Traditional plasterers achieve perfectly flat and smooth walls with nothing more than a trowel...no sanding required.

Yes, you heard me, no sanding at all!

For years I've used what was readily available to achieve the "plaster" look. At this point I've probably applied close to 300 gallons of joint compound to give our walls the authentically vintage look of plaster. I've also discussed this somewhat labor intensive and messy method at length, which included the many MANY references to sanding it all smooth until my arms could sand no more.

Over the years I adopted techniques to ease the process, tools to reduce the mess, dust collection methods to keep the drywall dust from venturing into each and every nook and cranny in the house. But no matter how good I got, it was always the same: apply, sand, apply, sand, apply, sand, repeat until you cry out to the wall "I have a bad mustache and I just can't take this any longer!"

Your situation may be different than mine, but you get the idea.

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Do you remember our dingy, floral on floral on floral covered first floor bathroom?

You know, the one that we started stripping wallpaper in the first weekend we owned the house in 2014, and then kept starting and restarting projects in until it ended up looking like this?

After all we've done in this tiny little room to resolve the number of flowers that rivaled the number of weeds in our garden, it's now a functional bathroom with a fair amount of charm. But we had one final aspect of the project we needed to finish before we could officially call it complete. The vanity! Here's a look back at the way it looked when we bought the house.

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Comments 15

There's just something I love about a white picket fence and brick garden walkway.

When we were looking at houses two summers ago, there were many things that attracted us to the home we ultimately ended up buying. The location on the water was number one for me, but we also loved the age and history of the home, the big wraparound porch, the Christmas staircase, and the charming white picket fence surrounding the garden.

But back when we installed a completely new HVAC and plumbing system, unfortunately the house took a beating as we worked to put Humpty Dumpty back together. Switching to a new geothermal HVAC system not only meant digging up the majority of the front yard...

...but it also meant it was time to abandon the old oil powered system. With the oil tank no longer in use, we wanted to have it removed so that we didn't have to worry about it down the line, possibly corroding and leaking. So we had our contractors drain it and take it away, but in order to get to it and run the geothermal pipes they had to remove a section of the picket fence, pull up roughly 20 feet of the charming brick-lined walkway, and dig a big hole. 

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Lime based plaster is sort of the holy grail of plaster restoration, so why is it so hard to find a suitable plaster product? Apparently you just need to know where to look.

Last week we shared part 1 of our two part post on our plaster repair project. It involved using Structo-Lite as the base coat to even out irregularities around the room. We also embedded fiberglass screen in the plaster to act as an isolation membrane of sorts, which will help prevent future cracks. And we also covered the use of Plaster Weld, which helped us apply the Structo-Lite plaster to new drywall patches. Whew...that was a lot of work to get that first coat on.

After the first base coat was wrapped up we turned our focus to the second coat, and that's where the real lime based plaster work started. But before I get ahead of myself, let me get you caught up on the experience I already had working with Master of Plaster.

We began working with the proper lime based restoration plaster product just before Wendy's hip surgery in January. The first five gallon bucket on the first wall seemed to go really well, except we had a few areas where the mica in the plaster seemed to be pulling with the trowel, leaving deep gouges and a very irregular surface.

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Back in January we shared the first steps we were taking to properly restore our original plaster walls. Today we have part one (of a two part) update on our progress.

In true Alex form, this project has stretched on and on, taking far longer than any reasonable project timeline should. I spent the lull between activity doing what I do best, obsessing about the work we were doing and how to make the end result the best it could be while essentially paralyzing myself from making headway. But as we're finally nearing the conclusion, I'm extremely excited to share some major advances in taking our walls from damaged and dingy...

...to crisp and limie.

This whole endeavor started last year when we realized many of the walls in our historic weekend home were actually drywall applied over top of original rough finish plaster.

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