I have a house built in the 1950's, 3 bedroom brick ranch in Michigan.

I had a leak in my roof, which over a period of time caused the kitchen ceiling to start to fall apart, peel, and show water stains on the material underneath that.

I have fixed/replaced the roof, and am now looking to fix the kitchen ceiling. If possible, I'm willing to do the work myself, but only if I can find good instructional videos that walk me through the process.

I was trying to lookup videos this evening, but I'm not sure what materials these are. It looks as though there's some kind of drywall or cement fiberboard, then some kind of mud/plaster/compound, then paint.

This is a closeup that shows the rough material underneath (cement board?), and a bit of a side view of the next two layers.

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This is the same view, but zoomed out a little


This view shows another spot where the middle white layer hasn't peeled away yet, just the paint layer seems to have peeled.


The next two pictures are a little more zoomed out to show the size of the area that I am dealing with



If anyone could point me in the right direction as far as what materials these are, and a general idea of how complex the project would be to fix it, or what i can search for to find an instructional video, i would greatly appreciate it.

1 Answer 1


Looks like basic plaster with a skim coat, which has released due to the moisture. The only question is whether you have wood lath base or gypsum panels.

I'd use a putty knife to scrape away all the lose coating material. Skim with modern joint compound to achieve a flat finish. Prime and paint. The scope of the individual steps is too broad to lay out in an answer here. There's plenty of information to be found.

If the plaster itself has lost its integrity, you'll need to cut out the affected area, replace it with drywall (shimmed down flush), tape, prime, paint. It'll be a mess because all your insulation will fall out. Here's hoping you can avoid that. Plaster is pretty tough and may have tolerated the moisture.

  • I could get up in the attic and pull the insulation away to work on it if need be. I don't think that'd be an issue. My concern was whether or not I needed to replace the material underneath. I don't want to tackle that job if I don't have to. It has some water stains on it, but it feels hard and doesn't seem like it's compromised as far as strength goes. It sounds like it would be ok to keep that there and just scrape/compound/prime/paint it? Jun 28, 2018 at 16:14
  • That was the gist of my answer, yes.
    – isherwood
    Jun 28, 2018 at 16:22

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