Q. How can you mask terrible imperfections in the plaster walls and ceilings of an old house?
-Kelsey (St Clair Shores, MI)
A. Thanks for asking, Kelsey! Plaster walls contribute to the character and charm in many older homes. For historical preservation purposes, I would recommend keeping the plaster if at all possible. There are many online tutorials about how to repair and patch plaster walls and ceilings in an older home. I assume you are already past that stage and still having trouble with imperfections. As a designer, I can recommend certain finish treatments that will hide the imperfections. Your other option would be to consult with a contractor regarding replacing or resurfacing your plaster walls.
The first thing I would recommend would be using a faux finish to mask the imperfections in the wall. FREEZE! PUT AWAY THE SPONGE… I would NEVER recommend any of the cheesy wall treatments that were common in the 1980′s. There are plenty of cool modern day options options such as a combing technique, rag technique, faux leather or stone techniques. No matter which one you chose- the key is to keep it minimal and DO NOT GO OVERBOARD! My favorite wall technique is venetian plaster.
The next option you would have would be a wallcovering:
My next recommendation would be wallpaper:
Maybe people say that painting the ceiling a dark color will mask imperfections better than a light color would. I have never personally tried this, but you could always try it on your worst area and see if you like it! If you do, paint the rest. If not, just use killz primer over it and paint it back.
The last idea I have to address damaged plaster is to embrace the damage!
I hope this helps you solve your damaged plaster issues!