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My c 1815 stone house has a bathroom that was installed c. 1950.  In the process of doing the desperately needed bathroom upgrades, I finally decided NOT to keep the 12x12 aluminum tiles that had been applied on the ceiling and 2 walls.  Although a cool post-WWII detail, they were actually starting to rust and come away from the wall anyway.  So, once removed, I have large areas of mastic or whatever it was they used to fasten it to the wall.  Removing this adhesive would be a MAJOR pain (trust me, I already did this in one room and I have no intention of doing it again).

Would it be possible to apply a skim coat over this stuff that covers large parts of the walls and ceiling?  If so, what is the best way to tackle it?  If not, what alternative is advisable?  And, oh yes, did I mention that I have a fixed income and cannot afford an expensive procedure!

Tags: coat, plaster, repair, skim

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If the old tiles were starting to rust and pull away fromt he wall - do you have a water or ventilation issue there?

You could try a skim coat... but it would probably only be a temporary fix.

The rust is probably surface rust, around the edges only of a few of the tiles.  The adhesive is really dried out, so that may be why the tiles became loose.  The original plaster wall underneath appears to be as solid as new.  So, I don't think that moisture is an issue.  I'll check the stone on the outside of that wall just to be sure.  As for the rest of the room, there is a window, open much of the year, so, once again I don't think ventilation is a problem, either....I'm more concerned about exactly how to prep the walls if I do decide to go ahead with the skim coat.  Should I take a power sander and try to smooth out the dried out adhesive?  Also, will it be worth it?

Hello B.A.  Boy do I feel your pain (I also have a stone house, not as old, but similar bathroom issues)  I have had very good results using texture paint Sherwin Williams makes...I've skim-coated plaster with it...you can trowel it on thick or thin and leave it rough, or sand it smooth with drywall sanding sponge.  Since your house is so old I'll bet it would look appropriate to have it sort of rough here and there.  It's really easy and fun to use; takes paint/glaze effects really well too.

Another thing I've used is Lincrusta wall paper...also very pricey but covers a multitude of damage.  Might be hard to put on ceiling though.  

The texture paint also makes a nice base for stencilling or other paint treatments that would be something you could do yourself for little cost.  I'm planning to do mine with stencils/hand painting.

Definitely worth looking into, thanks!

There is a valuable web site ...  john bridge.com.  It is a site dedicated to the tile setting trade.  If you log in and post your question, I am pretty sure that someone will have experience to share.  

Another great tip, thanks so much!

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