OVER BRICKS AND MORTAR
Hi.I need to patch repair a short, corner chimney breast that runs up to a sloping ceiling,after rain damage.I've hacked out the loose plaster and black mortar back to brick.The front chimney face is OK, but the side had thinner bits of brick embedded in the mortar against the main side wall.I have taken those out too, but it now leaves much more depth to fill before I get to final coats,around 1". There's also a wooden batten forming the corner of the breast which hasn't been plastered over ,at the edges of which there's minor cracking and doesn't give a nice finish when papered over.I don't know if this is a common Victorian feature?Anyway I don't know how best to deal with this and foolishly bought a bag of one coat plaster before knowing what I had to deal with, and finding your website. Any advice much appreciated please.
As you have the 1 coat plaster you may as well use it but build up in a series of around 3 layers - letting each layer firm up a little before re-coating. Make sure you damp down the wall and edges first and put a very thin coat on first, making sure you push the plaster around and into every part. It doesn't matter how rough it looks you just want a thin smear over. Then almost immediately you can put a thicker coat on and use a straightedge to rule it flat and in line with the existing. Repeat this process as needed unit it looks flat. Then as it starts to firm up you can start to smooth it out. If it starts to be pushed out of shape then give it longer to firm up. If when you are smoothing out any plaster collects on your trowel - this fine plaster is ideal for filling in any other cracks elsewhere (damp the wall down first).
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