Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scored Plaster

I'm in the middle of the thankless job of stripping all of the paint off of the scored plaster in my kitchen below the chair rail. Whose bright idea was it to do this? Oh, that's right. Mine.

I have one wall completely done. I will admit that the scoring in the plaster looks much crisper now that 5 layers of paint have been removed. The scored plaster is very cool. One of those small details you only find in an old house.

I think I'm going to paint this one wall the vintage red to see how it looks before I move on to stripping the paint off of the rest. Just to give me some hope & motivation.

The plan: New chair rail to replace the mysteriously missing one. Wallpaper above the chair rail. Paint below.

Oh, and I managed to fit three complete sets of dishes (Dansk, Sargadelos & Fire King) into my new cabinet.


Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

I am glad you posted this detail - few people seem to know about it. We have original scored plaster in our bathroom - to look like subway tile. My wife wants to get rid of it. I love it and hope to get it looking nice again. Stripping it though? Wow!

Mike said...

Nice work, I'm very impressed by your patience!

We had scored plaster in the bathrooms of our previous house and in the bathroom at Foxcroft. Every one of those rooms had serious cracks and plaster had fallen off. I ended up covering all of them with beadboard.

What are you thinking of a profile for the chair rail? Ours in the kitchen and the bathroom are both 1 X 4 boards with a 30 degree bevel top and bottom if that's helpful.


Karen Anne said...

I never heard of scored plaster, how interesting.

StuccoHouse said...

Tiny Oak - Oh, you have to convince her to keep it! She has to trust you it will look good after all the woodwork you stripped. I have found stripping plaster is a LOT easier than wood. I started out using a heat gun, but have moved on to only using Zinsser StripFast. I put it on, go do something, take it off when it's all wrinkled.

Mike - What I lack in skill, I make up in patience :-) I'm not sure why no one scored plaster in new house. Youw ould think scored plaster would be about the same price as tile.

As you can see in the picture, my "tile" does have a big crack...and towards the bottom the plaster has shifted at the crack a bit. Luckily, none of it threatens the integrity of the plaster, so I'm calling it "charm" and accepting it.

The profile for my chair rail is very simple, yet non standard size. It's just a .5" x 3" strip of birch. I do have some remaining original rail in my kitchen, but for some mysterious reason, it's missing from 3 walls. The carpenter that made my cabinet, also cut some new chair rail to match the old for me. I would have loved something fancier like your house....

Karen Anne - I think it's a bit of a lost art. Which is surprising because, it's such a nice detail.

SyracuseShelly said...

I came across your blog while Googling scored plaster. I have a 1914 semi-bungalow, and like T.O.P. Bungalo, we just found scored plaster with a subway tile pattern in our bathroom underneath yellow bathroom tile. We have all of the tile off and the hubby is now scraping the tile adhesive. No fun job, but it will so be worth it. Thanks so much for the post! And I've gone back and poured over your past posts - I've laughed, I've cried, I've totally felt your pain over sewer pipes and opening up unintended "cans"!

StuccoHouse said...

Shelly - the scored plaster is cool, isn't it?! I don't envy you in having to remove adhesive. At least I only have a few layers of paint. Ha, that kind of sums up my life at StuccoHouse...."I've laughed, I've cried, I've felt pain" :)

Chris said...

I am relatively new to the historic house blogging world. However I have enjoyed reading through your blogs for helpful advice on my own little money pit.

What was your process for stripping the paint from your scored plaster. My whole kitchen has it going up to shoulder height and it is covered in paint, and I would like to strip it back down to bare plaster before painting again.


StuccoHouse said...

Chris - I started out using a heat gun, but moved on to using liquid chemical Zinsser StripFast. I first thought the liquid would melt the plaster, but it didn't have any impact on it other then to remove the paint. By the time I was done, the plaster itself was very clean and smooth. The lines look very crisp now. You are very lucky to have so much of it. It's a great, subtle detail.

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