Wall world

Last weekend, after goofing off creating this blog, I finally made myself get started on the finish layer of plaster at the top of the living room walls. Now, if I’ve not been telling you about this in person as all the little details have been decided, your mind might boggle—so hang on!

OK, this is the upstairs living room we’re talking about. The plaster ceilings are falling down in chunks in the upstairs kitchen and dining room. I originally thought the ceiling in this room was in good enough shape to fix; it was just sagging, not crashing down. But once I started trying to repair it, I realized it was hopeless. Some areas have thick coats of plaster while others are the thinnest I’ve ever seen. So we decided to put in a tin ceiling. Judas Priest—there’s a sale going on!!! Glad I went to the site to grab the image. Here’s the tin design:

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This brings us to the walls. They were covered in drywall in the 1970s. But not all the way up, since one of those hideous yellow-and-brown drop ceilings was also installed. So we have OK drywall most of the way up and then plaster all by its lonesome up top. Well, when I took down the drop ceiling, I looked at what was left and thought of putting a picture rail just at the top of the drywall to hide the transition. The little room next to this one has picture rail that was not ripped out to put in the drop ceiling.
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I don’t know that this room ever had it, since there are lots of woodwork mysteries in this house, but I really think it’s what the room wants. But with the tin ceiling decision came the question of still doing that, or just topping the old drywall with new drywall to fill the gap. I decided to stick with the plan I was in love with (be scared!). So that meant I had to repair the foot or so of plaster at the top of the walls.
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The pink stuff is Plaster-Weld, which I worship. It makes sure the new work and the old work mate for life. What’s that paint stripe at the top of the door casing, you say? Why, that’s just proof that a previous owner ripped out and trashed the crown molding at the top of most of the doors and windows in this house (you can see a piece that survived two pics up).

In that shot, the Plaster-Weld is on top of the previous two layers of plaster that I applied after digging out all the cracks down to the wood lath that is the base for the plaster. And here’s the finish coat, which I have learned from previous projects may look flat now but it also may look less flat once I paint it.
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So now it’s just a matter of doing the other three wall tops, which may or may not happen this weekend since we also have the front-porch project and the first-floor windows project, not to mention the gardens project and the kittens project and the playing-darts-during-cocktail-hour project.

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