My house is about 100 years old. All the walls are papered. We would like to strip the paper off and paint. When we peel back the paper, the walls have an unfinished, concrete type of appearence. I've been told that this is horsehair plaster (lath and plaster). My question is this, can I just paint this or do I need to apply some sort of finish plaster to it first. I talked to some people and get different responses. Some say just paint it, some say apply a skim coat of joint compound first, and some say apply a coat of oil based primer prior to painting.
Also, how do I repair holes (some lage approx. 8in. accross)?