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Hudson Valley Plaster restoration

Damaged Plaster Ceiling and plaster molding

Ceiling repaired with first coat of plaster

Plaster molding replicated and installed

Ceiling skimmed and plaster molding installed

Plaster ceiling repaired, molding replicated and installed

Project finished


Bronx Plaster restoration

Damaged Plaster Molding

Plaster molding damage

Plaster molding ran in place with real plaster, no sheet rock, no dust.

Plaster molding replicated and installed to match existing molding

Plaster Restoration Englewood, NJ

Water damaged plaster ceiling

Water damaged plaster molding

Removal of water damaged plaster

Damaged plaster removed to wooden lath

Our team of artisans handcrafted this custom plaster molding to blend in with existing conditions

Installation complete - all work carried out in real plaster (old school); NO compound, NO Spackle.


Hudson County, NJ Plaster Restoration

damaged plaster molding

plaster molding replicated and installed

ceiling with damaged plaster molding

repaired plaster molding

view of ceiling with damaged plaster molding


Damaged Plaster Ceiling and Plaster Molding

damaged plaster molding

Ceiling secured and scratch coated

Plaster ceiling re-plastered and plaster molding replicated and installed

Finished ceiling and molding

Morris County, NJ Plaster restoration

Water damaged Plaster wall, ceiling and molding.

Plaster scratch coat

Finished plaster wall/ceiling ready for plaster molding

Plaster molding replicated and installed on walls and ceiling.

Finished project.



Plaster ceiling/molding repaired - new construction - Upper Montclair, NJ

Damaged Plaster ceiling - removed back to joists

rib wire mesh attached to joists

Scratch coat

second coat

Diamond plaster finish

Plaster molding and ceiling finished

Manhattan, NYC Ornamental Plaster Molding Restoration

Egg and dart molding and dental molding was damaged in a foyer of a downtown building we removed the damaged parts, replicated them and installed the newly produced moldings to match existing ones.

Damaged dental and 'egg and dart' plaster molding

Finished plaster molding restored

Damaged plaster moldings

Restored plaster molding

New Jersey project - Re-plastered staircase and landing walls

Staircase re-plastered

Re-skimmed staircase

Veneer plaster - No sanding involved

No dust, no mess

Smooth as glass

Finished plastered staircase

skylight ceiling

re-plastered wall and ceiling

New York Plaster restoration repair

damaged plaster ceiling

ceiling getting repaired in plaster (not sheetrock)

ceiling with molding repaired

view of repaired plaster molding

damaged plaster molding

plaster molding replicated

just like new

finished ceiling

plaster molding replicated and installed on ceiling - just like original again


Yonkers Plaster ceiling repair

Plaster ceiling finished 'as smooth as glass'

Ceiling re-skimmed as new In Plaster not compound (no sanding required)


New Jersey - Lath and plaster restoration

Plaster wall damage

Finished wall and ceiling

New York - Lath and Plaster Restoration

Damaged Plaster Ceiling

Buckled plaster ceiling

Plaster ceiling repaired with plaster not sheetrock
Like New!!

Elizabeth NJ - Plaster repair - walls and ceilings - water damaged

Severe water damaged walls and ceiling

Veneer Plaster

Finished Diamond Plaster

Bestwall Plastering Facebook Page

Darien, CT - Plaster molding repair

Damaged Plaster Molding

Plaster Molding

Finished plaster molding repaired and installed

Plaster ceiling repair - New York State

Water Damaged Plaster Ceiling

Entire ceiling re-skimmed

Finished Plaster Ceiling - Like New

Brownstone in Brooklyn - major ceiling repair

1. Damaged plaster ceiling.

2. Entire ceiling replastered.

3. Finished ceiling.
(repaired, re-plastered and painted)
Like New.

New Jersey Plaster molding repair and installation

Damaged Plaster molding replicated and installed

Ornate Plaster Ceiling Repair/Installation by Bestwall Plastering, NYC, NY 10005

1. Ornate plaster ceiling collapsed caused by water damage

2. Plaster Friezes duplicated and installed

3. Ceiling re-skimmed and new plaster molding installed.


Water damaged plaster ceiling and medallion - Replicated, repaired and installed

water damaged ceiling and plaster molding

water damaged ceiling medallion

damaged ceiling medallion removed

plaster molding and plaster ceiling repaired

Medallion replicated and installed

finished ceiling with molding and medallion

finished ceiling

Ceiling Plaster Molding Design Repair - updated

Painted ceiling

Finished Painted Ceiling

Finished Ceiling

Damaged Plaster ceiling molding design

Painted finished ceiling

Repaired Plaster ceiling molding

Painted ceiling

Plaster ceiling molding replica installed

Finished Ceiling

Finished Ceiling


Water damaged molding repaired, installed and painted

Molding removed

Molding removed

Molding removed

Plaster molding installed

Plaster molding installed

Plaster molding installed

Molding installed and painted

Molding installed and painted

Painted walls and ceilings

Painted molding

Finished walls and ceilings

Molding installed and painted

Plaster Molding (damaged, removed, replicated and installed)

