Beauty Is Wall Deep
This post is part 2 of a 3-post series.
Whenever you approach a plaster repair project, there are three crucial issues to keep in mind:
- The Building
- Beauty and Durability
Last week we addressed issue #1: The Building, and treating that building like you would a valued client. This week we'll discuss issue #2, Beauty and Durability.
Historic plaster is worth maintaining for many reasons (home value, sound dampening, period preservation, etc.), but perhaps the most important reason is its beauty.
For thousands of years, builders have turned to plaster for its intrinsic aesthetics. Archaeologists have found evidence that this tried-and-true method of finishing walls and ceilings was used as early as 12,000 B.C. in Syria. We can assume that it was utilized for its readily available materials and long-lasting qualities, but we also have to imagine that the ancient Syrian wives everywhere stood back to admire their pretty new walls (matching curtains probably came much later).
The Finished Surface
When a visitor enters your home your walls are on center stage. Plaster is becoming more and more scarce as time marches on, and a well-maintained plaster wall can be just as much of conversation piece as an Italian leather couch or original Monet Water Lillies painting (okay, maybe not the Monet. But a solid plaster wall is a work of art in itself).
Imagine the conversation as your guest enters your home:
Hi, Candice! It's so good to see you again! Jeez, we haven't seen each other since Cousin Jake's wedding in Albuquerque - what was that... six years ago?
I know! It's been too long.
Oh my, and this must be little Susie. How old is... [Aunt Candice pauses suddenly, then pushes little Susie aside]. Is that... is this a real plaster wall?
Sure is. It's original. Been here since this house was built in 1910. We used Big Wally's Plaster Magic to repair some of the cracks and bubbling. It was a lot cheaper than replacing it with drywall, not to mention easier and less messy.
Well it's gorgeous. You don't see enough restored plaster walls these days. I'd buy this house in a second.
As this made-up dialogue demonstrates, a beautiful wall can stop an excited aunt in her tracks. Think what it can do for the rest of your visitors.
The Price of Beauty
Flip through the handful of home improvement television networks on cable these days and you're bound to come across a show devoted to increasing a home's value. You only need to watch 30 seconds to realize that looks matter... big time. A durable, handsome-looking plaster wall is sure to increase the value of a home.
It Keeps Going and Going and Going...
Who says beauty is fleeting? With plaster, you get the whole package: great looks AND durability. If you think about it, plaster is basically rock -- pulverized rock that is reconstituted and spread onto your walls or ceiling. What's going to last longer: delicate drywall or rock hard plaster?
Think beauty. Think plaster.