand and paint. That is time-consuming and a very difficult route to a seamless repair.

2– You could tape the cracks, overcaulk and texture. Apart from being assassinated by the taste police, it is hard to get hold of Artex. Polyripple? shoot me.

3 – The logical option therefore is filling plus lining paper. Wrong!

I once lined a ceiling like this with 1200 grade virgin pulp paper.

It looked great when I left in the evening. When I returned the next morning, the whole ceiling was on the floor – brought down by the weight of lining paper. (You may find it hard to believe, but old world Artex was half of the weight of lining paper per square foot!)

The correct process is to boot the decorator into touch and call in the plasterers.

Either re-board the ceiling by screwing into joists and skimming with gypsum plaster- or pull the ceiling down and restore the ceiling to its original glory, horse hair and all.

In my defense, the lining paper option was chosen by an architect, and at 20 years of age I knew no better. But now we know!

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One comment to “Redecorating old ceilings”

  1. acmasterpainter

    Decorating jobs that went wrong – part 1 – via #twitoaster

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