Tips on Covering Old Plaster Walls

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Cracks in old plaster walls are an eyesore.

Plaster is a sturdy and affordable material that works well for most walls, but it can start to deteriorate over time, causing unsightly cracks and uneven surfaces. If you have old plaster walls, you may notice that the damage distracts from the beauty of the rest of the room. Luckily, there are several things you can do to remedy the situation. Before covering the walls with paint or wallpaper, it is best to repair the damaged plaster to create a more even surface and prevent further deterioration. Then, even if you're not an interior decorator or a handyman, there are a variety of wallpaper products on the market specially designed to cover old plaster walls with ease.


Repair Work

Repair the old plaster before covering the walls. Remove paint with a wire brush, brush off any remaining wallpaper with a putty knife, and wipe off any powder or dust with a wet sponge. Then coat the damaged surface with powdered plaster especially made for patching, which is sold at most home improvement stores. Fill the cracks or holes completely with the plaster and scrape the surface even with a spackling knife. Allow the new plaster to dry for at least 24 hours. If you don't repair the damaged plaster before covering the wall with wallpaper, the plaster could create an uneven surface underneath and lead to more damage over time.


Paintable wallpaper

To protect your walls and the plaster underneath without committing to just one wallpaper design, consider using wallpaper that you can paint. White wallpaper that is specially designed to be painted will still cover unattractive cracks and stains, but you won't have to sacrifice color to cover your old plaster walls. Paintable wallpaper is a good option for anyone who wishes to express more creative freedom with the interior design of their home; it allows you to switch color schemes easily. You can cover your walls with a coat of paint whenever you please, just as you would with a newer plaster wall.


Paper illusion wallpaper

Paper illusion wallpaper is a smooth, pre-pasted material that appears to be textured. You can buy this type of wallpaper from any home improvement store or interior design company. As the name suggests, the wallpaper creates the illusion of expensive textured material such as marble or granite. Paper illusion wallpaper can give a room an instant added touch of luxury. This type of wallpaper is ideal for damaged plaster walls, because it gives new life to old surfaces with unique visual appeal. It is best used on one wall or area in the room, as covering every wall with the design may be visually overwhelming.


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Hope Nunzio

Hope Nunzio is a Connecticut native who has been writing Web content since 2008. She specializes in travel content and has been published on AOL Travel and the online travel magazine GoMad Nomad. Nunzio is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy at Wake Forest University.