Remove lining paper off lath and plaster walls and ceilings and re-plaster?

Cammy0102

New Member
Hi everyone,

We recently bought an Edwardian property (built around 1910). There's lining paper on all the walls and ceilings in 3/4 of the house (apart from the extension and loft conversion). It's most likely lath and plaster underneath the lining paper.

On some of the walls and ceilings, lining paper has come off, can see the joints/lines, has bumps and has some halls (house used to be rented out to a family with kids). Both my partner and I have an eye for detail and we would like the walls and ceilings to be smooth before they are re-painted so we are thinking of removing lininng paper and re-plastering. We want to retain period features like covings and ceiling roses.


We've had quotes from a few plasterers and couple of them said it's risky removing wallpaper off old lath and plaster (especially the ceilings) and replastering as the old plaster under the paper could be already cracked, could get damaged, could crack in the future and will show through the new plaster, parts of the ceiling could collapse, etc. Couple of the plasters said it's fine and they can put fiberglass mesh if there are cracks.

One guy said it's best to overboard (brining down the ceilings is out of the question) where possible. We could potentially do that in some of the rooms but it's not an option in the living room as we want to keep covings and ceiling roses.


We are not looking to the do any of the work ourselves as it's too much work for us (both of us are very busy at the moment) though we are not afraid to get our hands dirty, we don't think we have the necessary skills.

We have allocated a budget for removing wallpaper, replastering and then decorating/painting. We would like a good finish and something that would last a long time. We are concerned that removing wallpaper and replastering old lath and plaster ceiling might be opening a can of worms.


What are your suggestions/advice? Should we go ahead, get someone to remove wallpaper and re-plaster? I guess they'd need to be really careful when removing wallpaper from ceilings not to disrupt the lime plaster. Perhaps no steamer and only use water spray? Are we likely to encounter problems after removing wallpaper?


Thanks very much for reading.


PS: We bought a period conversion flat (think it was also Edwardian) about 6 years ago and did a complete refurbishment including removing wallpaper and replastering. And the end result was great and there were no cracks in the 6 years we lived there however I am not sure if the ceilings were lath and plaster or had plasterboards already perhaps from the conversion. Ceilings did have covings and ceiling roses.
 

Cammy0102

New Member
We have lining paper on walls and ceilings in the living room, hallway, 1/4 kitchen (only ceiling), staircase, 1st floor landing (only walls), 1st floor main bedroom (only walls) and 2 small bedrooms.
 

ChrispyUK

Well-Known Member
There’s usually lining paper for a reason and that’s to try and cover up old dodgy/cracking plaster work. You won’t really know the outcome till you try and get the paper off and there’s a good chance some of the original plaster will be blown. If you do decide to strip it, don’t use a steamer. If you can get it off and the walls are generally sound then you can embed mesh into the new plaster to strengthen it up. Try a wall and if the plaster is blown, don’t waste time stripping, just hack it off.
 

Cammy0102

New Member
I guess we are mostly worried about the ceiling. If there are cracks in the existing plaster, wouldn't they show through the lining paper? Or would the paper be effectively keeping the plaster in place? Is it better to just patch repair the ceiling and leaving it as is?

Has anyone actually removed lining paper and reskimmed without experiencing any issues?
 

Stevieo

Royal Spin Doctor
Hi everyone,

We recently bought an Edwardian property (built around 1910). There's lining paper on all the walls and ceilings in 3/4 of the house (apart from the extension and loft conversion). It's most likely lath and plaster underneath the lining paper.

On some of the walls and ceilings, lining paper has come off, can see the joints/lines, has bumps and has some halls (house used to be rented out to a family with kids). Both my partner and I have an eye for detail and we would like the walls and ceilings to be smooth before they are re-painted so we are thinking of removing lininng paper and re-plastering. We want to retain period features like covings and ceiling roses.


We've had quotes from a few plasterers and couple of them said it's risky removing wallpaper off old lath and plaster (especially the ceilings) and replastering as the old plaster under the paper could be already cracked, could get damaged, could crack in the future and will show through the new plaster, parts of the ceiling could collapse, etc. Couple of the plasters said it's fine and they can put fiberglass mesh if there are cracks.

