What's Up With My Plastic-ish Walls?

What's Up With My Plastic-ish Walls?

Tess Wilson
Jan 10, 2016

Q: I'm a Southern transplant to the (currently freezing, brrr!) heart of the Midwest. I live in a 99-year-old building. I love its quirky layout, the boiler heat, the updated electrical and windows, and the convenient location to my grad student office and classes. What I don't love are the walls (well, and the gawd-awful kitchen, but that's another story...). I know that the walls are plaster, but they are textured with some kind of plastic coating [photo below]. It is definitely plastic-y, not authentic plaster texture, and I assume was added sometime closer to 2015 than 1916...

Any idea what is on my walls and if it is going to kill me? Any advice for hanging heavy pieces on such walls? Or on spackling holes in these walls? -Sent by SouthernHusker

Editor: I have plastic "wood" paneling in my house! Oh, the weirdness. Readers, any idea what SH is dealing with, and how best to live with it? Thanks!

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