How to remove Lathe and Plaster

Removing Lathe and Plaster from a 100 plus year old building is tough work!

Want to know how to do it?


One BIG HAMMER and lots of shovels!

Removing Lathe and plaster is a dusty job!

Don't make the mistake of trying to take down the lathe boards with the plaster. It makes the job 5 times more difficult. I started out trying to do everything in the room at the same time. Big mistake.

Here's the best way to do it in a couple easy steps:

  1. Remove all floor covering and cover any floor coverings that are staying in place. I am refinishing the hardwood floors, so I didn't worry too much about covering them. I'm going for the loft look anyway, so the scuffs and scrapes will add character!

  2. Remove all trim and baseboards from the room. This is especially important for the baseboards. Take your time if you plan to reuse them. I do not, so this went quickly for me.

  3. Start at the top of the room and use your hammer to beat the plaster and loosen it from the boards. You don't need to make holes in it, just get it loose enough to use a flat bar on it. There is a really good video on youtube that shows this.

  4. Lastly, start at the top of the wall and use a flat bar to pry off the lathe boards one at a time. I tried with the a sledge-hammer and made a mess. Go slowly and the job will go much quicker with less mess in the end.
  5. Here are some photos of the rooms I was working on today!

    This is a small room on the Sowtheast corner of the building.
    We were doing some work this week! The new roof is on and the interior demo and build out can really get going now! The restoration begins!
    These are some of the old sinks that I've taken out of the buidling and since sold. I have no use for them as they weren't really in that good of shape. The round one was made of cast-iron, but I wasn't a big fan of the shape or it's condition.
    This is the main hallway on the North side of the building. There were 4 one bedroom apartments up here back in the 1980's. I think this upstairs was originally office's back when the building was built in 1905, but I have no proof other than the floors and the layout of everything. Just a guess.
    I wish I could have saved some of these old cast iron bathtubs! These would have been great in someone's old house. They were in great shape too!. The only problem is that I have a new roof on the building and it would take a crane to lift them out.... So they get the sledgehammer!
    Radiators are the same way! I wish someone would have spoken up about the radiators. They are getting beaten to death and will be scrapped! It's too bad, but they would be dangerous to try and carry them down the stairs. To the scrap yard they go!
    Finished getting all the plaster out... Tomorrow I'll finish taking all the lathe boards down...

    Well... there you have the progress report from the old building. I'm hoping to get this thing fixed up by the end of summer and start working on the plans I have for a shared office and co-working space! I think this could be something cool!

    And there's only one way to find out!


    P.S. twitter or email.

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