Damaged Plaster Molding

Damaged Molding Removed

Plaster Molding Replicated and Installed

Damaged Plaster Molding

Damaged Molding Removed

Plaster Molding Installed

Plaster Molding Replicated and Installed

Finished Plaster Molding Installed

Finished Plaster Molding Installed

Damaged Plaster ceiling (Plaster repaired, Plaster molding Installed and painted)

Damaged Plaster Ceiling

Damaged ceiling

Repairing Process

Plastering the damaged ceiling

Finished Ceiling

Finished Plaster Ceiling

Plaster Medallion installed


Finished ceiling (Plastered and painted)

Textured plaster on staircase

Textured Plastered Wall

Textured Plaster

Textured Plaster Wall on Staircase

Staircase wall

Textured Plastered Wall

Textured Plaster

Plaster Molding designed and installed on fireplace

Fireplace before

fireplace and wall

Damaged Plaster ceiling with plaster molding replicated, installed and Painted (Phase two)

These are the pictures of the finished ceiling and repaired molding when painted.


What type of plaster should you use?

What is Plastering?

Plastering is a process used to produce an acceptable final wall or ceiling finish to a building prior to decoration. A substrate is the surface to which the plastering system is to be applied. Backing coats which cover the substrates are between 9mm and 40mm thick under normal circumstances and the overall thickness can be built up in coats as is necessary.

Ceilings and Partitions

In older building, these areas are covered in a layer of timber laths which are plastered over. When strength is required, a thin steel sheet mesh called expanded metal lath is fixed in place and then plastered over. In contemporary fast-track work plasterboards are fixed in place, the joints taped with a fibre mesh tape (scrim) to prevent cracking and then skimmed over with a finishing coat of a gypsum plaster.


Basic plasterboard is a flat sheet of gypsum between 9mm and 12.5mm thick, sandwiched between sheets of durable paper. Boards are also available with various backings of differing thickness to improve insulation, restrict the passage of water vapor and to protect against fire. It has become common practice to bond or fix plasterboards to substrates to serve as the backing plaster coat. This method is known as dot and dab or drywall.

Finishing Coats

Finishing coats are usually between 3mm and 5mm and bring the backing coats to a smooth skim finish. Finishing plasters used to produce these setting coats are available as premixed gypsum plasters. Finishing coats can also be lime putty and fine sand or a mixture of lime, sand and gypsum known as gauged setting stuff.

Solid Plastering

Solid plastering denotes backing coats of a paste or mortar-type consistency comprised of an aggregate and a binding matrix. Binders include lime, gypsum and cement. Aggregates include sand, vermiculite and perlite.

Choosing a Plastering Material

Lime plasters are compatible with old buildings containing slight dampness. They are said to breathe, which means they allow moisture to evaporate from the wall before it shows as damp patches. It is always worth considering why moisture is present in the wall in the first place?

Gypsum plasters set much quicker than lime plasters, so speed up waiting times between coats. In cold conditions gypsum backing plasters can take a long time to dry. Gypsum backing plasters (and this includes standard plasterboards) should never be used on damp walls. Gypsum plasters are compatible with dry brickwork or blockwork, preferably to internal surfaces of cavity wall construction.

Cement-based plasters or renders have their uses, they can be gauged with lime and used externally, and can be useful for waterproofing and tanking. Strong mixes can pull away from weak backgrounds and are brittle – cracking if slight movement of the building occurs, they can also be cold and attract condensation.

Ornamental Plastering

Decorative plasterwork has a long history. Mouldings were originally run in-situ with ornaments cast in carved boxwood, pear-wood or hard plaster and gelatine moulds using composition materials and gauged setting stuff. At a later date fibrous plastering techniques arrived, first used in France, the technique involves the use of Plaster of Paris with hessian/canvass scrim to reinforce casts and timber laths to assist fixing. With some timber, sheet steel, moulding compounds and a few bags of casting plaster, all manner of ornamental plasterwork can be created.



The Plasterer is a skilled craftsman who can spread plastering materials over a *substrate* producing a finish as required by the client.

Although plaster can be projected onto walls with pumps or sprays and one-coat plasters are available, most high class work still applied by the plasterer using hand tools in 3 coats consisting of a scratch coat to even out suction, a float coat to give an even surface and a finishing coat to produce a smooth finish.

*The word substrate comes from the Latin sub - stratum meaning 'the level below' and refers to any material existing or extracted from beneath the topsoil, including sand, chalk and clay. The term is also used for materials used in building foundations or else incorporated into plaster, brick, ceramic and concrete components, which are sometimes called 'filler' products.

How many coats of plaster do you need?

