Plastering an arch

Hi, I have removed old wallpaper from the underside of an arch that divides lounge to dining room and found that the arch has been made from ply board coated with a pink coloured plaster topped with a grey coloured plaster. Bits of plaster have become loose whilst stripping wall paper leaving patches of the ply visible.
Can the arch be skimmed over as I’m aiming to paint not wallpaper or should I use elm mesh then plaster it’s quite a large arch about 46 inches wide. Many thanks

Strictly speaking you should use mesh on the ply, however I have skimmed directly onto ply before with no problems. In fact the training walls for plastering were ply and the plaster is still on them - never to come off! However I have only done it on one job (also used PVA) - that all went well, but it is a risk, and I wouldn't be able to recommend or advise it for fear of something going wrong, but if it worked previously - it may do again.

Sorry I cannot be more specific

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