How to remove old plaster from walls without problems

As you may already know, an older home tends to need a bit more TLC than others. They’re great for those who love to DIY and want to truly make their house unique to them. Some homeowners choose to take on remodels themselves. If this sounds familiar, you’ll likely need to take down a wall or two to truly transform a room.

Plaster walls were commonly used in homes built before 1950 before drywall was introduced. These walls were made to last, so it’s no surprise that if you’re looking to remove a plaster wall, it can be a tedious and messy process.

The repair process in any of its execution is always a very time-consuming task. People who are taking up a case on their own for the first time will necessarily have a lot of questions in the course of various works. One of the most relevant methods will probably be related to the removal of various types of old finishing coatings. In this article, we will look at the main ways to remove plaster from walls and ceilings, learn how to correctly analyze the current state of the coating, and make decisions about the unequivocal need to dismantle it. Also, consider situations were old plaster can be left or locally repaired and strengthened.

 

Read on:

Signs of water damage is it possible to save drywall damaged by water

Preparatory measures for removing plaster from walls

Removing plaster is a dusty operation, even a small amount of work will strongly pollute the room, so it is better to completely empty the room, which is done in most cases.

preparing the room for dusty work

Then examine the condition of the plaster coating-tap the walls with a hammer. In places where the plaster has peeled off, the wall will “but” under blows — such areas are approximately outlined with chalk along the contour. If the “bumpy” surfaces do not exceed 30% of the total area, it is advisable to limit yourself to spot repair of the coating – replacement of defective areas. In the case of delamination of more than 30% of the area, the decision on the amount of repair is made based on a combination of the following factors:

 

  • Strength of the plaster on the remaining sections;
  • The material of execution and thickness of the old layer;
  • The presence of the reinforcement;
  • Base material (concrete, brick, shingles).

 

The final decision is made after analyzing the current situation, but the behavior of the old plaster, which is safe today, is still unpredictable in the future, so ideally, it is better to replace the defective coating completely.

Lighting devices, sensors, sockets, and switches are removed in the room. The ends of the wires released from the contacts are isolated.

In bathrooms, sinks are removed, toilets are closed with nailed-together protective boxes, and baths are covered with a thick cloth.

If the floor finish must be preserved, it must also be protected-with solid flooring (plywood, chipboard, DSP, boards).

 

The tools needed for the cleaning solutions of the plaster from the walls

 

areas of plaster that do not fit well to the wall are removed manually with a spatula

Before removing old plaster from the walls, you need to get certain equipment that will significantly speed up this process:

  1. The hammer, which provides the function of a pneumatic hammer type.
  2. Chisel equipped with a long handle.
  3. Gloves on a rubber or canvas basis, which will allow you to remove the solution without the appearance of calluses.
  4. Glasses that will protect your eyes from dust during the cleaning process.
  5. A respirator that allows you to protect yourself from the penetration of particles of the mixture into the respiratory tract.
  6. Scraper.
  7. Sledgehammer.
  8. Brush made of metal.

 

How to remove old plaster from walls

 

If the plaster layer begins to move under the pressure of the tool, this indicates that it does not adhere sufficiently to the base. Such places must be cleared.

removing the plaster with the crowbar

To remove the old coating, it is convenient to use a steel scraper for removing plaster, which can be used to pry off pieces that fall off, and then cut them off. Firmly held parts are knocked down with an ax, pickaxe, or chisel.

The Council: Any plaster should be well wetted before dismantling. This will soften it and greatly reduce the amount of dust.

When removing the coating from drywall, the latter can easily be damaged. In this case, strong blows should be excluded, it is better to use a loop-a tool that resembles a sharpened spatula.

The plaster removal instructions offer:

-First, break the integrity of the coating, which is located on weak areas, they are cleaned in small fragments, this will allow access to the end part of the layer.

– A loop is driven under it.

– The coating is removed.

If it is held firmly and can not be removed, it is better to use a chisel, chisel, lightly tapping with a hammer on them. The chisel should be located at an acute angle, which will protect the drywall from destruction.

Removing plaster from walls with a punch

With different materials, the coating is removed with some features:

  • To remove plaster from concrete walls, if the coating is too strong and thick, sometimes it is very difficult to remove it even with a hammer. To do this, a Bulgarian is used, which cuts the surface to the entire depth of the finish, the squares are taken in the size of about 50×50 centimeters. Then removing the plaster will be much easier.
  • And how to remove the plaster from the brick? In this case, you need to go through the seams with a chisel to then remove the remnants of the coating, invisible at first glance.