Plaster Coats (how many layers)

Plaster is applied in successive coats or layers on walls or lathing and gains its name from the number of these coats.
  • One coat work is the coarsest and cheapest class of plastering, and is limited to inferior buildings, such as outhouses, where merely a rough coating is required to keep out the weather and draughts. This is described as render on brickwork, and lath and lay or lath and plaster one coat on studding.
  • Two-coat work is often used for factories or warehouses and the less important rooms of residences. The first coat is of coarse stuff finished fair with the darby float and scoured. A thin coat of setting stuff is then laid on, and trowelled and brushed smooth. Two-coat work is described as render and set on walls, and lath, plaster and set, or lath, lay and set on laths.
  • Three-coat work is usually specified for all good work. It consists, as its name implies, of three layers of material, and is described as render, float and set on walls and lath, plaster, float and set, or lath, lay, float and set, on lathwork. This makes a strong, straight, sanitary coating for walls and ceilings.

The process for three coat work is as follows:

  • For the first coat a layer of well-haired coarse stuff, about 1 inch thick, is put on with the laying trowel. This is termed "pricking up" in London, and in America "scratch coating". It should be laid on diagonally, each trowelful overlapping the previous one. When on laths the stuff should be plastic enough to be worked through the spaces between the laths to form a key, yet so firm as not to drop off. The surface while still soft is scratched with a lath to give a key for the next coat. In Scotland this part of the process is termed "straightening" and in America "browning", and is performed when the first coat is dry, so as to form a straight surface to receive the finishing coat.
  • The second or "floating coat", and is 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick. Four operations are involved in laying the second coat, namely, forming the screeds; filling in the spaces between the screeds; scouring the surface; keying the face for finishing.
    • Wall screeds are plumbed and ceiling screeds leveled. Screeds are narrow strips of plastering, carefully plumbed and leveled, so as to form a guide upon which the floating rule is run, thus securing a perfectly horizontal or vertical surface, or, in the case of circular work, a uniform curve.
    • The filling in, or flanking, consists of laying the spaces between the screeds with coarse stuff, which is brought flush with the level of the screeds with the floating rule.
    • The scouring of the floating coat is of great importance, for it consolidates the material, and, besides hardening it, prevents it from cracking. It is done by the plasterer with a hand float that he applies vigorously with a rapid circular motion, at the same time sprinkling the work with water from a stock brush in the other hand. Any small holes or inequalities are filled up as he proceeds. The whole surface should be uniformly scoured two or three times, with an interval between each operation of from six to twenty-four hours. This process leaves the plaster with a close-grained and fairly smooth surface, offering little or no key to the coat that is to follow.
    • To obtain proper cohesion, however, a roughened face is necessary, and this is obtained by keying the surface with a wire brush or nail float, that is, a hand float with the point of a nail sticking through and projecting about 1/8 inch; sometimes a point is put at each corner of the float.
  • After the floating is finished to the walls and ceiling, the next part of internal plastering is the running of the cornice, followed by the finishing of the ceiling and walls.
  • The third and final coat is the setting coat, which should be about 1/8 inch thick. In Scotland it is termed the "finishing coat", and in America the "hard finish coat" or "putty coat". Setting stuff should not be applied until the floating is quite firm and nearly dry, but it must not be too dry or the moisture will be drawn from the setting stuff.

The process for three coat work is as follows:

  • The coarse stuff applied as the first coat is composed of sand and lime, usually in proportions approximating to two to one, with hair mixed into it in quantities of about a pound to two or three cubic feet of mortar. It should be mixed with clean water to such a consistency that a quantity picked up on the point of a trowel holds well together and does not drop.
  • Floating stuff is of finer texture than that used for pricking up, and is used in a softer state, enabling it to be worked well into the keying of the first coat. A smaller proportion of hair is also used.
  • Fine stuff mixed with sand is used for the setting coat. Fine stuff, or lime putty, is pure lime that has been slaked and then mixed with water to a semi-fluid consistency, and allowed to stand until it has developed into a soft paste.
    • For use in setting it is mixed with fine washed sand in the ratio of one to three.
    • For cornices and for setting when the second coat is not allowed time to dry properly, a special compound must be used. This is often gauged stuff, composed of three or four parts of lime putty and one part of plaster of Paris, mixed up in small quantities immediately before use. The plaster in the material causes it to set rapidly, but if it is present in too large a proportion the work will crack in setting.

The hard cements used for plastering are laid generally in two coats, the first of cement and sand 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick, the second or setting coat of neat cement about 1/8 inch thick.

The Art of Plastering featuring work preformed by Bestwall Plastering Inc

Customer Reviews


Review Date: June 12, 2013

Brooklyn, NY

Description of Work: Drywall and Plastering to walls and ceilings from water leak I contacted Bestwall Plastering to give me an estimate on some drywall and plastering work I needed. They arrived on time for estimate and was very knowledgeable about his profession, you can tell that Kieran knows what he is doing, he examined all the walls and ceilings then gave me a written estimate and explained everything that he was going to do and the time frame that it would take. It was well worth the consultation charge that I was credited to the cost of the job, it was a win win situation for me. On the day of the start of the job, Kieran and his crew arrived on time, they protected the rooms that was not getting any work to, they laid covering on the floors and also plastic so there would be no footprints and dust in my home. They done exactly what they said they told me they were going to do. They made the walls and ceiling perfect. It never looked better. I will recommend them to neighbors and friends if anyone is looking for similar work. The price was great also. Great company.

