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Veneer Plaster

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by rmcfall, Feb 17, 2008.

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  1. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Does anyone have any experience with veneer plaster? I am going to be redoing some walls and ceilings and am considering veneer plaster instead of standard drywall techniques. I have read some things online, however, that lead me to believe applying plaster, even just veneer plaster, takes a great deal of learned skill and practice. Can it really be that difficult?

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I can pretty much answer any questions you have on veneer plaster. It is one of many products my company sells.

    just a few things to note:

    1.) it is a two part system, with a base (scratch) coat and a finish coat (smooth or sand texture)
    2.) it is SPECIFICALLY designed to be used with plaster board (blue board), but some other substrates can be used. Try to NOT use standard drywall.
    3.) The final product will be tougher than standard drywall.
    4.) The final products appearance will be directly affected by the person applying it. (experience helps, but not mandatory).

    If you got questions, fire away.
  3. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the reply. I am happy to finally speak with someone who has more intimate knowledge about plastering. You mentioned that experience helps when applying veneer plaster, but that it is not mandatory. Worst case scenario, if my plaster job looked lousy, could I fix any issues by sanding the same as one would with standard drywall? Or is plaster not really sandable, in that the surface is more like concrete?

    From what I understand, one of the big advantages of plaster over drywall is that the sanding process is eliminated. Overall, does veneer plaster take any longer than standard drywall?

    Plaster seems to be a preferred finish over drywall. Does veneer plaster look noticeably better than standard drywall as well?

    Lastly, I haven't seen blueboard at my local Lowes. Is this a specialty item?

    I appreciate your help. BTW, what company do you work for?
    -Rob


  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Sanding veneer plaster is not really an option. If needed, you could actually skim coat the area again. Veneer plaster, when contracted out, is typically more expensive than drywall because of the materials and especially the labor involved. That being said, consider that you will be skim coating the ENTIRE wall, not just mudding in the joints, and this is X 2 because of the base coat and the finish coat. You will still need to tape the joints with mesh tape and base coat. As far as looking better - it is in the eye of the beerholder. If you do a great job on the plaster, it will look great, if you do a crappy job on drywall, well...its gonna look crappy. Plaster is considered a more "up-scale" type finish, partly because of cost, but it is more durable as well.

    The blueboard that is available at the big box stores is designed for plaster (it is also known as Kal board or plaster board). It is a specialty item in the sense that it is specific to plastering. The core is the same as drywall, but the blue paper is different. The blue paper is designed specifically to absorb moisture at a given rate from the base coat that is applied. If you attempt to apply base coat to regular drywall, the moisture gets "sucked up" too fast and you may end up with poor adhesion of the base coat to the board.

    I am the IT guy at a drywall distribution company.
  5. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the reply. I checked at Lowes today for blueboard and they looked at me like I was crazy. They did refer me to a drywall company in town, so I'll see if I have any luck there. Depending on the availability of blueboard, the decision may be made up for me...
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