Plaster veneer over blueboard is still commonly used in higher-end new residential construction these days, but in Greater Boston, there’s a high likelihood you’ll find plaster walls or ornamentation in many older homes; in fact more than 50% of Boston’s housing stock feature original lathe and plaster walls and ceiling. Historic properties like these are our cup of tea, our bread and butter!
Newton, Wellesley, Brookline, and other towns are full of homes built before the widespread adoption of drywall (gypsum board), which became the go-to medium in the mid-20th century. With that, Catchlight Panting’s talented carpenters, painters, and restoration experts must be well-versed/experienced in plaster restoration to keep our client’s historic homes beautiful.
When Catchlight is brought on for an interior painting project, we’ll first do some investigative work and assess what overall condition the plaster is in and what specific areas may need repair. As this whole-home survey is happening, we’ll also work to learn what the original building processes were, what era the plaster is from, the underlying lath structure, and determine whether we must prepare to work with horsehair plaster or not.
Once all of the information about the home is collected, we’ll have a clear plan to begin the plaster restoration work. Also, it should be noted that plaster can be a visual identifier for more significant structural issues within a home. If anything suspicious presents itself, we’ll inform the property owner before proceeding with any work.
Plaster Restoration – How the Work Happens
While each project’s needs and strategies will be different, here’s an overview of the step-by-step procedures Catchlight will follow for plaster restoration work:
Clean and prepare the space(s): Plaster restoration can be messy (to say the least), so we’ll deploy all of our ventilation, safety, and surface protection materials before any work is done. It’s also important to clear debris and damaged materials before any prep work can begin.
Apply plaster treatment: Depending on the level of damage and the type of plaster, consolidation treatments can be applied to repair and salvage the original plaster. It’s always preferred to maintain the authenticity and integrity of the home’s original plaster if possible.
Create/source replacement plaster for repairs: We leave no stone unturned to create plaster that matches/emulates the original plaster material used. From there, we can patch areas of the walls or molding that need it.
Texture-matching surfaces – With trowels, brushes, and a bevy of other tools, we’ll work the newly applied plaster layers to match the surrounding area’s surface textures.
Please note that historic plaster restoration is completed layer by layer, so that these steps will happen after repeat drying sessions.
Restoration in Greater Boston
We’ve worked within historic homes in Greater Boston for over three decades and will accept nothing less than reference-level results for our clients.