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I'm used to working on sheetrock in the U.S. but I now live in France. In my old apartment in Paris, the walls seem to be plaster but could be concrete. It is soft enough to make divots if I dig in my painter's tool into the wall, so this makes me think it's plaster.

How should I go about opening up these cracks and filling them? Is this a skim coat on plaster? Should I open up these hairline cracks? I've included 3 photos below after opening up the cracks and flakes a bit. Thank you in advance.

My objective in the next couple weeks is to fix the many cracks with filler and sanding, then repaint the whole apartment.

Here's a photo of one area: Plaster with skim coat?

A different wall: A different wall

Same as above, but showing the small spider cracks: Same hole, showing spider cracks

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    It looks like there are several layers of plaster on the wall. You can get away with scraping the loose plaster and skim coat over it. As for the cracks, if they aren't serious, you can skim over those as well. If you have bigger cracks, you can fill them and then use drywall tape over it to prevent the cracks from opening up more. If you do use tape, then try to blend it in to the surrounding area. I use at least a 10" putty knife to blend it in. – Jason Hutchinson Nov 6 '14 at 23:02

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