Inching Along. Unhappily.



Remember the butler’s pantry?

I am un-remuddling my own remuddling from a few years ago, and have been working on infilling the wall I knocked a door into.

So, why the argh?


The joint compound is sticking just fine to the sheetrock infill, but NOT to the original paint on the original plaster. It keep cracking, and then… easily pulled away from the original paint.


In all my decades of working on old house this has never happened before.

At first, I removed the offending areas, and then roughly sanded the original paint.

Then I re-applied joint compound. Two or three days later, it would crack and de-surface again.

Hence, the argh!!!!!!!!

So, I pulled off the offending areas again, sanded some more, and then applied a good primer.

This seemed to work.

The next day though new areas would crack and de-surface. Areas I had not fixed yet.

So, argh!!!!!!!! became ARGH!!!!!!!!

And I now officially give up.


My solution. I will install on the back of the rebuilt cabinet the same type boards that are in the “silver safe”. And all my woes will vanish.




  1. Seth Hoffman on March 11, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Are you using pre-mixed joint compound or setting-type try mix? The pre-mixed gypsum compound that hardens by drying can have issues when applied over a non-absorbent backing like hard plaster. I’ve had very good results with thr setting compound. I generally use the hard Durabond for the initial fill, and the lightweight sandable type for the final coats.

  2. Leslie Harlow on March 11, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    My sister in law has plaster walls in her. Anytime they have to repair the walls, a skim coat has to be applied or else they run into the same problem you are experiencing.

  3. Rachel M on March 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Could your problem be calcimine paint? I think it was typically used on ceilings but your issues sounds similar to ones I’ve read about when people try to paint over calcimine paint in old houses. Here’s a video of another old house renovation blog I follow of them discovering they had calcimine painted ceilings

  4. Connie in Hartwood on March 13, 2019 at 6:57 am

    You didn’t mention using a bonding agent. That has worked well for me when skimming drywall compound over painted plaster.

  5. Nathan on March 15, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Might I suggest, rather then adding wood, a feature that was never there, simply screwing in a sheet of 1/4 inch drywall overtop? I would think that would better preserve the “historic narrative”.

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