I began prepping to paint the spa, a small third bedroom in my home where I am installing a walk-in tub. The plaster cracks up the wall, over the picture rail and across the ceiling had not been disturbed. This is a good thing, because it is difficult to patch plaster where Fix-all or other wrong products have been applied.
I took a hooked metal paint can opener as my primary tool for opening up the cracks. There’s a scratching, that turns into a scape and then the fracture opens up and the crusty edges fall to the floor. Then I take a spackling knife and knock off any loose edges. Now a clean, open crack is ready to receive the fill.
There’s a very lightweight, white fill that works best. It is much lighter than spackling paste. And tougher. It goes on smoothly with a bit of pressure on the spackling knife and a quick smoothing across the fissure that is being filled.
This is the fun part, after all the scraping and scratching open. Tomorrow I will give each plaster vein another coat of fill, then after it dries, it will get a very light sanding.
The work was easiest today because the weather changed and a lovely breeze blew in two open windows while I worked on the ladder.
There is a tactile beauty of the plaster cracks laid open on the old wall. A layer of pinkish tan alkyd paint shows and the plaster underneath the top coat is chalky. They look nice individually, although I guess the overall look of cracks in the walls and ceilings is not desirable.
It will be exciting to start rolling on primer and paint soon. The prepping takes a long time, but it is an aesthetic process, I think. I like the craft of it, the feel of the materials and the lovely effect of the repair.