Like our foyer, the front room has canvas on all the walls. Way back when it was common to lay canvas over plaster walls to help cover up any cracking that might occur. However, over time the canvas can separate from the plaster and the cracks eventually start to show
The first step in prepping this room to get it ready to (eventually) paint, is to peel off, clean, and repair the really troublesome canvas areas.
In came the ladder
And up I climbed to assess the situation
Not too pretty. So out came the utility knife to cut away the really cracked and peeling parts
I tried to keep the peeling away to a minimum, but it went a little further than I anticipated
After the first patch was exposed (that black grime you see isn't mold, it's just dirty adhesive that's left from attaching the canvas to the wall), I moved throughout the room working on other problematic areas
Once all the work was done to cut away the peeling and separated canvas, we were better able to see what the problem was.
In some places, the ceiling and walls will need to get repaired a bit (a la work on my art room ceiling way back nearly 2 years ago)
The plaster separates from the lathe and work needs to be done to reattach things so it doesn't separate even further.
In other places, we'll just have to clean things up, reattach the corners of the canvas to the plaster (using wallpaper glue), patch the hairline cracks, re-texture to make a smooth transition from areas that have no canvas to the original canvas walls, and then paint some elastomeric primer to cover up any last cracks that are visible.
It'll be a lot of prep before we can even think about getting to the painting, but it'll to a whole lot to bringing this room back to life :)