Monday, December 19, 2005

Artistic Successes

Sunday was a day of artistic successes at Foxcroft. Pete and I filled the last of the plaster hole in the dining room, and then moved into the kitchen. Since he had slopped a bit of plaster on the wall, which are smooth coat unlike everywhere else Pete asked for a basin of hot water and sponge to wipe it off before it dried. As he cleaned he accidentally wiped over the area we had just filled. To our amazement he perfectly replicated the look of the finish plaster throughout the rest of the house. We have been scratching our heads over how they made this lightly textured look for months. Our speculations included sand in the finish plaster, sand in the paint. Wipe the walls with broom when not quite dry. In reality its just a little bit of plaster, in a natural sponge wiped over a dry wall. Pete was so excited that he immediately took the little plaster we had left over, and "finished" the hallway wall where we started two weeks ago

We are now very confident that the hallway and dining room patches should be "invisible" when completed and painted. The kitchen will be a little harder with the smooth coat, but that won't happen yet for a while.

The bigger artistic success of the day however was elder daughter's first violin recital. She had taken four lessons before breaking her right arm's radius and ulna in October, got the cast off Dec. 6 and had two lessons before the performance. She did wonderfully, and while she and I have performed in public before at the Fiddler's Picnic, on ukulele, this was a great moment to watch her. I had a bird's eye view as I accompanied her on banjo. Her teacher plays fiddle in my band, Acoustic Mayhem, and is great with kids.


PK said...

We just had our living room and dining room walls replaced. We used a skim coat of plaster (diamond basecoat) over 1/2 inch drywall. The plaster makes it look period and the drywall gets rid of the lath and speeds up the process.

The guy we had do the job was an "old school" plasterer who had evolved to using the newer materials. He applied the plaster using a tool that looked exactly like a concrete float - except that it had a 1/2 inch sponge pad under the steel. Using this naturally left the tight sweeping curve marks that you see in old plaster. Sorry - I have no idea what the tool is called - or even what its primary purpose is. Shouldn't be too hard to find though - and it really does make a nice job of both applying and finishing.

I have some (not great) pictures of the plaster on my blog at

PK said...

Sorry about the incrediblly long URL, but here's a picture of what I'm talking about:

One of my coworkers just told me that these are often used for applying grout over tile. We haven't gotten to kitchen/bathroom yet - so I wouldn't know :)


PK said...

Sorry. Stupid HD URL is too long and got cropped.

These guys have something similar

Scroll down to "green texture float".