Review Date: May 06, 2013

Newark, NJ

Description of Work: I removed 3 large mirrors from a wall, which pulled the plaster down. I had cleaned up the loose pieces and had the wall re-plastered. After getting a few quotes, many turned out to be guys who wanted to tape and spackle the wall, rather than plaster it. I wanted the wall re-plastered, like the rest of the house. It cost a little more, but Kieran was worth it. The process he used involved no sanding and the wall is smooth and perfect. He is truly an artist and takes pride in every job, even a simple wall. I only wish the rest of my walls looked this good now!

Review Date: February 10, 2013

Stamford, CT

Description Of Work: Had electrical work done and needed the holes that the electrician left repaired. I had some electrical work done on my house and the electrician had made several holes to get behind the walls to run new wiring, when he was finished my walls were like swiss cheese. I called Bestwall Plastering to come for an estimate, they arrived on time and very professional, he walked through my house with me and took note of all the holes, gave me an estimate and the price was excellent, they came back 2 days later and repaired all the holes and skimmed the walls. Great workers, on time, clean and very courteous. Would recommend.

Review Date: February 6, 2013

Clifton, NJ

Description: Plaster Repair I had water damage to 2 bedrooms from a leak in my roof, I have an older home so the walls are real plaster not drywall and spackle, so I wanted to the repairs to be done in plaster but a lot of contractors out there don't do real plaster, they drywall and tape, I know that drywall and taping would fix my water damaged walls but I wanted the real thing. I found Bestwall Plastering while searching the internet and their reviews were great so I contacted them. They came and spent an hour with me explaining what needs to be done, how long it was going to take etc. I was delighted. They arrived a couple of days later, removed all the damaged walls and ceiling, installed and plastered everything. It took 2 days. Before they started they protected my floors and stairs, enclosed the rooms with plastic sheet so none of the rest of house would be disturbed while they were working. They were on time every day, very respectful of me and my home. They did an awesome job.

Review Date: January 03, 2013

Description: Part of my ceiling fell down. I came home from work and part of my kitchen ceiling was sitting on the floor. I went on line and searched for plastering/drywall repair contractors, found Bestwall Plastering and as it was an emergency they went out of their way to come and take a look, we agreed a price, date & time for them to do the job. They were great. Glad I found them.

Review Date: December 03, 2012

Description: Repair walls after paneling was removed. WOW, doesn't even come close to the reaction I had when I seen the finished walls. It was like night and day. I had bought an old house and there was paneling in the family room I removed some of it thinking i could just paint and be done, but when I started I knew this was more than I could handle so I called in the experts. I went on line and searched for plastering and drywall companies, and found Bestwall Plastering, they came looked at my walls and said no problem, we will fix this for you, gave me an estimate and the price was great. Arranged the day to start, they removed all the paneling and took all the trash with them, (less for me to have to worry about). They fixed and plastered the walls, they are so smooth now, my family room puts the rest of my house to shame, I will be getting them back when I am ready to tackle the hall and stairway (more paneling). Awesome company and magnificent service & craftsmanship.

Review Date: November 12, 2012

Description: Sections of the living room ceiling were buckling and one had fallen. Bestwall Plastering replaced three larger sections and repaired a couple of smaller areas, saying it was not necessary to replace the whole ceiling. We set up an appointment and Bestwall Plastering was prompt and reassuring. He explained how the areas would be repaired and re-plastered, gave us a very reasonable quote and set a date to do the work. It was postponed because of the hurricane and loss of power, but he responded as soon as our power was restored, a relief since a second section was bulging even more. The work was completed by midday and looks like new.

Review Date: November 07, 2012

Description: Utility room had water damage. Needed repair/replaced. My utility room which is built in to my back porch had water damage from a recent storm, I was not sure what was the best option for repair, I had a few contractors come and explain to me what need to be done, 2 of them wanted to do spackle and taping which was a cheap but very messy and dusty option. Bestwall Plastering came and told be they could replace the drywall and use a veneer plaster which was a little more expensive but there would be 99% less dust and cleaning up after. They were very clear in what my options were and explained how long it would take and what they would do. 2 days later they came done exactly what they said they would do. That was a month ago, I have since had my utility room painted and it looks great. Very happy with the experience and professionalism of Kieran and his crew.