One guy said it's best to overboard (brining down the ceilings is out of the question) where possible. We could potentially do that in some of the rooms but it's not an option in the living room as we want to keep covings and ceiling roses.


We are not looking to the do any of the work ourselves as it's too much work for us (both of us are very busy at the moment) though we are not afraid to get our hands dirty, we don't think we have the necessary skills.

We have allocated a budget for removing wallpaper, replastering and then decorating/painting. We would like a good finish and something that would last a long time. We are concerned that removing wallpaper and replastering old lath and plaster ceiling might be opening a can of worms.


What are your suggestions/advice? Should we go ahead, get someone to remove wallpaper and re-plaster? I guess they'd need to be really careful when removing wallpaper from ceilings not to disrupt the lime plaster. Perhaps no steamer and only use water spray? Are we likely to encounter problems after removing wallpaper?


Thanks very much for reading.


PS: We bought a period conversion flat (think it was also Edwardian) about 6 years ago and did a complete refurbishment including removing wallpaper and replastering. And the end result was great and there were no cracks in the 6 years we lived there however I am not sure if the ceilings were lath and plaster or had plasterboards already perhaps from the conversion. Ceilings did have covings and ceiling roses.
Never know what shite you're going to find under old wallpaper. Very often more fekkin wallpaper and old patch up jobs and ruined plaster.

Budget for the worst and hope for the best.
 

Cammy0102

New Member
Shall we not go ahead with removing wallpaper and reskimming, at least for ceilings? Is it better to just patch repair?

As I said we want to keep the covings and ceiling roses so bringing ceilngs down is not an option.
 

Mouldyoldspudgun

Well-Known Member
It really depends what’s more important to you, a stable ceiling for you to live under or the cornice and ceiling roses which if they are original and not added at a later date will have most of the detailing covered by paint so probably would look nicer if replaced at a later date, being Edwardian they will be easy to get, if not keep a piece and give it to your local fibrous plasterer, he will clean it, make a squeeze and run a mould for you
 

Retired Spread

Well-Known Member
Never re-skim over lath & plaster ceilings (although some cowboys/chancers do) go for at least an overboard.
On ceilings where you want to keep original features such as cornices,roses etc…the old plaster can be knocked off the laths and that will give you some depth then to fix some board up over laths.
The old plaster will need to be cut into all around the edges first before old plaster is knocked off and any overlapping laths will need to be broken off so boards can lay flat.
 

Cammy0102

New Member
Has anyone actually had any success with removing wallpaper from lath plaster and replastering? By success I mean something lasting a long time.
 

John j

Mono Don
There’s usually lining paper for a reason and that’s to try and cover up old dodgy/cracking plaster work. You won’t really know the outcome till you try and get the paper off and there’s a good chance some of the original plaster will be blown. If you do decide to strip it, don’t use a steamer. If you can get it off and the walls are generally sound then you can embed mesh into the new plaster to strengthen it up. Try a wall and if the plaster is blown, don’t waste time stripping, just hack it off.
You read all that
 

Cammy0102

New Member
I took a couple of pictures from the ceiling (1st floor small bedroom) where the lining paper has come off. Is this is lath plaster underneath?


PXL_20211010_124527925.jpg


PXL_20211010_124556151.jpg
 

tapit

Well-Known Member
1910 lath and plaster ceiling will be at the end of it's useful life. Pull it all down. Probably best to change ceiling joists as well. Pull the lot down and and bring it into the 21st century.
 

Cammy0102

New Member
Gents come on, I know it was a long first post but we really are not sure what to do and after some help to make a decision. Pulling down ceilings is not an option as it's it's a huge area and it's going to create so much dust and destroy the wooden flooring and it's going to be very very expensive.

The pictures I posted above. Does it look like lath plaster underneath?

