How to carefully remove the plaster?

Plaster is one of the most durable cladding materials. If the plastering work is done efficiently, then the material will serve for more than one decade. However, due to certain conditions and factors, the plaster can crack, swell and move away from the surface. In this case, it is dismantled and replaced..


Before asking the question of how to remove the old plaster coating from the walls or ceiling, it is worth clarifying in what cases the dismantling of the cladding is a necessity and how it is determined.

The need to clean the walls from the old plaster coating directly depends on its composition:

  1. Clay. Indoors, it is most often used in the decoration of fireplaces, stoves and various heating appliances. During use, it can peel off and collapse, therefore, sometimes it is necessary to dismantle and replace the old coating with a new one..
  2. Gypsum. Dismantling is carried out as it breaks down or, if necessary, cover the gypsum layer with a harder and heavier than gypsum building material.
  3. Lime. It is restored as the layer weakened, as well as when working with cement or polymer plaster.
  4. Cement. Most often dismantled due to technological errors in the process of applying plaster to the surface.
  5. Polymer. The structure of polymer coatings is quite plastic, but very durable. They adhere quickly to any surface, and any solution can be applied to them. The appearance of cracks and flaking occurs in case of shrinkage or violations of the application technology itself.

Cleansing the walls from plaster is necessary when laying tiles. If you do not remove the old material, then when the lower layer peels off, the tile may fall off along with it..

    A solid sand-cement surface can be coated with materials of any composition. Gypsum putty does not tolerate cement mortar. Clay and gypsum can be applied to the lime surface. The clay layer is renewed only with the help of clay, other materials will not set. Sand-clay mortar can be applied to any material and any type of surface.


    Nowadays, the construction market is replete with facing materials, so it is rather difficult to make the final choice. In some cases, it is simply necessary to resort to the help of a specialist. However, there is a category of materials when you can be sure that the product is as resistant to external influences as possible, as well as to all sorts of mechanical defects. This type of finishing materials includes decorative plaster.

    Excellent external qualities and long service life make decorative plaster a profitable purchase. The material has a creamy consistency with inclusions that give it strength and increase its volume. Decorative plaster successfully imitates various materials such as stone, fabric, wallpaper, and so on.. With its help, it is possible to create various options for the design of walls and ceilings. It can be a surface with intricate patterns applied to it, as well as various visual effects..

    These facing materials can be classified into coating and structural. In the first case, it means the use of plaster in order to level the surface (rough layer) for further veneering. In the case of structural plaster, it is itself the main cladding material and gives the surface a finished look..

    Decorative plaster is a very broad concept that combines many options for finishing materials.

    The most popular are:

    • brick chips;
    • flock spraying;
    • textured plaster;
    • Venetian plaster;
    • structural plaster.

    One of the main, as well as the most important elements of this type of plaster is the binder, which is mineral, polymer, silicone or silicate in composition..

    • Mineral plaster is a material, the predominant component of which is lime. In combination with stone chips, clay and various minerals, the mixture has a strength, the level of which can grow over time..
    • Polymer plaster. Due to the presence of acrylic resins in the composition, it is one of the most resistant to temperature extremes and high humidity. Such material is easily applied to any type of surface and is capable of imitating marble or leather..

    • Silicate plaster is characterized by increased plasticity. The material is almost not exposed to contamination and has a high vapor permeability.
    • Silicone plaster. The main constituent of the material is silicone resin. Among the many advantages, some of the main ones are resistance to temperature fluctuations, a wide range of colors, a high vapor permeability rate..

    How to quickly execute?

    In order to find out the level of damage to the plaster, you need to knock on the surface layer with a small hammer, and this should be done very carefully, without applying a lot of force to blows. If the knock is resonant and clean, this is an indicator that everything is in order with the plaster layer. If the knocking is dull, the material is too dry and dilapidated to the touch, and when tapping, the plaster is about to fall off, then the elimination of such plaster must be done as soon as possible.

    You can beat off the old layer of plaster as conveniently and quickly as possible with your own hands.