Review Date: September 29, 2012

Description: Stairway and hall need to be re-plastered. They were prompt, professional, pleasant, friendly, very clean and efficient. They explained everything in detail before performing any work. I have a long hall and a steep staircase, it was all cracks and had fluffy plaster in places from water damage. They completely plastered walls and ceiling and the walls are as smooth as glass now, it is a shame I have to paint it. They cleaned up every day before leaving and it was a fantastic experience. I recommend Bestwall Plastering for all your plastering needs.

Review Date: August 21, 2012

Description: Plastering & molding replacement. The walls and ceiling in my formal dining room were bad with flaky plaster, they needed to be repaired. There was a molding on the ceiling which I thought could not be repaired but to my surprise, when Bestwall Plastering came to give me the estimate, they told be it can be repaired and they could replace/make a replica of the missing pieces, I was so happy. They re-plastered the walls, the ceiling and repaired the molding. My dining room is fabulous now. I received wonderful service from Bestwall Plastering and will be recommending them to every one I know.

Review Date: August 01, 2012

Description: Plaster molding repair /water damage. We have an older home 1935 which had some serious water damage and some of the ceilings /walls and plaster molding that needed repair. We contacted Bestwall Plastering who arrived on time looked at the job and he carefully explained the entire process from start to finish, A concern of ours was the dust problem, But everything was protected prior to work been started and they use veneer plaster not drywall compound so there is no sanding, they worked very fast and left our home very clean .They took a profile of the plaster molding and actually made it on the job Everything looks great would highly recommend Bestwall Plastering for any detailed work.

Review Date: July 07, 2012

Description: I had an addition to my Victorian home which left an interior door and a large window which had to be replaced with solid plaster to match the rest of the room. Bestwall Plastering came on July 3rd to see the job and gave an estimate which I found was reasonable. He returned Friday at 8:30 am to perform services. They did a great job. You cannot tell that there was a window and door in the walls that he repaired. I believe that the $75 consultation charge is reasonable for a professional to estimate the cost of a job. The consultation charge was deducted from the cost of the job. I would definitely call him again.

Review Date: June 23, 2012

Description: Re-surfaced ceiling in dining room, sitting room and bedroom Kieran is the master of plaster! He resurfaced a hideous stucco ceiling in my dining room and it is even and smooth. He also removed two large and heavy beams and all the crown molding from my living room and smoothed them over. The third room, the bedroom had sagging plaster between the ceiling beams and he strengthened and smoothed it to perfection, His actions define "professional" - from his accomplished skills as a plasterer to his customer service. I would recommend Kieran without reservations. A+++

Review Date: June 08, 2012

Description: Plaster repair in my apartment. I got an itemized estimate; they came on time and did a good job. Very professional.

Review Date: June 02, 2012

Description: Walls/Ceilings Plaster molding. Needed elaborate plaster molding installed in my kitchen to match my living room was built in 1880. Bestwall arrived explained the job and gave us a written proposal. They came back 2 days later took a cast of the mold and re created the plaster molding. Installed the new plaster molding and it looks terrific. We found it hard to find a company that can still do this type of work. They were clean, very fast friendly and finished on time.

Review Date: May 09, 2012

Description: Water Damaged ceiling from upstairs. He showed up on time looked at the job. He explained the whole process of the work including how long it would take and gave us a written estimate. They started and worked very fast using what they called veneer plaster. They cleaned up very well and the ceiling looks perfect. Very personable, reliable would highly recommend for anybody looking to have plaster work performed.

Review Date: February 18, 2012

Description: Plastering and repair to ceilings and walls. They re-plastered 2 ceilings and 2 walls that were in bad shape from water damage. On time and clean working conditions. Good value for money.

Review Date: January 14, 2012

Description: Plastered 2 walls in living room. My walls had cracks and Bestwall Plastering plastered them and they look perfect. Will use again as there are other rooms that need attention.

Review Date: December 04, 2011

Description: Bathroom ceiling repair. The bathroom ceiling fell down due to a leak from the upstairs apartment. I called Bestwall Plastering and they came, gave me an estimate and returned 2 days later to do the work. They were clean, courteous, professional and highly recommended and the price was right! The ceiling is perfect now and they painted also. Definitely will use again if any more plastering work is needed.

Review Date: November 12, 2011

Description: Plaster Molding needed to be replaced and matched. I had plaster molding to be replaced and matched. Bestwall Plastering done the job with an exceptional quality of work. The price was great also. Will use them again in the future if I need more molding or plaster work done.

Review Date: October 08, 2011

Description: Re-skimmed two rooms. I had 2 rooms in my house that need work done, Bestwall Plastering came out and gave me an estimate to re-skim the entire rooms. When they arrived to do the work, they covered all the areas they were going to be working in with plastic so the work would not interrupt the rest of my home. The job took 4 days and the rooms look magnificent just like new. There was no sanding involved as they used polished plaster not spackle/compound. They were professional, clean and very courteous. I will be contacting them again in the New Year to get some more work done.

