Is this acceptable?

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Cammy0102

Member
Hi gents, I'm after your opinion/advice.


We have an Edwardian house and we recently had lining paper taken off the walls in half of the house. We left the covings, picture rails and skirting boards on there. We hired a plaster (recommend to us by our Decorator) to reskim these walls. There were 3 other guys working with him.

I think they did an OK job overall but not quite up to the standard we had expected - we were expecting smooth walls with no noticeable waves/bumps however we found that some walls had some waves especially near corners and next to doors and windows.

We noticed that quite a few corners were sticking out a bit and as a result had lost the detail in the picture rails and skirting boards. We think they put too much plaster in these corners. We asked the main plasterer and he's blaming the old walls but we are not convinced.

We also noticed that in the gaps between walls and architraves of doors and windows, the plastering is quite rough and wavy. Not too worried about the rough part as that can be sanded down but I'm not sure if you can get rid of the waves/bumps by sanding. We asked the plasterer about the waves and he said because of the small gaps, they couldn't get their trowels in to make them smooth like other walls. I measured these gaps and they are anywhere from 8cm to about 11cm. They might not be able to get the standard plastering trowel in there but I thought they could use something smaller to make it smoother. Or more skilled plasterers would have somehow done a better job. Are we being unreasonable?

The plasterer is going to come back on Friday and sand down near the corners where we think it's sticking out. He said he'll also sand down (apparently using an orbital sander) the gaps between the walls and doors/windows but I don't think he's planning on using any filler so I am not sure if he'll be able to get rid of the waves and make it smooth.

We have already paid him most of the money but withheld some money. We were going to give the rest after his next visit but maybe we should wait until it's painted so we can what the finish will be like and whether we can notice the waves/bumps.

What do you guys think?

I've uploaded some photos but not sure how much you'll be able to see.

Thanks.
 

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MakeItSmooth

Well-Known Member
Not good enough.

Not horrendous, so don't be too heartbroken, but I don't believe he deserves full payment for that.

A competent plasterer shouldn't be leaving tiger stripes in his/her work.

In most cases (including yours) a competent plasterer shouldn't be complaining that they got a crap finish on the margins because they couldn't fit their trowel in there. That's what margin trowels exist for.

The corner of the room shows a wavy line, which definitely should've been straightened significantly by a competent plasterer.

My guess is they only had one 11" B&Q trowel between them.


The only thing I would say in their defence is that if you asked them to skim over original edwardian plaster, then you were asking for trouble, because it's often blown (delaminated) in many areas of a wall, so it really should all be hacked back to bare brick and started from scratch.
The other thing about skimming over 100 yr old plaster is that it tends to suck moisture like crazy (so it needs proper preparation, to control the suction/porosity). If someone just casually chucks a coat of PVA on it and assumes that will control the suction, then they're likely to have a nasty shock, with moisture being drawn out of the fresh coat of plaster way too quickly, and all usual timings going badly astray.
 

Cammy0102

Member
We really weren't in a position to hack off the plaster. 1. We were already living there and it was going to be very messy. 2. We wouldn't have been able to afford it. 3. We had our previous property which was also Edwardian replastered on top of old walls and the guys (different people) did a really good job.

From the little google search I did, I also found that there were small trowels called margins trowels.

I don't think they were using B@Q trowels. I think I saw Refina written on them.

I think our Decorator is friends with him and we really like his work so if we don't make the full payment after the guy has come back to rectify issues and make it better, it might make things awakward with the Decorator and us.

If he sands down make those areas smoother, are they still going to be very noticable after being painted? We are going to use matt Dulux paint (greyish colour).

Edit - What do you think about those corners where plaster is sticking out? Even though they are blaming the old walls, we don't remember old walls being curved or sticking out like that.
 

BryanJ

Well-Known Member
Not good enough.

Not horrendous, so don't be too heartbroken, but I don't believe he deserves full payment for that.

A competent plasterer shouldn't be leaving tiger stripes in his/her work.

In most cases (including yours) a competent plasterer shouldn't be complaining that they got a crap finish on the margins because they couldn't fit their trowel in there. That's what margin trowels exist for.

The corner of the room shows a wavy line, which definitely should've been straightened significantly by a competent plasterer.