Here are our current options:
1. Remove wallpaper from ceilings and walls, put mesh down where there are cracks and replaster
2. Leave ceilings and walls as they are and only do patch repair with filler
3. Overboard ceilings where possible and replaster. But we are reluctant to do this in the living room and hallway as we'll lose covings and ceiling roses. Putting them back sounds expensive as well

We had quotes for removing and wallpaper and replastering and they are between £6.5K and £7.5K which is also more than we had expected and bigger than our budget. Option 3 would probably add another £2K I'd imagine.
 

Cammy0102

New Member
So overboarding is what everyone recommends? If we leave the lath and plaster undisrupted and patch repair the wallpaper where there are imperfections, could we expect the ceilings and walls to stay intact for 10, 20 years?

Edit - I don't think anyone has commented on the photos from one of the ceilings yet.
 

smoother09

Well-Known Member
Gents come on, I know it was a long first post but we really are not sure what to do and after some help to make a decision. Pulling down ceilings is not an option as it's it's a huge area and it's going to create so much dust and destroy the wooden flooring and it's going to be very very expensive.

The pictures I posted above. Does it look like lath plaster underneath?

Here are our current options:
1. Remove wallpaper from ceilings and walls, put mesh down where there are cracks and replaster
2. Leave ceilings and walls as they are and only do patch repair with filler
3. Overboard ceilings where possible and replaster. But we are reluctant to do this in the living room and hallway as we'll lose covings and ceiling roses. Putting them back sounds expensive as well

We had quotes for removing and wallpaper and replastering and they are between £6.5K and £7.5K which is also more than we had expected and bigger than our budget. Option 3 would probably add another £2K I'd imagine.
If you're not prepared to pull ceiling down, then chance getting it skimmed but it's on your toes!
 

smoother09

Well-Known Member
You could board the ceiling! Draw a outline set in above 2-3 inch from the cornice then board and use a board edge bead this will create a false extra depth to your cornice, done it a few times and looks good!
 

Brimstone

Well-Known Member
Come on Cammy, you just don't like the answers, and they're are all good. Yes, it is going to be expensive, and I suspect that is what is underlying your objections.
Taking down ceilings is a horrible messy job but it will not destroy the floor, drama queen. You will have a new ceiling that will last years, or, overboard, maybe the joists will bend a bit and maybe it will crack or not, and you can keep the covings but again they may crack.
The walls are probably cracked and shot, plan on replacing, if they are not then you might be able to just skim a few as a bonus. Again, messy but you will have your flat walls for years.
The photo's are not helpful and do not make any difference to the advice.
 

Cammy0102

New Member
Of course money is a concern. We don't have an endless budget. If we've been quoted about £7K just for wallpaper removal and reskimming, brinigng down ceilings and walls and replastering is going to probably cost double the money which we definitely can't afford.
And no we don't want so much dust and rubbish everywhere. We have nice wooden flooring and carpets. Don't really want them destoryed. If that's being a drama queen so be it.
 

Stevieo

Royal Spin Doctor
Of course money is a concern. We don't have an endless budget. If we've been quoted about £7K just for wallpaper removal and reskimming, brinigng down ceilings and walls and replastering is going to probably cost double the money which we definitely can't afford.
And no we don't want so much dust and rubbish everywhere. We have nice wooden flooring and carpets. Don't really want them destoryed. If that's being a drama queen so be it.
No.

You can't afford not to do it properly.

Going crying to workmen that you're on a budget.

Proceed with caution.
 

Brimstone

Well-Known Member
Patience is a virtue, you do not have to do the whole house at once. You've bought an Edwardian house not a picture perfect new build. Do it in stages and spread it out over maybe a couple of years. That way not only can you budget for it,but you will also get a feel for how you use the house. I bet you will want to make changes later. Do upstairs first, and put up with downstairs with some more paint and paper until later. (but plan and sort your electrics.)
Carpets and floors get covered with tarps and plastic sheets, Rubbish etc gets taken outside as it comes down. Dust is inevitable but can be largely limited to the working areas.
 

smoother09

Well-Known Member
No.

