A Quick Note

We’ve been really busy with work for my employer and haven’t had time to both work on 118 Henry Street and write about working on 118 Henry Street. Still, we are making progress, a hour here, 2 hours there, and a whole weekend this last.

Some photographic proof:

Big plaster repair before

Big plaster repair going…

Big plaster repair almost gone

This past week, I got to spend a few minutes talking to Kirk Dillon of Dillon Construction Services. They specialize in historical plaster and stucco restoration in Columbia and Charleston. He has been very patient and helpful, despite little profit from our conversations.

In closing, an “in progress” shot of the skim coating:

Applying first basecoat

Not So Much

Work on the Kitchen Annex was satisfying but lo-fi this weekend. Mostly smaller, detail repairs with no photo inspiring transformations. In all, we:

  • Filled all the nail holes, scratches, etc. in all the wood trim with wood filler.
  • Finished screwing all the loose plaster back to the lath.
  • Cleaned out the cracks in the inside wall corners and repaired them with patching plaster.
  • Put the second coat of base plaster on the 2 big wall repairs, to bring the repairs flush with the original wall.

We’re using the the Master of Plaster system to skim coat the walls. But, first, needed to repair all the cracks in the original plaster. With the MOP system, adhesive fiberglass mesh tape is laid along all cracks and insipient cracks. The wall is then skim coated with the MOP basecoat product.

One another accomplishment for this weekend was the creation of a “resources” page for those readers interested in the specific techniques and materials being used in the restoration of 118 Henry Street. The direct link is here, but can also be found at the top of the right hand “Pages” menu: “Recommended Resources“.

Interior scene, Anderson SC circa 1933

New Year, New Skills

Repairing plaster in an old house has it’s singular art and voodoo. Patching cracks is just the freshman course in wall repair. In the sophomore level of skills are techniques such as re-attaching loose plaster to the wood lath. My preferred method is to make counter sink holes in the plaster and use coarse threaded drywall screws. Other technicians of these dark arts use more specialized plaster washers.

Re-attached plaster

Ultimately, we will skim coat all the wall surfaces in the Kitchen Annex. But, before doing any further work on the window, we had to apply, at least, a base coat of plaster to the rather large hole.

Plaster 101

Can you tell this is my first time?