How Can Damaged Plaster Details Still Be Repaired?

Blog |April 2nd, 2019

Plaster is an old and much-loved artisanal material that is found in many interior and exterior decorative elements from yesteryear. Well-loved due to its versatility and its capacity to take on intricate details, without sacrificing structural integrity, it is quickly experiencing a comeback in modern interior and exterior architectural design today.

A lot of vintage plaster décor that one can obtain from second-hand sources these days, while wonderful and one-of-a-kind, will invariably have some sort of damage. Thankfully, it is quite easy for plaster professionals at Hopkins Plaster Studio to repair detailed plaster décor.

With the growing popularity of mass-produced and traditional artisanal plasterwork making a comeback, it is now easier than ever before to have plaster detailing repaired or restored.

Here are some of the steps that are undertaken when repairing detailed plasterwork:

• Assessing plaster damage – some plasterwork have very negligible or minimal damage that it will be quite easy for anyone with even negligible skills to restore them. While other more detailed plasterwork may be so badly damaged that its intricate detailed designs are beyond recognisable. However, plaster professionals can assess the damage to plasterwork to ascertain what steps will be undertaken in its restoration, and can even reconstruct intricate period plaster details.

• Patch-ups – for plasterwork with minimal issues, a simple patching up with wet plaster atop the damaged area is all that is needed. This can later be professionally tooled to match the rest of the piece.

• Moulding – for pieces that show significant damage, a good way to restore it fairly quickly is to make a mould of a similar undamaged piece. If a similar piece can’t be located, then professionals at Hopkins Plaster Studio can reconstruct one. The plaster is then cast and allowed to harden, resulting in a ‘brand-new’ replica of the damaged piece.

• Hand-carving and casting – for pieces that don’t have an exact replica, a handmade copy can be made from potter’s clay or some other substance. This will include significant original work and may considerable time to complete. It may not be an exact replica of an old piece, but will be something of a ‘modern’ attempt at recreating it. The new handmade piece will then be moulded to create a blank which will then be used to cast the plasterwork.

Whichever of these steps are undertaken, it isn’t impossible for professionals to restore or remake plasterwork from scratch, especially with the availability of current material and the revival of old artisanal skills.

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