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I want to repaint a wall in my apartment that is warped and peeling from some old water damage (leak fixed before I moved in). I removed a section of peeling paint, and it looks like there's a cement-like layer, about 1mm thick, between the plaster and the paint. I'd like to know what it is and how to patch it, so the wall will be smooth and continuous when I paint it.

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  • I am not sure what it is, but you might approach this problem as: regardless of what it is, how do I repaint the wall? For instance, why not just scrape it off? I doubt it's holding your house together. It might be a remnant of wall paper or a poorly done skim coat. It could be layers of non-mixing paint - latex over acrylic over oil over...
    – AdamO
    Commented Oct 26, 2023 at 20:37
  • Good point. I’m not against scraping it off, I just wasn’t sure what it was or whether it was important. My main qualm with simply sanding down the edges, priming, and painting is that there’ll be a visible border where the new paint meets the thicker layer of grout or whatever this is. But that’s not the end of the world.
    – fred die
    Commented Oct 26, 2023 at 23:10
  • For paint peeled off of drywall, I'll cut a nice sharp edge around the whole perimeter and peel everything back to that sharp line. Then I'll take joint compound and feather the sharp transition edge. I don't know exactly how to generalize the advice to plaster or I would have submitted an answer. See diy.stackexchange.com/questions/284503/….
    – popham
    Commented Oct 26, 2023 at 23:15
  • Thanks for you advice. I think that's what I'll do.
    – fred die
    Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 16:22

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