My apartment building is over 100 years old. A character building. It’s cute, cozy, and despite the no painting clause in the lease, my caretaker has told me that so long as I make it look nice, my damage deposit is safe. Horray!
I’m a bit of a perfectionist and decide filling up the small holes and cracks in the wall with some Poly Filla, followed by a quick sanding to make the wall all smooth would be a nice touch. 3 out of 4 walls get patched up and sanded. The final wall to be tended to has a crack that I happily prepare to plaster over when I make the mistake of touching the affected area…
…causing the crack to rapidly spread in a web like pattern until a nearly 2 foot chunk of paint literally falls from the wall. It was almost comical in that defeating kind of way.
It would appear that my living room has been painted over a number of times in its century of existence. Not only that, but it has been wallpapered and painted over. Twice! And it looks like after a century, the original wallpaper glue has disintegrated and separated from the plaster causing bubbles of air to sit between the plaster layer and the thick layers of paper and paint. Anyone who has ever tried painting over cracked paint, or paint separated from plaster knows that it is futile. Within weeks, if not while drying, your new coat of paint will look as cracked and worn as the stuff underneath. So what does one do about this? Strip the cracked paint/wallpaper that has separated from the plaster. However, this creates a gap between where the plaster sits, and the layers of paint on the wall that hasn’t separated. Thus, it must be followed up by slathering on a layer of plaster that must then be sanded down to allow for a smooth transition between the two sections of wall.
Now, I could ask my rental company to do this. After all, the paint cracking and falling wasn’t really my fault. But based on experiences from my previous apartment (where a hole in the wall ripped open for pipe access sat untouched for 8 months before they finally repaired it), I have decided to don my handyman belt and do it myself.
After having now stripped away a section of separated paint/wall paper approximately 2’x10’ placing the first coat of plaster over the gap, and sanding it down, what happens?
My vacuum decides it hates plaster dust and conks out! ARGH!!!!
So here I am with a huge section of wall just waiting for me to give it another sanding so that I may finally get on with painting the damn thing, and I have nothing to suck the dust up with.