My guess is they only had one 11" B&Q trowel between them.


The only thing I would say in their defence is that if you asked them to skim over original edwardian plaster, then you were asking for trouble, because it's often blown (delaminated) in many areas of a wall, so it really should all be hacked back to bare brick and started from scratch.
The other thing about skimming over 100 yr old plaster is that it tends to suck moisture like crazy (so it needs proper preparation, to control the suction/porosity). If someone just casually chucks a coat of PVA on it and assumes that will control the suction, then they're likely to have a nasty shock, with moisture being drawn out of the fresh coat of plaster way too quickly, and all usual timings going badly astray.
Agree, poor work ask them to sand it back before any more payment. may teach them a lesson for the next job.
 

limeplastering

Active Member
You will never get a 100% job re skimming up to a rail. The is not enough profile to allow for any discrepancies and beading etc. The corner has not been angle tooled due to not being able to fit one in in the ideal world you would remove or timber work.
Plasterer should have cut a angle tool down to suit or worked off hard corners which would pro long the job and cost more, to be fair to yourself this should have all been explained when pricing which could let you make the decision to remove timber works or not.
All that aside it should of been lime plastered as you don’t have a cavity but that’s a complete other story!
 

Cammy0102

Member
To be fair, we weren't expecting a 100% job with a uniform gap between the edge of the picture rail/skirting board and the wall. But when there's a noticable bulge/cuvre near some corners, it's pretty disheartening.
 

Stewie03

Well-Known Member
Not to the worst job I've seen on here,he's a.bit messy though keep that sanding paper to get the dry plaster of your rails and skirting,don't understand how they get s**t like that dirty 1 min wiping everything down with a sponge and dry rag and it's sweet
 

spread95

Well-Known Member
You were lucky to get a plasterer in desperate need of work to do it.
I would of run a mile, lifes to short to reskim s**t like that:frenetico:
 

MakeItSmooth

Well-Known Member
We really weren't in a position to hack off the plaster. 1. We were already living there and it was going to be very messy. 2. We wouldn't have been able to afford it.

If everyone on these forums had a pound for every time they heard that same reply, they could start working a 4 day week ;)

I don't think they were using B@Q trowels. I think I saw Refina written on them.

I was being sarcastic that (as far as I can tell from the photographs - which isn't the same as actually standing next to a wall, in real life) whoever laid the plaster doesn't seem to have done much to flatten their work. Therefore, the sarcasm about using a crappy (and short) trowel. Quite honestly, it's more about the skill of the plasterer ('spread') than it is about the length of the trowel.

I think our Decorator is friends with him and we really like his work so if we don't make the full payment after the guy has come back to rectify issues and make it better, it might make things awkward with the Decorator and us.

So, you should pay for a poor job, out of your own pocket, just so you don't feel embarrassed?

If the job gets rectified to a higher standard, then that's different, but I'm not impressed with what I can make out in your pics, at the moment.

If he sands down make those areas smoother, are they still going to be very noticable after being painted? We are going to use matt Dulux paint (greyish colour).

This doesn't excuse sub-standard work, but just to help you move forwards with this, I suggest you buy a 10kg bag of Easi Fill 60 and a big spatula - something like these:


10kg easifill 60.jpg


Let it dry at least 24 hrs, then sand smooth (use a long block, so you can bridge the ripples in the bad plastering)


Edit - What do you think about those corners where plaster is sticking out? Even though they are blaming the old walls, we don't remember old walls being curved or sticking out like that.

Maybe the old plaster wasn't level - I dunno, as I wasn't there. I could hazard a guess, though, that maybe whoever put new skim (plaster) on it maybe got caught out by the old plaster sucking the moisture out of the new plaster so fast that it went stiff before they had time to go back and level it (although, ideally, a check-stroke should've dealt with that within seconds of it being applied to the wall).
 
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Cammy0102

Member
If everyone on these forums had a pound for every time they heard that same reply, they could start working a 4 day week ;)



I was being sarcastic that (as far as I can tell from the photographs - which isn't the same as actually standing next to a wall, in real life) whoever laid the plaster doesn't seem to have done much to flatten their work. Therefore, the sarcasm about using a crappy (and short) trowel. Quite honestly, it's more about the skill of the plasterer ('spread') than it is about the length of the trowel.



