Plaster was finished today

Plaster downstairs

Plaster texture

Dining looking into the kitchen

Plaster upstairs

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8 Responses to Plaster was finished today

  1. ShimFarm says:

    YES! While some people might see unfinished mill work, I see finished walls! I’d be so happy, I’d be rolling on the floors with delight. It’s not even my house and I’m freaking out for you.

    The finish is really interesting. Pardon my ignorance, but it’s just a skim-coat of plaster troweled on (no doubt masterfully) to give the texture? Is that something particular to the Craftsman age?

    Things are really coming along…so thrilled for you!

    • lee says:

      We’ve been just about rolling on the floors. Not today though. It’s clouded with paint fumes. Still, I couldn’t resist a quick run through to see that yes, they really did prime every room in less than 5 hours.

      As far as I’ve read, “skim coat plaster” is how plaster finishes are applied today. They hang blue wallboard (the water-rated stuff) and hit all the factory edge seams once to fill in the low spots. When that sets up (15 to 90 mins, depending on the plaster formula), they tape all the corners and coat everything once to get a consistent surface. Then there is one more pass to apply the finish. It dries a lot quicker than plaster of days of yore, which was applied up to an inch thick in places to flatten out the bumps in the framing and lathe.

      The texture is called “distressed smooth”, although it’s not quite as smooth as I was hoping for. It’s not period accurate per se. Period accurate would have been a coarse sand finish, made with pebbly sand that’s not even available today. I was mainly happy to get a plaster crew in the first place. Drywall and mud are the norm here with heavy textures or orange peel finishes. Plaster has a somewhat different aesthetic and makes for a much harder surface. I’ve read that plaster houses sound different too (quieter), although I don’t know how you’d tell the difference without building two houses.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Sooo exciting! I’m thrilled for you that things are underway and that you have the pleasure of not doing it yourselves. Yay!!! Can’t wait for the next pics, and the next, and…

    • lee says:

      Us too! I think we are nearing the end of the decision making process. At some point, I’m looking forward to being able to relax and just watch the rest of the work unfurl without someone telling me to pick three paint colors, the bathroom light fixture and the kitchen cabinet knobs by yesterday!

  3. Snowbrush says:

    I would guess that someone in the household wishes that all this had been done years ago. It’s funny how much we humans put up with and how long we put up with it before we do something better. We simply get stuck sometimes.

  4. Woody says:

    I really like the knocked down plaster. My dad was somewhat perplexed that we would want such a finish on new ceilings in our home. He likes everything smooth and shiny but hates a hardwood floor.

    • lee says:

      Hate hardwood floors? Inconceivable! ­čÖé

      It’s funny how regional wall finishes are. I’ve been on a lot of internet forums for various trades and my opinion is that the drywall forums are the most mean spirited and trollish, possibly because each user believes their regional practices are the best–trowels vs. knives, hawks vs. pans, paper vs. mesh, drying mud vs. hot mud vs. plaster, spray texture vs. hand texture vs. smooth, etc, etc, etc.

      I grew up in the Midwest where textures were applied to ceilings and walls were smooth. I tend to like smooth walls that hint at being hand-made. Out here on the West coast, many people have never even seen a smooth wall. When we went on the home tour this summer, there were two homes with what I considered “perfect” wall finishes, and both had a very subtle troweled plaster finish. The guys that did our house were not that crew and I’m not sure they could do exactly the finish I wanted (or I could afford it if they did), but I’m happy with the result overall and I think the less perfect areas will grow on me. It’s not as aggressive as some of the pictures above would suggest and paint is supposed to tone it down further.

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