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Plaster walls show an older building is of substantial character. Plaster walls are constructed using a four-part system. First, strips of woods called lath are nailed horizontally to the upright structural members of the wall’s framing. This lath is spaced approximately ¼” apart. When the first coat of plaster called the scratch coat is coated over the lath, much of the plaster is forced between the spacing and enters the openings and clings to the roughened surface of the backing lath, locking the scratch coat to the lath. The plaster locking the brown coat to the back of the lath is called the key. Over this, scratch coat is applied to the brown coat, followed by the finish coat of plaster called the white coat. If either the lath or brown coat have suffered damaged, it is probably more cost effective to remove the plaster wall completely and install drywall in its place. If only the white coat is damaged and the brown coat is in good repair it is probably more cost effective to repair using either patching plaster or ...