Restoring a 100+ year old Plaster Ceiling and Medallion

Bringing a 110 year old Brooklyn Brownstone back to it’s historic beauty

We get some interesting projects as licensed interior painting contractors, but some are so out there, we have to talk about them here. Paint Works was engaged by a client with a 110 year-old brownstone in Brooklyn, New York. Several years prior an electrician had installed a ceiling fan by USING BUTTERFLY ANCHORS MOUNTED IN PLASTER. Capitals for emphasis and “what licensed professional would do this?” Needless to say, this installation did not work for long and the weight of the fan eventually pulled the ceiling down. That’s where we come in.

This particular plaster ceiling featured a decorative medallion element that the client wanted to reinstall. We were able to save the original piece from the detritus. We started by removing the existing brown coating from the back of the piece, and cleaning up the edges to be able to plaster a clean line up to the edge. We also scored the back to allow for adhesive to attach the piece to a plywood backer for installation. We created the plywood backer, mounted the plaster medallion with construction adhesive, and countersunk screws (for a mechanical fastening). Once the adhesive had cured, we mounted the plywood to the ceiling joists, put up wire mesh backer to give our plaster a substrate, then plastered up to the edges of the medallion. The lighting was reconnected and you could never tell we had been there (unless you had seen the collapsed ceiling). Which is always one of our goals.

Looking for a team to handle a difficult or obscure historic renovation? Get in touch with Paint Works to discuss your project today!