Previous home owner had installed a tile backsplash over countertop, along with installing tile along the entirety of the lower half of a wall that was made from plaster lath.

When removing the tile, large chunks of the top white coat of plaster are coming off. As seen in the pictures, much of the brown coat has become exposed.

What I'm wondering is if it is possible to reapply a new skim coat over the old brown coat? If so, would I be better off removing ALL the old white coat before applying a new skim coat?

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  • 1
    Yes, no matter what you do, you want an even surface. Aug 2, 2023 at 2:45

2 Answers 2


What I have done in these cases is cover the surface with new 1/4 inch drywall. The 1/4 inch lost is never noticed on the counter. The process takes less time and money than skim coating.

If you are adding new tile the taping and mudding does not have to be very neat.

If the surface is going to be painted, it will be much easier to make smooth and flat.


Yes, you can skim coat it. The finish doesn't even need to be totally smooth if you're tiling over it.

If you can, take down the wall cabinets before doing anything, though—you'll be much happier with more room to work in, and the (presumably) smooth part of the wall behind the cabinets can be used as a guide for your skim coat.

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