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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More Plaster Stories

If you Google "Chunk of plaster" then this blog appears as one of the links on page 1 of the search. This knowledge has prompted me to describe a little of what I did this week during a putzing moment at the "Crackhouse". A moment that lasted 8 hours but really has a positive psychological effect in my efforts to obtain plastering nirvana and complete oneness with my basement....

My basement looks like CRAP! It consists of 5 rooms and every single one is full of stuff that needs to be organized or thrown out. It also contains my stockpile of wood dating from present to Pre-Cambrian Era which is stacked in two rooms in over-flowing piles of disarray. The outside walls are limestone blocks and most of the plaster has crumbled into a a line of sand and chalk dust on the floor. The inside walls are brick and the lower 2 feet of plaster is missing around every room as a result of either sewage backup in the past or someones dog rubbing along the walls while exiled to the dark, damp recesses of this house.

I decided to "test" my plastering skills for continued credits for my license in Crackhouse Remodelling which is recognized in 30 different countries (in the southern hemeshpere) and one municipality within Ohio that includes a town called Figmentofmyimagination. I mixed up a batch of plaster from one of my tubs of slaked lime and a bucket of sand. I applied this to a section of wetted down exposed brick and it looked 10 times better. After it dried and cracked I applied a thin coat of lime putty and the wall looked 20 times better. After that dried and cracked I applied lime putty to the entire wall with a paint brush and besides being very white, it looked 50 times better. This was done over the course of a few days.

So I decided to fix another wall, but this time I added polypropelene fibers to the plaster batches (in lieu of animal hair) to see if it reduces cracking and plastered a whole stretch of wall in one room. It was at least 15 feet in length. The plaster is just a thin layer over the brick. In some areas it is maybe an eighth of an inch thick. The wall looks 10 times better. Then I went home and read my 1909 book about whitewashing cellar walls. That was yesterday.

I am about to go over there now to do some work. Now that the plaster has dried a bit, I wonder how much better it will look! If it is badly cracked I can always drink a couple of beers. Things always look better with beer!


At 10/17/2006 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I know the feeling, everyone around me asks if I am going to gut the rooms and replace that "nasty old plaster with drywall" They fail ton understand that that nasty old plaster has already done a better job that the drywall. So, you learn to fix the origonal plaster and then brag about it. 8^) After all of the crack and holes and delaminated top coats and lost plaster key repais I have done over the last few years I now lok at a simple mud job on new drywall as stupidly easy. This weekend when I was going crazy finishing up a room I decided that if I had an indian name it would be Pwns with Plaster. 8^)



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