Review Date: September 18, 2011

Description: We had an old staircase wall that was falling down it had come loose and sagging. Kieran and his crew came in and removed all the loose plaster and re plastered the wall in the old style plastering. Bestwall Plastering was prompt, professional and very pleasant and friendly. He explained every step of the process, and completed the work right on schedule. My project included re-plastering a wall that ran up a long, steep staircase to my front door. At the end of each day, Kieran completely cleaned the hallway so that the stairs were useable each night. The plaster came out as smooth as glass. I was very happy with the work and will recommend Bestwall Plastering to my family and friends.

Review Date: December 15, 2010

Description: Kieran had to match an existing plaster molding on the ceiling/wall which was water damaged from a recent leak. They started the job on time, took samples of the molding and when restored the match of the molding was absolutely exact. They also removed water damaged parts of the ceilings and walls and repaired them to look like it never happened. Kieran and his staff were very clean, courteous and quick doing their work, and done a lot of extra work which they did not charge us for. I would definitely recommend this company for any plaster restoration work you need to do. "Kieran is not only a master craftsman, he was a pleasure to have in our home. He went above and beyond the call of duty. Kieran did a better job than we had ever imagined, faster than we had ever hoped. He was not only prompt, he was clean and made a project we were previously nervous about, a very pleasant, worry-free experience. We will DEFINITELY be using him for any future work we need in our home restoration. Even our contractors and electricians were impressed with his work, not to mention us, who have already suggested him to any of our friends who will be undertaking plaster restoration projects soon."

How Do I Deal With Water Damage After it Happened?

There are different types of home water damage and how you handle each one of them will be a little bit different. The main thing that you need to keep in mind here, is that water damaged building products attract mold, mildew and fungus.

If you have water damage from a small leak under your bathroom sink that only leaked about 8 ounces of water, you might not have very much to do. I would suggest that you monitor this area to make sure that it doesn’t start get worse or turn different colors. Small water leaks that don’t leak very long usually don’t cause much damage.

We just covered the damage from small water; however, there isn’t much damage between a medium sized water leak and a large water leak. Medium and large water leaks create damage that will need to be repaired. The only difference is the amount of damage that needs to be repaired.

The simplest way to deal with any water leak is dry the building materials out as soon as possible. If you don’t have the correct tools, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact a professional or go down to your local rental yard.

Remember, the water damage is already done to the house. You’re not in an emergency situation anymore, but you need to do something about it, as soon as possible. Mold, mildew, fungus, dry rot and termites love wet stuff. I needed to replace drywall in rooms were the water damaged carpet, only sat for one day.

If the homeowners would have removed the water from the carpeting with a high-powered vacuum a little bit sooner, they wouldn’t have needed to pay for any more unnecessary home repairs. Don’t let water damage repairs cost any more money than necessary and deal with them quickly.

Why Does My House Plaster Crack?

Is your plaster cracking?

This is actually a very common problem, especially in wood framed houses.

Before we get into the reason your house plaster is cracking, realize that home plaster walls and ceilings can be repaired.

Plaster is not a very elastic material, especially in wooden houses. There isn’t much “stretch” to plaster– it will break. Several forces can work against the integrity of plaster, leading to subtle movement in the house structure. This stress shows up as cracking or buckling in the wall or ceiling plaster.

In many wood-framed houses, the lumber used for construction is still a little wet. Even kiln dried lumber has moisture, so wood in your ceiling joists and wall studs shrinks over time, drying and moving. That movement can be amplified over the years by weather changes.

Sometimes the ceiling joists old houses really aren’t strong enough to support properly the full weight of wood lath and plaster. So they sag and this too leads to cracking. This is also true for houses with wood lath backing for plaster. Again, the lath nails can loosen, causing buckling and cracks.

Water intrusion and leaks from roofs or plumbing can wet and soften plaster. Cracks may show up as the plaster loses its strength.

One of the most popular home plaster systems since the late 40s has been rock lath and plaster.

Types Of Crown Molding – Choose The Best

If done creatively, crown molding can transform your interiors in the most aesthetic manner. Crown molds, installed at the point where ceiling meets the walls, can either break or make your room décor. So, it’s important to choose the right type of molding that complements your interior décor. Basically, moldings are designed to add a dash of style or sophistication to the room. For low-ceiling rooms, they render a sense of height. If you’re particular about your interior decorations, you must hire services for molding for a flawless installation. It’s easy to get top services, thanks to the internet.


The benefit of hiring crown molding services is that you get to choose from a wide range of ceiling medallions as well as decorative corbels. Reputable companies dealing with crown moldings have a vast collection of terrific designs in various materials. You are sure to find the one that suits your home style. Before you call the services, you must be aware of the types of molding. It helps to have information about various aspects of décor to create a beautiful home.

*Plaster: Ready to spend dollars? Go for plaster moldings. They come in complex designs, which give them a unique look. The sheer artistry of these moldings always manages to take your breath away. If you believe in giving the best look to your house and wish to impress your guests, get plaster moldings. You can even get custom plaster moldings made.

