Plaster: Far too many people today have an unreasonable fear of plaster. Consisting almost exclusively of lime, sand, hair, and gauging plaster(plaster of paris), it is one of the most natural and safest walsl coverings available. Unfortunately, thousands of historic homes are destroyed due to the fears of retaining old plaster. ig
The most prevalent fear is the expense of repairing plaster. While plaster can never be less expensive than modern sheetrock material, it can be reasonable, in almost all cases, to preserve the historic fabric of a particular building and STILL SAVE!
Plastering is not some magic art lost to time. It is actually a fairly simple task that, with the proper knowledge, can be done efficiently and very inexpensively. PLEASE! Any property owners who are seriously considering tearing out historic plaster should feel free to contact me. I would gladly take a look at the plaster in question and give you a list of options that could potentially save you thousands of dollars and the loss of historically significant architectural components. This service I offer free of charge due to my devotion to the preservation of history. Profit, for me, is a secondary consideration.
In my own plaster work, I use only the most accurate materials: lime putty I make myself, sand I gather myself from the nearest stream to a particular worksite, goat or horse hair, and gauging plaster. These are the most basic materials, though the list changes to fit the particular time period of the work being recreated.
All in all, plaster and its cousin stucco are very pleasant tasks to me requiring patience, skill, and a knowledge of the various components of the plaster.
Do NOT attempt to do plaster work yourself without first researching the subject. I have spent much of my career repairing plaster that was totally destroyed due to improper patching done by homeowners. Never use a modern cement in patching historic plaster and stucco. It will ultimately destroy the surrounding plaster in a period of months or a couple of years.