A while back, we began a project at my house to paint the living/dining room floors. As often happens, there was scope creep – before we could paint the floor, we had to rip out the wood stove and remove the wood stove hearth and lay tile for a new non-ugly hearth. As long as we had crowbars in hand, we removed the ugly terracotta tiles that were attached to the wall above the mantel.
We were left with a huge area of plaster that needed to be patched, plus there was a significant vertical crack above it from the house/chimney settling.
We did some research online and went with the simplest repair method. We can’t claim that it was the best/correct/most authentic way to go, but it turned out just fine.
Here’s what we did:
- removed all loose pieces of plaster.
- cut and screwed in 1/8″ plywood for patch, using a paper template for odd-shaped areas.
- widened cracks with utility knife by inserting knife into cracks and twisting to remove plaster. Widening the cracks and making them “v” shaped helps the new plaster better bond to the old plaster.
- dampened joints with damp rag for better bonding.
- mixed Dap Bonding Liquid with Dap Presto Patch and patched large joints with drywall knife.
- let dry.
- applied sheet rock tape over large joints, applied joint compound over tape.
- let dry, sanded.
- applied another layer of joint compound, feathered edges out past first layer.
- gently pressed sponge into semi-dry joint compound for added texture.
After the patch was completely dry, we primed and painted it.
The texture is not a perfect match – the difference is obvious when you shine a bright light across it, but looks fine in normal lighting.
And one more thing:
I never liked the terracotta tile on the top of the mantel, but instead of removing it, we thought it would much simpler to paint it with gray floor paint. We also dabbed the same gray paint onto the red brick of the fireplace face, in order to tie it all together.
How we painted the tile:
- cleaned tile thoroughly
- sanded with 150 sandpaper
- primed with special primer/bonder, avoiding all grout lines.
- painted with 2 coats of floor paint
The completed project:
See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.