Lattice Wall Overlay

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The plaster wall in the tenement apartment was cracked across the center and had separated from the wood lattice which it had been applied to many decades ago. This was an occupied apartment, and management sought to install an “overlay”, rather than demolishing the wall and kicking up a storm of dust. We simply “sandwiched” the original wall with wire lathe and a strong plaster/ powdered J. compound mix. (When mixing plaster with J. compound, it’s always better to use powdered JC, as it results in a more even mix.)

A small piece of the original plaster was removed and repaired with Structolite. Full lengths of wire mesh were fastened horizontally with galvinized screws and washers. It was made taut by temporaraly positioning the screws diagonaly to give it a slight stretch. This method was used to working from the center outward, much like the stretching of a canvas.

The beams were actual 4x4s spaced at 16” apart. I made certain that we hit every stud with tight spacing from top to bottom.

After the wire lathe was fastened, small blotches of the plaster compound was applied in choice areas to fortity the shape of the mesh, and not let it “bubble” anywhere.

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The plaster compound was a quick dry formula,  ( approximately 50:50 ratio of plaster with powdered spackle.) I plastered the wall in sections with a 10” flush knife. While it was drying, I prepared the light switch area to accommodate a new bx cable, junction box and switch. I screwed scraps of sheetrock to the sub surface, and applied fibermesh tape over the seams.

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This is the same wall after receiving a finish pass. Regular spackling was used for the final pass and required little sanding. It’s difficult to say how many passes were given because some areas required more attention. If a team of mathameticians were to examine the quality of work they would find some imperfections, but other than that, the finished wall was quite satisfactory. The tenents and the owner were pleased with the results, and I’m confidant that the wire mesh is fastened well and the wall will remain solid for decades.

 

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Lattice Wall Overlay

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