Saturday, July 04, 2009


Yesterday I skim-coated the walls in the dining room and today I did the ceiling. It went well – I think {I hope}. It is kind of hard to tell. I painted on the Weld-Crete on Thursday and it is an odd shade of blue. After skim-coating, the blue color shows through a bit and gives the walls a very mottled look to them. It is very hard to see irregularities.

Normally, I would end up with a more uniform color to the walls and it is easy to spot and fix bad areas before the plaster sets. With these walls it was like plastering by Braille. I know there are a few areas that will need attention. The bay window was a tough area to skim-coat. Those little strips on either side of the window were especially difficult to get right. There is no question I will need to - GASP! – sand them down and go over them again.

The other problem area is where the plaster meets the wood. I had plastic covering the wood and it kept getting in the way of the trowel. There are areas where the plastic is stuck in the plaster a little bit. I also may need to go over a few areas where the walls meet the ceiling. I’m going to let the plaster set up and do all of this next weekend.

Tomorrow though, I get to install this charming little thing…

I bought this at Ohmega Salvage in The Bay Area about 4 years ago and it has been up in the attic ever since. It is real plaster, but it is a reproduction. The high relief areas on the 4 sides are of fruits and vegetables, so it seems fitting for the dining room. I figured since I have the scaffolding up and the plaster equipment out, I might as well install it.

It comes in 5 pieces and they get assembled on the ceiling and then the seams filled with plaster. I will be painting it a gloss white instead of an eye-popping color scheme. My research tells me that this was the more traditional way of finishing these medallions. When ever you look at old, period pictures, the medallions are always white unless they are installed in over-the-top Rococo Revival style interiors with other gilded or painted plaster work on the ceiling. This high style was usually reserved for large and impressive rooms in mansions.

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