Hiring a plaster contractor may be the wisest choice when you decide to repair and renovate your old plaster walls and ceilings.
• when you don’t have confidence that you can learn to repair your own plaster
• when you don’t have the time to do it yourself
• when you want a plaster contractor to just come in and do it fast
So here is what I suggest. When you make first contact with your (potential) plaster contractor, ask him – what can I do by way of preparation to make your job go easier? And … will this save me money?
When I have a client eager to help, here are some things I tell them to do.
• empty the room of all furnishings, pictures, etc. (if this is an extensive project).
• cover the floors well with flattened cardboard. (important if old plaster will be removed).
• wash all areas to be repaired to remove dust, grease, fingerprints, cleaning agent residues, etc.
These may seem like common sense things, but you might be surprised at how many people don’t even think of these things – until maybe after I have arrived.
I will cover the cardboard myself with my drop materials, but the cardboard protects a hardwood floor. Old paneling or plywood will work even better.. When removing old plaster from wood lath, it is very easy to have chunks fall to the floor and they can really dent that fine hardwood. The cardboard helps prevent damage.
Anything like dirt, grease, etc. will interfere with the adhesion of new plaster materials to the old painted surfaces. So we need to get it off.
If the old plaster is to receive a new veneer coat, any plaster contractor worth his salt will put on a bonding agent first. He will roll or spray it on. This provides that extra “stickum,” as I call it – insurance for getting a good bond.
If this is the case with your project, ask your prospective contractor if he would give you a break in price if you roll on the bonding agent yourself. He will want to furnish it, but you save him time if you can do the application. It’s easy – just roll on like paint.
If your plastering project is quite extensive, involving taking off all the old plaster down to the wood lath, your plaster contractor will probably be quite pleased to offload that task to you. And if you are also responsible for all the debris removal and cleanup, he will be ecstatic.