And I did forget about it until this painting project came to pass. So yesterday, after doing some internet research, (which amounted to wildly conflicting advice on how to deal with plaster problems that freaked me out even more) I gathered my meager supplies and timidly approached the wall. At the end of the afternoon, this was the result of my efforts.....
This area of the wall has secretly nagged at my soul since I got the house. I knew it had to be dealt with but I was really scared about what was behind there, what was causing the wall to be disfigured. I was so sure it was something awful and costly, so I ignored it. Turns out it was not some big, horrid and expensive flaw that would require crews of workmen and beau-coup $$$$! There was no bogeyman. Instead it was just plain old age and ain't nobody getting away from that!
The base coat plaster had, over time, pulled away from the lath in the wall and had bunched up underneath the top coat plaster. There was also a complete kitchen renovation that "shared" the same wall, so I'm sure the settling of that project placed stress on this already weak area of plaster.
Heck, the house was built in 1939 so I guess she is due a little sagging here and there. In fact, this episode has made me appreciate how smooth and sound the rest of the plaster walls are. I can't wait till they are all pretty and painted!