Singapore Expats Forum

DIY home improvement tips needed

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

User avatar
Splatted
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 892
Joined: Sun, 11 Jul 2004

DIY home improvement tips needed

Postby Splatted » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 1:20 am

Hi all,

Been away from this forum for a while.

My wife and I have finally bought ourselves a HDB flat, an older resale.

One thing I have found about these old constructions are that some of the concreting is "lumpy" in places along the wall. I'm not wanting to throw stones, but the "standards" of getting a flat bedroom wall probably wasn't as high back in the day.

Is there any way of smoothing out the wall? I'm a complete novice at this, so can someone advise what options there are... For instance, can the concrete lumps be sanded out somehow? Other ideas?

Secondly, the previous owner attempted to cover up the lumpy concrete but painting over it with lumpy paint finish, and for the most part they were 'successful'. Only thing is I hate the lumpy paint finish on the wall.

What's the best way to smoothen out the paint? Sand it flat? Strip it somehow?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance

User avatar
Mad Scientist
Director
Director
Posts: 3459
Joined: Thu, 03 Dec 2009
Location: TIMBUKTU

Postby Mad Scientist » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 2:58 am

This is quite a common occurrence with older flats. We had the same issue when we bought an older flats years ago.
You cannot sand it as it will look worse than before. Cementing it will be better but I doubt you can get it flat.
We got our interior decorators to do it and then after the paint went on top of the cement wall. Now matter how much he tried it is just not flat. After four years you can see a small crack on top along the cemented area. Too much hassle to DIY, just not worth the effort. End up I placed a Tall Cabinet in front of the hairline cracked wall..
a DIY shop could give you some tips
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35159
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 6:59 am

I also had that problem when I bought my flat 13 years ago. As I did most of the renovation works myself with the exception of the Kitchen & Baths, I had "lumpy" walls as well. After I deduced that they weren't lumpy due to rusting rebar swelling up and pushing it out, I got out my trusty 4" wide belt sander, put on a heavy carborundum belt and had at it. Worked pretty good. Once that was done then went over with plaster and smoothed it out nicely. Job done. But holding a great big belt sander to the wall will give your arms & back a good workout as well.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9318
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 7:44 am

Another solution could be if you manage to buy somewhere 5-10mm thick plasterboard.

User avatar
QRM
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1831
Joined: Mon, 17 Oct 2005
Location: Nassim hill

Postby QRM » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 7:44 am

Make a couple light wt floor to ceiling timber frames. Stretch some fabric over it and Velcro them to the wall, when you are bored with the colour scheme/textures go to spot light and get a different fabric and its easy to redo.

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8333
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Postby nakatago » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 8:50 am

QRM wrote:Make a couple light wt floor to ceiling timber frames. Stretch some fabric over it and Velcro them to the wall, when you are bored with the colour scheme/textures go to spot light and get a different fabric and its easy to redo.


Oh wow. That's a good idea (albeit I'll execute it differently but the concept is there).

evehow
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed, 07 Dec 2011

Postby evehow » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 1:02 pm

You can plaster over the walls. Speak to your ID about it. It should be a simpler job compared to "sanding" the concrete walls!

However if you're talking about ceiling spalling (falling plaster from the ceiling) then good luck to you because it is a very difficult problem to solve!

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35159
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 1:22 pm

evehow wrote:You can plaster over the walls. Speak to your ID about it. It should be a simpler job compared to "sanding" the concrete walls!

However if you're talking about ceiling spalling (falling plaster from the ceiling) then good luck to you because it is a very difficult problem to solve!


Have you ever tried either method? I have. :roll:

If the concrete is "lumpy" as the OP suggested, it's going to take a heck of a lot of plaster to level out a couple of bumps as you have to bring up the level of the entire wall to the level of the highest bump.

Maybe you should just stick to topics you know something about. :-|
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Wed, 07 Dec 2011 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

evehow
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed, 07 Dec 2011

Postby evehow » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 1:24 pm

That's why I suggested the OP speak to his ID.

I mean he wanted to DIY "sanding" the concrete wall didn't he...

