Z-Brick Removal #2

Z-Brick Removal #2
In the first installment of Kitchen Renovation Nightmares I began a discussion of removing Z-Brick.  The prior owner of our house covered all of the kitchen and laundry walls in faux brick (Z-Brick).  We wanted to redo our kitchen and the Z-Brick had to go!  Of course this was harder than we thought.

Our house is over 60 years old, and we did not want to have to demolish the walls.  As I mentioned last time, I learned about a technique called skim coating that I hoped would fix the problem.  I determined to test the technique.  I chose a section of wall in the laundry room as my test area.

Z-Brick is affixed to the wall with a cement-like material.  The “bricks” come off somewhat easily with a hammer and pry bar.  However, the wall surface that is left is pretty bad, with chunks removed, globs of cement, and very rough sections of cement.

This next view gives you a better idea of how rough the wall is after taking off the bricks.

In order to prepare the surface for skim coating, I proceeded by knocking off the globs of cement with a hammer and putty knife.  This left me with a “smoother” surface with chunks of plaster missing:

My next step was to power-sand the wall with coarse grit sandpaper.  This gave me a more uniform surface that still had many chunks missing:

From here, I decided to patch the areas where there were open spots, dips, and holes.  I used light spackling compound for the patching.  Once the compound was hard, I sanded it:

The final step before beginning the skim coat was to prime the surface.  For this purpose, I used Zinsser® Bulls Eye 1-2-3® Water Base Primer paint.

The test area was now ready for skim coating.  While the picture makes the area look smooth, it was definitely quite rough.

Next time, I will go through the actual skim coating process I followed.  I found over time that some things worked and some did not.

Until then.