Ceiling Rose Restoration and Decorative Plastering

 In Decorative Interiors

Decorative plasterwork, especially detailed cornices and ceiling roses, can give any Victorian-era room the elegant and luxurious detail of the original period. Restoration of these specialty interior plasters is not usually part of a renovation for insulation and home systems such as central heating. Specialist craftsmen who are knowledgeable and experienced in nineteenth century detailed plasterwork are needed.

Decorative plaster, especially heavily-detailed work such as ceiling roses, is fragile, and loss of detail is common over the years with inexpert cleaning and layers of paint. Sharp edges are very prone to breaking with bumps and bangs from furniture, lighting fixtures, and ladders. Restoration work involves planning and assessment, as well as decisions about replacement or restoration of an original.

First decisions regarding decorative plasterwork involve the room as a whole. If construction for insulation, new windows, ceiling fixtures, and plasterboard to replace older plaster and lathe construction in the walls is considered, that should be done first, and craftsmen can remove the original plasterwork to safety while construction proceeds. It is not always possible to safely remove a ceiling rose without loss of part of the original, but if it can be done, new moulds of the original can be made and careful restoration done.

The materials used in nineteenth-century plasterwork, especially plaster that is heavily detailed, were lime-based, and many craftsmen of the era had specialised recipes for their cornices and ceiling roses. Restoration usually involves cleaning, paint removal, and then repainting or whitewashing using this lime-based specialised recipe. If the original has significant structural cracks or plaster loss, it can still be used to begin the mould-making process. An owner may consider replacing the original with a replica made from an original mould, but using more modern and longer lasting materials.

Original deeply carved or detailed work often had structural supports like wood or textiles, such as sacking, inserted into the plasterwork to add structural support. With restoration and replication, newer materials with a longer expected life can replace these original structural supports.

Plaster needs a careful touch and specialist materials, such as unique paints and cleaning products. A restoration specialist can work with contractors who are updating the systems and wall construction to save and restore original cornices and plaster ceiling roses.

Can we assist in your renovation project? Please contact us for more information and an appointment.

Find out more about our decorative interiors conservation.

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