RETHINKING PLASTER

Thinking of ripping out that plaster? Think again.

WORKING

Lately I’ve been having a change of heart about certain plans for our Tour. When we started the project I was way too gung-ho. My motto was: MUST. EXPOSE. EVERYTHING.

However, after reading up on plaster and experiencing first hand the amplitude of work (and mess) in demolishing it, I’ve been humbled. I was wrong. Plaster isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Preservationists insist that plaster is a better product than modern drywall… (it) keeps firm for many decades and holds sound better than drywall. That’s good for parents who don’t want conversations in the master bedroom overheard by the kids in the next room…Yet preservationists say too many owners of old homes are tearing out their plaster and replacing it with drywall. – Wall Street Journal

Plaster walls sometimes get a bad reputation, but because they’re long-lasting, durable, fire-retardant and sound dampening, they’re well worth preserving. – SFGate

I’ve been so intent about finding out about the origins of our Tour (when it was built, who it was built for) that I often forget that between the early 1600’s and today is 400 years worth of history, occupants and the renovations they took the time and care to do.  The plaster in our Tour probably dates back to the 1930’s. It’s a part of its history and a structural asset that I now realize should be treated with more respect.

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