    The easiest way to punch is to use a small electric hammer drill., which, thanks to its special nozzle in the form of a wide paddle, is able to pry off the old layer of material and clean the surface of it. An important tip when removing plaster in this way is to wet the wall surface so that there is no dust and dirt in the room during the cleaning process. Dismantling is also performed using a special hammer with a pickaxe as one of its sides..

    It will be possible to clean the plaster with a spatula only if it is in a disastrous state. In this case, the plaster most often peels off and falls off on its own, it remains only to help it a little by prying it with a spatula.

    Sometimes, in addition to brick, shingles serve as a strong support for a thick plaster layer. The process of dismantling such a wall is laborious and requires considerable effort.. Shingles are small wooden planks stuffed onto the surface of the wall. Dismantling such a wall begins with careful chipping and cleaning of the plaster in the area of ​​the supports and a thorough examination and assessment of the surface condition near the ceilings. The easiest and most affordable way to repair a wooden wall is to cover it with plasterboard..

    It is important to understand that the work being done is dusty, so wear a respirator and goggles as a precaution..

    Required tools

    The tools used have a huge impact on the quality of work and, of course, on the result. As mentioned above, using a hammer is an easy and affordable way to remove loose plaster. The sharp side of the tool must be tapped on the surface. Then, if the plaster is extremely unreliable, it is likely to fall off by itself. Residues can be cleaned with a scraper or spatula.

    If the filler material has a coarse-grained consistency, then it is easiest to remove it with a sharp spatula. This method requires considerable physical effort, as well as constant replacement or sharpening of the tool..

    You can qualitatively prepare the wall for finishing it with decorative materials using a special float.

    If the putty sticks to the wall quite firmly and does not lend itself to manual removal methods, then in this case it is worth resorting to the use of “heavy artillery”. A hammer drill with an impact function is best. To do this, a special nozzle is fixed in the socket, and the tool is switched to impact mode.

    It is also possible to dismantle the old plaster layer using a grinder. Horizontal and vertical stripes are cut on the surface with a diamond cutting disc, the depth of which will correspond to the depth of the plaster layer. After that, the remnants can be removed with the same scraper or spatula..

    Of course, armed with special electrical equipment for removing plaster, the work will go easier and faster. These can be specialized machines such as AGP, various grinders and so on..

    Remove from the ceiling surface

    The technology for removing the plaster layer from the ceiling surface is almost the same as from the wall. In this case, much more strength will be needed, since it is very difficult to constantly keep your hands in a raised position.. You can facilitate the dismantling process by attaching a long stick to a float, putty knife, scraper or some other tool..

    In the process of cleaning the ceiling from plaster, it is often necessary to pre-wash the decorative layer. For example, lime is easily washed off with plain water. To remove water-based paint, you need to add a little iodine to the water, in the case of water-dispersed enamel it is better to use special rinsing solutions.

    Before the process of applying new plaster to the ceiling, it is necessary to remove all irregularities, bumps protruding above the surface. It is imperative to clean the joints of the plates from the plaster. This can be done with a hammer or spatula..

    Tips & Tricks

    Use the advice of professionals, and then the work will go much faster and more efficiently.

    • When working with a punch, you need to be extremely careful not to damage the base. There is no need to rush to remove the plaster layer. It is better to clean the surface in several passes than to damage the base and continue to repair it..
    • If the plaster layer is thicker than 3 mm, then it is necessary to use a vibration sander. The main difference between this machine is that the working element moves from side to side in the same plane.
    • Removal of cement and gypsum plaster is the most difficult. To facilitate removal, treat the surface with a solution of water and vinegar 30 minutes before work. The acid in the vinegar will loosen the gypsum..

    • Having decided to leave the layer of the old plaster, it is important to understand that the material of the new layer must be weaker than the previous one, so as not to break the old layer during shrinkage..
    • If there is drywall under the layer of plaster, then blows must be done carefully, without using too much force. Dismantling is best done with a hammer and pickaxe or putty knife..
    • When applying a new layer of plaster to the old one, it is better to use a more expensive solution, but apply it in a thinner layer..

    For information on how to dismantle the plaster, see the next video.

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