The Cross House
When I purchased the Cross House in 2014, every room looked like a bomb had gone off in it. There were holes in all the plaster walls and ceilings. Some plaster walls and ceilings were missing entirely, like the library, which was 95% bare studs.
I sheetrocked the library, and sheetrocked over the heavily damaged parlor ceiling. And now these two rooms, at least, are ready to be introduced to polite society.
But…uneasy lies my head with the results. And I have proceeded no further.
You see, I adore plaster-on-lath walls and ceilings. A plaster house sounds better than a sheetrocked house. I also like the idea of plaster-on-lath and this is one of the fundamental things I love about old houses.
So, why am I introducing sheetrock?
Uneasy lies my head.
Last November I did a post about the terrible conditions I must ye reckon with…
In my November post, Pat wrote in and asked if I knew about Alex, who has his own blog and wrote about how he taught himself to plaster walls using a product by Master Of Plaster (MOP). Then Alex wrote in! And he strongly recommended I go with plaster.
Well, all this has been mulling around my uneasy head.
Recently, I was urged to cover over all my damaged ceilings with blue board. This is just like sheetrock but has a blue facing which is designed for plaster. So, I would blue board over all my ceilings, then plaster over them using MOP.
But I could not find where to buy blue board. This was not entirely a surprise as how many people plaster their houses today?
So, I reached out to Master of Plaster, and Lauren has been remarkably, amazingly responsive. Back and forth we have gone and Lauren also discovered that finding a blue board supplier in Kansas was not an easy thing.
However, Lauren did not think I needed to blue board over all my 123-year-old bomb-damaged walls and ceilings. Why not just restore them? You know, with lath? And then plaster over?
All of a sudden this seems like the duh obvious solution.
Why not, indeed, reinstall lath where it is missing, and then plaster over this? Just like it was done in 1894?
MOP can supply 5-gallon buckets of premixed base coat, and pre-mixed finish coat. Between the two coats one can apply fiberglass mesh (window screening) to help create a solid finished surface. Alex assures me that I can do all this and, zounds, enjoy the process.
Well, I am fascinated by all this, and giddy at the prospect of actually being able to restore the highly damaged plaster of the Cross House in an authentic way.
I am curious, too. What is your experience with damaged plaster?