Prep Work ......

I think we all have to agree .......... prep work is the worst!

We read the articles ... we learn the steps ..... and yet, we all want to plunge into the "fun" stuff.

I am soooooo ready for fun stuff!!!

For the last month, we have been in "prep" work mode.


Plaster repair ... lots and lots of plaster repair.

Honey repaired the ceiling.  And after a coat of primer and two coats of ceiling paint, it looks great.

Unfortunately, I decided that ceiling fan did not look great any more.  I looked into painting it with some of the new metal paints but we are using un-lacquered brass throughout and I could not find a color that worked.  So a new ceiling fan is on a truck somewhere.

However ... it is the only light in the kitchen because the new fabric covered wire for the antique pan lights is also on a truck somewhere.

But now ... back to the walls.

These are lath and plaster walls.  The wood lath has smalls gaps where plaster was pushed into place.  Those gaps that have been filled with plaster are called "keys" and hold the plaster to the wall.  Over time, they can separate from the lath and the plaster begins to crack.

If you merely fill the cracks, the plaster will continue to crack some more and eventually, your plaster will not be on the wall but the floor.  So we used plaster washers.

Plaster washers pull the loose plaster tight against the wood lath.  You make a small dimple with a screwdriver so the screw "sinks" into the plaster and  pulls the plaster washer in tight.  No longer a convex washer ... it is concave.  A couple of coats of wall compound .... your plaster will be as good as it was 100 years ago!

You will have to find these at a true old fashioned hardware store ... you won't find them at "home centers"!

After the washers are tight and the plaster is secured, we used Krack Kote by Abatron to fill any small hairline cracks.  Abatron makes lots of products that strengthen and fill wood and recreate plaster details for old houses.  Their products are readily available on Amazon.  They are not cheap but they are very good.

Next .... electrical boxes.

Poor Honey!  I have this thing ..... they need to be the same height .. situated the same way throughout.

Yes .... this won't fly!!!  First of all, it needs to be a GFI outlet and there is not a single push button switch under that tape!!!

And then .... there is this!

See this outlet??  It needs to be moved.  Basically, straight across to the left.


Because I said so!  ;)

No ... that will be the home of the baking center and I want the outlet right behind the mixer.  Not to the right but just behind.

Honey kind of grimaced on that one.  ;)

This is the bottom line.  
We are making progress.

I agree .... it doesn't look like it.  But we are slowly inching ahead.  And this is the last time we will do this kitchen in this house.

Honey seems to be balking about a future remodel at the age of 80!!!

Go figure.

The next time I blog about the kitchen, we will be painting the walls.



Ah... details..its all in the details! Didn't know about the washers for old plaster.
Ah... details..its all in the details! Didn't know about the washers for old plaster.
Dan Mays said…
Having restored a Victorian mansion, and remodeling a number of other old houses, we found that an excellent substitute for Krack Kote is a good quality latex painter's caulk for smaller cracks -- say up to 3/16" wide. It is fast, easy and works. Most of the crack repairs I did over twenty years ago are still perfect. The thing with good quality latex caulk is that it sticks incredibly well and yet remains flexible. Old houses are living, breathing things -- they move with the seasons and the weather. It is this movement that eventually causes cracks.

It is important that you use a good quality latex painter's caulk because it has a lot more solids in it than regular house caulk. Regular caulk will shrink quite a bit and leave a concave crack in a few days. Also, avoid the really cheap painter's caulk that will dry/fall out after several years. In addition, stay away from that crap they sell as "spackling paste". I can't tell you the number of times I had to dig this crap out of an ugly patch job. Fortunately, a good quality, latex, painter's caulk is readily available and can be bought for around $2.50 per tube.

Just put a little over your cleaned-out crack with a caulk gun and go over it immediately with a good trowel to force it deeply into the crack. Then scrape off all of the excess from the wall surface. The secret is to buy a good drywall knife (not a putty knife) and scrape off ALL of the excess down to level with the plaster surface. Normally, you can paint small cracks almost immediately. In a day or so, it can even be lightly sanded. A larger, deep crack may shrink a little bit concave, but a second application in a day or two will remedy that as well. *** Do NOT use silicon caulk! Nothing will stick to it and it will always show.

Krack Kote is a good product and the right choice for this application. But, there are those times . . . ;-) I have even used it over 1 or two plaster washers in an emergency. There always seems to be that one spot or nail hole that you overlooked -- right in the middle of your paint job!

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