Over the summer and fall, we took on the task of plaster restoration at the Roff Home. Water damage over the years had destroyed far too much plaster for us to just take on the task of patching or repairing plaster walls. Whatever we chose to do, it would have to be a complete reconstruction of the plaster coatings on the walls.
Above and below are a couple of pics that show what the walls used to look like, with their cracked and peeling paint, cracked and washed away plaster, exposed brick, and overall aesthetic malaise.
We chose to replace the plastering rather than do drywall, because historic preservation guidelines for Victorian homes claim that it is more historically accurate to keep plaster, and I like the look of plaster more than drywall. So for this Victorian home, I decided to go with plaster.
I have to say that I have never gotten used to the hollow sound of drywall, of knocking on a wall and hearing that echo behind it. To me, it’s akin to the false walls of a set for a play, where the walls shake when a door is slammed too hard.
The man who has been doing the plastering work comes from a family that has done plastering in this town for nearly 150 years. And he is the last plasterer left in his family. He wasn’t convinced he should do the job, but I told him that it was probably his relatives who plastered this house some 140 years ago, and it would be a great continuation of his family history if he were to help renew the home for the next 100 years of its life. He agreed.
Here’s a pic of the walls of the front parlor after plastering was complete. What a difference a little plaster can make!