|—Original old world plaster walls—|
When we got the bids on this job, one area where they varied was in the treatment of the walls, and the difference came down to skim coat. You may be asking yourself is skim coat even necessary or worth the added cost? It is if you’re blending old and new — and the old walls are 1946 plaster. Here’s why.
We have uniform ceilings again, and floors, and even new hardwood flooring in the kitchen area that after it’s finished will match the 1946 hardwoods throughout. The important thing that happened this week was skim coat — mud and sanding. Professional skim coaters actually hand sand the walls, fill cracks, and most importantly join spots where old wall meets new to give it a uniform appearance in all lights.
Unfortunately, this meant plaster dust was back with a vengeance and primer smell met us at the door after work. On the livable side of the zip wall, we turned up the air filter in the bedroom and opened windows and just hunkered down and told ourselves it will all be worth it in the end.
Many New York City homeowners who renovate let contractors talk them into getting rid of the plaster walls. You might fall for this sales pitch if you haven’t experienced how beautifully plaster can be restored. When you’ve just plunked down half a mil for an old and crumbly home, it’s easy to reach for new new new. But inevitably when the old plaster walls are replaced with sheetrock, the character of the home that attracted you in the first place is lost. PS: you also lose the sound-muffling barrier of plaster walls. Skim coat is the answer. It can be used to restore the old plaster walls as well as to improve the texture of sheetrock where blending old and new.
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