Restoring decorative plaster cornice takes time and patience, but it is worth it! After all, if you are lucky enough to have antique decorative plaster cornice in your home, you will want to take care of it. Decorative plaster cornice is common in Victorian homes; however it is not often that it is found fully in tact. Restoring decorative plaster cornice can return it to its former glory. Here is a step by step guide to restoring decorative plaster cornice.
Decorative plaster cornice was used in houses in the 1800’s and sometimes later to beautify the ceilings. Decorative plaster cornice often was used to create a border around the ceiling or as a ceiling rosette. It was created in many designs, from simple shapes to more ornate patterns. The more elaborate decorative plaster cornice designs are less likely to be fully in tact.
The first step in restoring decorative plaster cornice is to evaluate its condition. Has it been painted or chipped? Are there sections missing? Is the paint color appropriate? For instance, if the cornice is painted in garish blues and oranges, you will want re-painting to be a part of the restoration process.
If there are sections or pieces of the plaster cornice missing, you will need to get a professional plasterer to use a mold to restore the cornice. Since there are so few houses around that still have decorative plaster cornice, restoring it takes special skills. Enquire to some plasterers who have special expertise in restoring old buildings.
Once missing pieces or sections of the plaster cornice are replaced, it’s time to think about color and finish. If a past home owner decided to paint the decorative cornice in crazy colors, you have a task on your hands!
Seeking the advice of a restoration professional will tell you whether the paint should be removed from the cornice or it should simply be painted over. A problem with removing the paint is that some harsh paint removers can actually remove detail from the plaster work. You don’t want this to happen, so it may be best to simply paint over the plaster in white. If the plaster cornice has been painted in an especially bright color, it may take more than one coat to cover it.
Re-painting plaster cornice can be painstaking and take a lot of time. You may choose to hire a professional or do it yourself. It takes a steady hand and preferable a safe trestle ladder on which to stand. Pretend you are Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel!
Although restoring decorative plaster cornice takes time and hard work, it is very much worth it. Lastly, remember that whatever you decide to do with your plaster cornice, seeking a professional’s advice will keep you from doing anything that would harm it.