You can't afford not to do it properly.

Going crying to workmen that you're on a budget.

Proceed with caution.
I hope you're not including yourself in that statement, Steve you clean toilets and mop floors u have no business answering these threads! #janitor #uglybastard #knobhead!
 

The Hobo

Well-Known Member
Of course money is a concern. We don't have an endless budget. If we've been quoted about £7K just for wallpaper removal and reskimming, brinigng down ceilings and walls and replastering is going to probably cost double the money which we definitely can't afford.
And no we don't want so much dust and rubbish everywhere. We have nice wooden flooring and carpets. Don't really want them destoryed. If that's being a drama queen so be it.
stick the paper back up and re paint job done treat yourselfs to a holiday to many chancers in this plastering game
 

TonyM

Private Member
So overboarding is what everyone recommends? If we leave the lath and plaster undisrupted and patch repair the wallpaper where there are imperfections, could we expect the ceilings and walls to stay intact for 10, 20 years?

Edit - I don't think anyone has commented on the photos from one of the ceilings yet.
That’s because you can’t see f**k all from them.
 

Nath80

Well-Known Member
Of course money is a concern. We don't have an endless budget. If we've been quoted about £7K just for wallpaper removal and reskimming, brinigng down ceilings and walls and replastering is going to probably cost double the money which we definitely can't afford.
And no we don't want so much dust and rubbish everywhere. We have nice wooden flooring and carpets. Don't really want them destoryed. If that's being a drama queen so be it.
To be honest there's not much more work in boarding over the ceilings than there is removing wall paper, cleaning all the wallpaper paste off, pva gluing it, then meshing it.

Plus doing anything other than overboarding is absolutely mental. Lath and plaster ceilings will at some point give way, seen it so many times, they don't start just chipping away and abit of dust they collapse. Adding more weight is cowboy and could kill someone.

Its not like its some elaborate cornice. Could just get it all removed and redo. Alternatively bead around the edges and when painted will look smart. To do this you'd need a highly skilled plasterer such as myself though :coffe:

Ps asking a skilled trade to quote to remove wallpaper is not a great idea
 

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smoother09

Well-Known Member
To be honest there's not much more work in boarding over the ceilings than there is removing wall paper, cleaning all the wallpaper paste off, pva gluing it, then meshing it.

Plus doing anything other than overboarding is absolutely mental. Lath and plaster ceilings will at some point give way, seen it so many times, they don't start just chipping away and abit of dust they collapse. Adding more weight is cowboy and could kill someone.

Its not like its some elaborate cornice. Could just get it all removed and redo. Alternatively bead around the edges and when painted will look smart. To do this you'd need a highly skilled plasterer such as myself though :coffe:

Ps asking a skilled trade to quote to remove wallpaper is not a great idea
I been doing that with edge bead longer than I can remember I actually think I came up with the idea, I mentioned it years ago on the forum pretty sure you stole it when you was a specky sock wanking newbie hiding on forum
 

Nath80

Well-Known Member
I been doing that with edge bead longer than I can remember I actually think I came up with the idea, I mentioned it years ago on the forum pretty sure you stole it when you was a specky sock wanking newbie hiding on forum
If you say so pal :coffe:

Lovely that I've done such a good job someone's saying it was their idea. Compliment accepted
 

Cammy0102

New Member
To be honest there's not much more work in boarding over the ceilings than there is removing wall paper, cleaning all the wallpaper paste off, pva gluing it, then meshing it.

Plus doing anything other than overboarding is absolutely mental. Lath and plaster ceilings will at some point give way, seen it so many times, they don't start just chipping away and abit of dust they collapse. Adding more weight is cowboy and could kill someone.

Its not like its some elaborate cornice. Could just get it all removed and redo. Alternatively bead around the edges and when painted will look smart. To do this you'd need a highly skilled plasterer such as myself though :coffe:

Ps asking a skilled trade to quote to remove wallpaper is not a great idea

Need to see the finished product mate to see if we'd be happy with tit. You don't have pictures after it's been painted do you?
 
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