Choose from beautifully crafted ceiling medallions, wall niches, ceiling domes and rafter tails to square columns, ceiling panels, window panels and more. Apart from decorative corbels, you can get artistic emblems, and even curved moldings and casings. If you think you need to spend a fortune in getting your home beautifully furbished, you’re wrong. So, forget plain ceilings and choose crown moldings.

Let your room come alive!

Hiring The Right Plastering Contractor To Renovate Your Home

Renovating your home is major undertaking; hiring the right person to do the job is critical to the outcome of your project. It cannot only be one of the most expensive projects you can do; it can also be one of the most tedious. One aspect of renovations that must be done flawlessly is plastering and drywall.

Plastering is too important a job to take on without any experience; there are many different techniques that are needed in order to present a finished look. Many homeowners would rather hire a drywall contractor even if they are seasoned remodelers.

Your contractor has the most labor-intensive task of the entire project; he or she has to have excellent detailing skills. One thing that a plastering contractor relies on the most is their tools.

Drywall/Plastering tools are made up different hand tools; they are an important part of the interior home building environment. Having sharp crisp clean walls are the most important part of any drywall project, and when the proper tool are used, they will create a smooth wall that is both sturdy and has clean lines.

Although in the past drywall tools were big and very hard to use, today they are hand held devices that are so easy to use that even a novice can operate one without any danger of being hurt. Detailed instructions and safety features ensure that anyone who uses them will be safe.

There are many different tools for both big and small projects. Whether it is a drywall jack, used for lifting heavy drywall for ceiling work, or texturing tools, that are used to finish a wall and give it an elegant appearance, a good contractor will have the necessary tools to get the job done quickly and efficiently

Why Plastering Is an Art, Not Just a Skill

Plastering a wall or ceiling may look easy, but anyone who has had a go themselves will know just how tricky it really is. A good plasterer is so highly skilled in his or her craft that they can make the job look effortless. Smooth, creamy plaster glides onto the surface and dries out evenly and perfectly flat – but only when the job is done well.

Most building services companies include plastering in their range of services. When they find someone good, they hang on to them as a valuable commodity. Plastering, like every trade, has some highly skilled craftsmen and women, but many more who are still learning or just don’t take care to get it right.

From mixing up the plaster to preparing the surface to applying a smooth coat, there are many things to take into consideration. A good company will understand this and respect their plasterer’s art. For example, the humidity and temperature on the day of plastering will affect the consistency of the mix and the drying time. If plaster dries too quickly it will crack. The characteristics of the surface being plastered are important too. It won’t stick to a damp or glossy surface. Knowing how to get all of these elements right is a skill that most people aren’t aware of.

The part of the job that people do notice is the speed and art with which the plaster goes onto the wall or ceiling. With quick and steady sweeps of the arm, a smooth surface is created. Watching this being done well is an impressive sight and has inspired many amateurs to embark on their own projects, with disastrous consequences. Another sign of good plastering skills is the care he or she takes to avoid creating a mess. It is important to take the time to lay out dust sheets, loosen sockets and switches and vacuum the floor after you’ve finished.

Often a project such as an extension or a renovation will involve several tradesmen trying to work around each other to get everything completed in time. Plastering is one of the final tasks and cannot be done until the electricians, plumbers and joiners have all done their bit. The building services company is usually in a hurry by the time it calls in the plasterer, so availability is crucial.

Most people appreciate the skill and art of plastering once they have seen both good and bad examples.

Venetian Plaster – Its History and Modern Use

Venetian plaster is enjoying a popular revival with the modern renaissance of Italian wall finishes. These finishes while new to some, possess a lineage dating back thousands of years to the early civilizations of Mesopotamia. Unrefined clay plasters were replaced with a mixture of raw lime and crushed limestone. These plasters were sometimes painted with lime paints or indeed used as a base for more elaborate frescoes.

From the remains of the Roman villas of Pompei and other excavated buildings of the time, we can see how the use of these plasters had spread and changed. The Romans knew the benefits of using burnt lime which was than was then slaked (properly mixed with water) and then left to age so as to improve workability. Much of their techniques have been learned from the writings of Marcus Vitruvius in “De Architecture”. Unearthed in the 15th century it documents the building and architectural practices of Rome 1BC. Walls were plastered with 3 coats of a sand and lime mixture followed by 3 coat of a fine marble dust and lime mix to make a smooth polished finish. Whilst the plaster was wet, colors were then introduced to provide a strong, easy to clean decorative surface.