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35159
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 1:26 pm

Yes. And that is the correct measure under the circumstances. I know, I've done is as I noted in my first reply.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35159
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 07 Dec 2011 1:33 pm

If the walls have a lumpy type of paint (hopefully it's not a stucco plaster finish) you can use a paint scraper to get rid of it. But be careful not to gouge the walls doing it as you will then need to plaster the gouge marks.

If it's a stucco plaster finish then you will need to sand down the lumps first and then either plaster the whole wall to even out the stucco plaster or sand it down. This is not a good idea as the paint on the stucco (if it's actual stucco) can come loose later and you will have plaster & paint peeling from the walls. If it's a real stucco finished wall, get in a professional to do major restorative works on the wall.

Oh, you cannot plaster over paint as evehow suggested. As noted, this will have your plaster (which goes on wet) loosening the paint's adhesive qualities (especially if it's normal older indoor paint) and you will then have plaster & paint peeling from your walls.

User avatar
Splatted
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 892
Joined: Sun, 11 Jul 2004

Postby Splatted » Thu, 08 Dec 2011 12:40 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote: After I deduced that they weren't lumpy due to rusting rebar swelling up and pushing it out, I got out my trusty 4" wide belt sander, put on a heavy carborundum belt and had at it. Worked pretty good. Once that was done then went over with plaster and smoothed it out nicely. Job done. But holding a great big belt sander to the wall will give your arms & back a good workout as well.


Actually, this is what I was hoping to hear.

Whether its possible, had someone actually done it, and exactly what kind of tool would make the job easier.

These belt sanders - are they easy to find in Singapore? The local DIY shop hardly sells anything. Been to both the Novena, and AMK hub branches.

User avatar
Splatted
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 892
Joined: Sun, 11 Jul 2004

Postby Splatted » Thu, 08 Dec 2011 12:44 am

x9200 wrote:Another solution could be if you manage to buy somewhere 5-10mm thick plasterboard.


Funny you should mention this option. Actually, I had seen a couple flats up for sale in the next building to where we bought ours that had used the plasterboard solution.

It just made all the rooms look smaller! Maybe it was just in my head, but it felt there was less space afterwards.

User avatar
Splatted
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 892
Joined: Sun, 11 Jul 2004

Postby Splatted » Thu, 08 Dec 2011 12:51 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:If the walls have a lumpy type of paint (hopefully it's not a stucco plaster finish) you can use a paint scraper to get rid of it. But be careful not to gouge the walls doing it as you will then need to plaster the gouge marks.

If it's a stucco plaster finish then you will need to sand down the lumps first and then either plaster the whole wall to even out the stucco plaster or sand it down. This is not a good idea as the paint on the stucco (if it's actual stucco) can come loose later and you will have plaster & paint peeling from the walls. If it's a real stucco finished wall, get in a professional to do major restorative works on the wall.


I don't think it's stucco.

I think the effect was achieved with a roller somehow. I'll try and upload some pics of the walls tomorrow night after work so you get an idea of what I'm talking about.

It seems to have all been painted on, and in one section near the bathroom, the paint is bubbling because of steam from the bathroom (or from the flat above?), however the paint and all it's little bumps are in tact even over the bubble that formed.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35159
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 08 Dec 2011 7:02 am

Splatted wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote: After I deduced that they weren't lumpy due to rusting rebar swelling up and pushing it out, I got out my trusty 4" wide belt sander, put on a heavy carborundum belt and had at it. Worked pretty good. Once that was done then went over with plaster and smoothed it out nicely. Job done. But holding a great big belt sander to the wall will give your arms & back a good workout as well.


Actually, this is what I was hoping to hear.

Whether its possible, had someone actually done it, and exactly what kind of tool would make the job easier.

These belt sanders - are they easy to find in Singapore? The local DIY shop hardly sells anything. Been to both the Novena, and AMK hub branches.


Yeah, belt sanders are easy to find (in a commercial tool environment - not your local DIY home handyfix) I bought mine here in Singapore but that was many years ago down on Rochor Road. Mine was a Makita and it served me well for a number of years. (It's not a Pad sander, but a belt sander). After I finished renovating my flat, I sold it along with a lot of other "full sized" power tools like my drill press, table saw, router, Circular saw, etc. Only kept my hand tools a couple of drills & Jig Saw.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest