Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ok, on 3, ready….

The medallion is up! I had to call a friend over to help get it on the ceiling. I got it upstairs and on to the scaffolding alright, but man-handling it on to the ceiling while I tried to secure it proved to be a bit much.

I started this morning by cleaning up the rest of the wallpaper. There were still a few remnants at one edge. These were painted remnants and did not come off with out a fight. It always seems to be the case with these things that 90% of it comes off in an hour and then the last 10% takes another hour. It is very frustrating.

I then rolled on a coat of the Weld-Crete. It is a kind of masonry adhesive that helps the skim-coat stick to the original plaster. This is made by the same company that makes Plasterweld. I then broke for lunch while the Weld-Crete dried. After lunch I skim-coated the ceiling. The skim-coating went well, but I always feel like it isn’t going well while I’m doing it.

When the plaster is wet it is hard to get smooth. Then as it sets up you go over it once or twice more to get it smooth as glass. It is really an issue of timing. You can’t wait too long for the last pass, but if you go too early it is frustrating because you can’t get it smooth. It is really is an art form. Electrical, plumbing, and framing can all be learned in a matter of hours. Plaster takes a lot of practice and patience.

After I got the medallion up stairs and on to the ceiling I made a few attempts to get it on myself. It is just too big for one person. I called my friend Chuck and got his wife. I explained that I had bought this salvage plaster medallion on Craig’s List and needed Chuck’s help getting it up. He wasn’t home but called back 10 minutes later. When I answered the phone the first words out of his mouth were, “You Son of a Bitch”. It turns out Chuck saw the medallion on Craig’s List and called just after I did. He also told me another friend of ours, Phil, was the 3rd person to call.


Despite me snagging the treasure first, Chuck was over in a matter of minutes to help put it up. It was not without a few problems, but it is up and it ain’t going no where. I need to fill in around the edges and fix a broken corner, but for the most part the deed is done. It is hard to believe I just bought this thing 4 days ago. Even with my confidence that it is securely fashioned to the ceiling I’m walking around the house very gingerly tonight.

Next I will prep the walls for skim-coating, then there is a decision to make. Do I put picture rail in the stairwell. I’m leaning towards yes, but that would mean more delay until I can take the scaffolding down.


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