When using the hammer, the worker must move face forward so that the power cord of the tool is located behind it and is not damaged by falling debris. It is necessary to avoid the prolonged impact of the puncher on the enclosing structure in a perpendicular direction – this is fraught with the appearance of microcracks and destruction of the finish on the other side of the wall.

With different materials, the coating is removed with some features:

  • To remove plaster from concrete walls, if the coating is too strong and thick, sometimes it is very difficult to remove it even with a hammer. To do this, a Bulgarian is used, which cuts the surface to the entire depth of the finish, the squares are taken in the size of about 50×50 centimeters. Then removing the plaster will be much easier.
  • And how to remove the plaster from the brick? In this case, you need to go through the seams with a chisel to then remove the remnants of the coating, invisible at first glance.

When using the hammer, the worker must move face forward so that the power cord of the tool is located behind it and is not damaged by falling debris. It is necessary to avoid the prolonged impact of the puncher on the enclosing structure in a perpendicular direction – this is fraught with the appearance of microcracks and destruction of the finish on the other side of the wall.

remove the plaster layer from the walls using a sander

The covering is cut down in compliance with the following rules:

-removal of plaster is performed from top to bottom to prevent the fall of large pieces from losing support from below;

-dismantling of the plaster layer begins with the least durable parts of it, in order to avoid their unexpected collapse from blows to other fragments.

 

Getting rid of the decorative coating.

Often homeowners engaged in renovation work, think about how to remove decorative plaster from the walls, because unlike the usual solution, the Venetian mixture is quite thin, so it will not give in to the puncher. Decorative plaster is most often removed with a spatula. It is leaned against the old wall with the sharp side and then engaged in removing unnecessary elements of the solution, gradually moving the tool around the perimeter of the decorative coating.

removing old plaster with a metal brush

The advantage of this technology is that it does not require large material costs and is produced with the formation of a minimum amount of dust. However, the scraper can only cope with Venetian decorative plaster, since it has a loose structure. It is almost impossible to remove the silk mixture in this way. In addition, it is not known how quickly the finish line will come, because it is quite a long and time-consuming process. Silk plaster is the most difficult to destroy because it has high adhesion to the walls. Silk decorative solutions are removed by using sandpaper, which has a high coefficient of moisture resistance. To do this, the material is put on a large grater and sanded with it the wall covered with a silk mixture, removing layer after layer of the decorative base. Venetian and silk plaster can be removed faster. This is done using a sanding machine. This removal of decorative layers of the solution is designed for a tight fit of the tool to the surface and its further smooth movement along the brick walls.

For the final removal of the remnants of old plaster from smooth surfaces after using the punch, a sanding and Stripping machine is used. It is easy to use and convenient for cleaning concrete walls, especially effective for removing decorative “fur coats” from the smooth base. But it is not rational to buy such a tool for a single-use, so it is better to either rent it from professionals or use a grinder with special cups-nozzles.

 

How can I use the waste from removing plaster

The problem with recycling old finishes is quite acute. Not everyone has the opportunity and free time to export it. This may be due to the building’s distance from city landfills, or the lack of public services.

From apartment buildings, it is possible to remove construction debris by distributing it in packages and loading it into special containers, if this is not prohibited by the utilities. In private homes, the problem is solved easier: waste after repair can be used.

we collect the removed plaster from the walls in bags

 

At the same time:

 

Use a cement-sand screed to fill paths, the filler available in concrete solutions, and use it for filling sidewalks and platforms.

Clay plaster can be stored on the site for use a second time. In this case, you do not need to mix the solution, the proportions of sand and clay are observed, the materials are sufficiently wet and thoroughly mixed.

The remaining gypsum plaster is used as bulk insulation in the construction of floors of other outbuildings.

Lime plaster can be used for filling under the ground, where trees will not grow.

Tip: before removing the decorative coating from the walls, you must prepare in advance the place where the waste will be stored.

 

After removing the coating:

 

It is better to store the remaining plaster under a canopy before the start of implementation. Otherwise, if they get caught in the rain, they will simply get wet, which will increase their weight and make it difficult for the movers to load them on the garbage truck. When storing clay waste “in bulk”, they are combined into a solid monolith.

Small construction loose debris is better stored in bags. For easy loading, it will fit a bucket without a bottom, which bottom is a worn bag, a bucket set on the floor. Loading is performed with a shovel or shovel. After filling the bucket, it rises, and the contents fall into the bag.

the walls must be primed after removing the old plaster

Conclusion

It is quite possible to remove old plaster from the walls on your own. Moreover, independent execution-always more careful will have much less negative consequences for apartment communications, equipment, and finishing of housing.

It should also be taken into account that dismantling, taking into account the harmful working conditions, is always not cheap, so the amount saved by personal execution will be sensitive.