It was the rediscovery of these practices that gave way to their widespread use in 15th century Venice. The lagoon area of Venice had an abundance of wealth and a newly found appetite for classical architecture. At the time, transporting sand around the lagoon was difficult and expensive, there was also an abundance of waste terra cotta from the brick industry and recycling of old roof tiles. So plaster renders were made instead with ground terra cotta and hydraulic lime to make a highly breathable surface well suited to the damp atmosphere of the lagoon area. There was also a great deal of stone and marble waste, this was then ground, combined with lime to create fine plaster finishes or Marmorino. These were often left white to mimic the stone of Istria (modern day Croatia) which was favored by Venetian builders, or painted with frescoes to mimic more exotic marble. Another favorable outcome for the sinking city was that the weight of the Marmorino was considerably less than the classic Roman style of using slab pieces of stone or marble.

Interest in Venetian plaster diminished from the late 19th century until the more recently with their use by renown architect Carlo Scarpa in the 1950′s, 60′s and 70′s. At the moment there is a worldwide resurgence of Venetian plasters being used internally and externally on public buildings, new offices, shops, hotels, and private residences. Whilst some plasters are now made with synthetic acrylic resins. Many still hold true to the original recipe of lime and marble powder, with the inclusion of adhesives so as to be used on modern building surfaces such as drywall.

The Wall Street Journal Article

Historic Remake: If These Walls Could Talk, They’d Say ‘Plaster Please’

by: Constance Mitchell Ford/The Wall Street Journal

I had walls that were cracked and chipped. Nothing makes an old house feel old and decrepit like cracked and bumpy walls. But transforming walls from drab and dreary to bright and cheerful isn’t difficult. It’s messy, but not complicated.

When I began the renovation on my 85-year-old Tudor revival-style house, updating and repairing the walls was first on our list. Like most old homes built before World War II, my walls are made of plaster, not the drywall found in most post-WWII homes. Preservationists insist that plaster is a better product than modern drywall. After all, plaster has stood the test of time. Archeologists say that lime plaster was used as a type of mortar in Egyptian pyramids.

Plaster is a mud-like substance that, when it dries, leaves a hard surface that is smooth to the touch, keeps firm for many decades and holds sound better than drywall. That’s good for parents who don’t want conversations in the master bedroom overheard by the kids in the next room.

Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

This is the same area after two skim coats, but before painting.

Plaster is also less susceptible to mold, which was a big problem in my kitchen, the only room in my house that had drywall. (More on that in a later column.)

For a more high-end affect, some plasterers add marble dust to the mixture, which leaves an even harder wall finish that can be made to resemble the marble or granite walls found in historic Italian palazzos. (Some call this Venetian plaster, not to be confused with faux Venetian plaster that some paint companies sell.)

Drywall is made from gypsum wrapped in cardboard. It comes in large pre-made wall-size boards that are screwed or nailed in place. Even though drywall is considered a lower-end product than plaster, it has a major benefit: it’s much easier and less expensive to install.

"For every 500 guys who do drywall, you can find only a few who can do plaster," said Kieran Quilligan, president of Bestwall Plastering Inc. in New York. If the plaster repair job includes intricate crown molding, that’s even a rarer skill that only a small number of plasterers can manage.While the Internet is filled with debates about which wall construction is better, most specialists believe that both are good products for the right job. “Drywall for modern structures, it’s modular and fits into that scheme beautifully,” said Rory Brennan, chief executive of Preservation Plastering Ltd. in Brattleboro, Vt. “Old houses have their own set of rules predicated upon the materials and techniques used to build them.” Mr. Brennan provides plastering advice to the television program, “This Old House."

Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal

I had just one plaster wall that needed to be replaced. Here it is after the work.

Yet preservationists say too many owners of old homes are tearing out their plaster and replacing it with drywall.

Not me. I took great pains to repair plaster, although I used a less expensive plastering method. The die-heart preservationists prefer that plaster walls are repaired or replaced using the most historically accurate — and most expensive — method, which is a three-coat system that requires a skilled plasterer to actually re-build the wall from the laths. A faster method is to install blue board over the laths and cover the boards with a plaster veneer.

The least expensive method, which works well on walls that aren’t badly damaged, is a simple skim coating, where a layer of plaster, sometimes combined with joint compound or spackle, are layered over the entire wall and sanded smooth.

Lucky for me, I had only one plaster wall — above the bay windows in the master bedroom — that needed to be replaced. For that, Edgar, my contractor, used the blue board system. But the remaining walls were just badly cracked and chipped, which was easily addressed by receiving two skim coats. The end result was better than I expected. The walls are beautiful, rock hard and have a slight shimmer. When painted, they were somewhat luminescent.

Steve Reed Photography

Examples of other Tudor-style homes: slide show

My delight at the results helped lessen the pain of the job itself, which was by far the messiest portion of my home renovation. It also took longer than any other job to complete and created loads of dust. From start to finish, it took four weeks to complete most of the house, at a cost about $200 a day. But the results are so pleasing that I can’t complain.

What New York Homeowners Are Saying About Us

Kieran was prompt, courteous and professional. I would not hesitate to use him in the future for big or small jobs. Highly recommended.[...]
- Brooklyn, NYRead More

Very professional. Excellent job and I would definitely recommend Kieran for another job.[...]
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