So, you should pay for a poor job, out of your own pocket, just so you don't feel embarrassed?

If the job gets rectified to a higher standard, then that's different, but I'm not impressed with what I can make out in your pics, at the moment.



This doesn't excuse sub-standard work, but just to help you move forwards with this, I suggest you buy a 10kg bag of Easi Fill 60 and a big spatula - something like these:


View attachment 67569

Let it dry at least 24 hrs, then sand smooth (use a long block, so you can bridge the ripples in the bad plastering)
Cheers MakeItSmooth. I might suggest it to the plasterer. I don't see why I have to do the work (and I'm not sure I can do a good enough. I've only ever filled little holes with filler so would probably struggle to remove the ripples).
 
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limeplastering

Active Member
To be fair, we weren't expecting a 100% job with a uniform gap between the edge of the picture rail/skirting board and the wall. But when there's a noticable bulge/cuvre near some corners, it's pretty disheartening.
It’s quite hard to create a bulge in skim it’s only around 3mm thick I would say the wall was most probably like this in the first place but skimming up to the timber would enhance it.
It’s not the end of the world and can be sorted and improved with decorating prep surely the guy who recommended him is painting and can sort it out?
 

Cammy0102

Member
It’s quite hard to create a bulge in skim it’s only around 3mm thick I would say the wall was most probably like this in the first place but skimming up to the timber would enhance it.
It’s not the end of the world and can be sorted and improved with decorating prep surely the guy who recommended him is painting and can sort it out?

Yeah maybe the old walls were curved near the corners but can't say we noticed it before.

As for asking the decorator, I think it's quite a bit of work and unfair to ask him to make them good, when it's the plasterers that did the work.
 

Damian j

Active Member
It’s quite hard to create a bulge in skim it’s only around 3mm thick I would say the wall was most probably like this in the first place but skimming up to the timber would enhance it.
It’s not the end of the world and can be sorted and improved with decorating prep surely the guy who recommended him is painting and can sort it out?
Yes working up to scabby picture rails and architraves doesn't help get the lazy c**t decorator to give it a quick sand . I wouldn't of even took that job on because they never look 100% working in between s**t like that
 

Elite exteriors

Well-Known Member
Not good enough.

Not horrendous, so don't be too heartbroken, but I don't believe he deserves full payment for that.

A competent plasterer shouldn't be leaving tiger stripes in his/her work.

In most cases (including yours) a competent plasterer shouldn't be complaining that they got a crap finish on the margins because they couldn't fit their trowel in there. That's what margin trowels exist for.

The corner of the room shows a wavy line, which definitely should've been straightened significantly by a competent plasterer.

My guess is they only had one 11" B&Q trowel between them.


The only thing I would say in their defence is that if you asked them to skim over original edwardian plaster, then you were asking for trouble, because it's often blown (delaminated) in many areas of a wall, so it really should all be hacked back to bare brick and started from scratch.
The other thing about skimming over 100 yr old plaster is that it tends to suck moisture like crazy (so it needs proper preparation, to control the suction/porosity). If someone just casually chucks a coat of PVA on it and assumes that will control the suction, then they're likely to have a nasty shock, with moisture being drawn out of the fresh coat of plaster way too quickly, and all usual timings going badly astray.
These type of jobs are a c**t for plasterers the amount of things to work around or upto really slow you down some people just get caught out by trying to put too much on and a skim is just that if the walls are all over the place a skim won't straighten anything up sometimes the angels are rounded things like that
Definitely not the worst I've seen buddy the angels are all over but what Shap were they in to begin with
 

MakeItSmooth

Well-Known Member
These type of jobs are a c**t for plasterers the amount of things to work around or upto really slow you down some people just get caught out by trying to put too much on and a skim is just that if the walls are all over the place a skim won't straighten anything up sometimes the angels are rounded things like that
Definitely not the worst I've seen buddy the angels are all over but what Shap were they in to begin with

Yep, bit of a raw deal for all concerned.

