Cleaning and Maintenance Tips for Plaster Cornices

Blog |October 10th, 2016

In historical buildings, cornice mouldings are used not only to disguise the junction between ceilings and walls, but to also offer elegant decorative appeal that originates from as far back as the 1700’s. While times have changed, plaster cornices are still a popular feature in many types of buildings, new and old. Although, the plaster and techniques to make these have improved greatly.

Original plaster cornices were crafted and formed using plaster and Hessian fibre, which allowed for amazing details in the work, but the process was lengthy and the mouldings were much heavier than cornice mouldings are today. Now, mouldings are made using a lighter weight, high-grade plaster that can be crafted to make impressive replicas of centuries old cornice mouldings, for every type of interior design theme.

From elegant and intricate designs, to minimalist streamlined looks, plaster cornices are found everywhere, but as time passes and conditions inside buildings change, plaster cornices and mouldings get dirty. For those interested about how to maintain and clean plaster cornice mouldings, there is some simple tips that can help.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips for Plaster Cornices

Plaster used in making mouldings and decorative art is a form of calcium sulphate which is processed into powder form, mixed with water, and then used in moulds. Once it is dried, it is porous, soft and brittle, so care should be taken when cleaning and maintain plaster mouldings, especially intricate cornices. That being said, plaster moulding used for exterior building designs is often sealed, and then painted, and is easier to clean and maintain.

Interior plaster mouldings are usually not sealed, but are painted, and depending upon the climate and age of the moulding, paint can chip, especially if it is scratched. So, when cleaning interior plaster cornices, using soft, dry, cleaning materials to remove dust is important, so as not to risk damaging the moulding’s paint. Once dust is removed, you can then use a soft, moist rag or fabric to lightly wipe the surface.

For sticky marks, it is not recommended to use domestic or commercial cleaning products on plaster cornices, as chemicals can damage the paint of plaster. Instead, attempting to lightly rub the mark with warm water is best. If any chipping or cracking is discovered, these can be patched and repaired by professionals who specialise in plaster cornices.

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