Not a horror show, fortunately - can be made acceptable with a sack of EasiFill.
 

limeplastering

Active Member
Yeah maybe the old walls were curved near the corners but can't say we noticed it before.

As for asking the decorator, I think it's quite a bit of work and unfair to ask him to make them good, when it's the plasterers that did the work.
All really does depend all high end decorators would use a orbital sander with dust extractor on any plastering even new build between coats.
They should be expected to do some level of prep especially on a old house even if it has been plastered!
 

spread95

Well-Known Member
?? Plenty of people reskim old walls. What's the issue? The old walls weren't anywhere as bad as you think they were.
The issue is working around picture rails, architrave etc. Not insurmountable for the right price but I'd rather do more straightforward work for an easier life.
 

Cammy0102

Member
THIS is how a reskim should be done properly. It's a pleasure to watch a true professional in action:


Not sure if you were taking the piss there? That video was about bigginer's misakes. I think it's unfair to call the guys who reskimmed, beginners. I just don't think they are professional/skilled enough.
 

Cammy0102

Member
The issue is working around picture rails, architrave etc. Not insurmountable for the right price but I'd rather do more straightforward work for an easier life.
It wasn't cheap. And we had couple of other plasterers come around to look at the job and they all quoted around the same price. They didn't mention to us that the job would be a lot more difficult or we would get a bad finish having picture rails and architraves in there.
 

Cammy0102

Member
All really does depend all high end decorators would use a orbital sander with dust extractor on any plastering even new build between coats.
They should be expected to do some level of prep especially on a old house even if it has been plastered!
Oh I see. I'll speak to the decorator tomorrow. I trust his work a lot more than the plasterers work. The plasterer is supposed to come back on Friday to sand down.
 

BryanJ

Well-Known Member
?? Plenty of people reskim old walls. What's the issue? The old walls weren't anywhere as bad as you think they were.
One just before Christmas.
Could you come and skim the ceiling and patch up the walls?

1642019299335.png

1642019528134.png


The things I do for money, should have walked away.
 

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MakeItSmooth

Well-Known Member
Not sure if you were taking the piss there? That video was about bigginer's misakes. I think it's unfair to call the guys who reskimmed, beginners. I just don't think they are professional/skilled enough.

Lighten up a bit! :risas:



I think I was relatively balanced in what I've said about the job you had done.

I didn't say you had a horrific job done and I didn't say you should call trading standards, etc. etc.

Some of the abominations that paying punters have posted on this forum would put hairs on your eyeballs, they're that bad!

You got off relatively lightly, and your walls can be rectified to an acceptable standard, with careful application of EasiFill, etc.

I just said there are some aspects that are sub-standard and that because of that, it doesn't deserve 100% payment, unless it's substantially improved (although you shouldn't expect miracles with a reskim over 100yr old plaster, and with the timber architrave etc. hindering the job).
 

Cammy0102

Member
Lighten up a bit! :risas:



I think I was relatively balanced in what I've said about the job you had done.

I didn't say you had a horrific job done and I didn't say you should call trading standards, etc. etc.

I just said there are some aspects that are sub-standard and that because of that, it doesn't deserve 100% payment, unless it's substantially improved (although you shouldn't expect miracles with a reskim over 100yr old plaster, and with the timber architrave etc. hindering the job).
I think you misunderstood me. I thought it was going ot be a video about a top plasterer at work so when I watched it I was surprised. Thought maybe you attached the wrong link.

All good. I know exactly what you are saying. The job could have been better. At least the guy is willing to come back and make things better. I'll withhold some money until we are satisfied with the end result.
 

Damian j

Active Member
Mate those old walls look horrible. In comparison our old walls were 100 times better. Seriously they were pretty smooth walls without many cracks. I accept that on close inspection they might not be that smooth.
Well why didn't you get it linking papered in some thicker grade . Then paint it problem solved
 

Elite exteriors

Well-Known Member
It wasn't cheap. And we had couple of other plasterers come around to look at the job and they all quoted around the same price. They didn't mention to us that the job would be a lot more difficult or we would get a bad finish having picture rails and architraves in there.
Plasterers pricing job like this up should or will take all these things into account and pricing accordingly you will sometimes get a rough job if the price is screwed down and the are struggling to cover the money
 
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