DIY Tips & Advice

Restoration Tip: Repairing Decorative Plaster Cornice and Ceiling Roses

Repairing minor damage in old cornices or decorative ceiling roses is quite simple for the DIY er. If a few details have fallen off ie: leaf moulds, or egg and dart or dentils, a simple mould can be made using Play Dough, or plastercine.

Step 1. Find a decent part of the cornice / rose to copy, and wash with mild soapy water. DO NOT remove the old paint that has built up over the years as you will end up having to remove the lot which is a nightmare.

Step 2. Mould Play Dough over detail ensuring enough coverage, and poke a few finger imprints into the outside of the Play Dough but not right through.

Step 3. Using a mix of plaster mixed with dirty hot water so that it sets fast... apply to the back of the Play Dough, this acts as a container for the moulds, if mould is quite big place some scrim cloth in the plaster to prevent cracking.

Step 4. Remove plaster backing carefully, then remove Play Dough carefully, then place plaster onto a bench then place Play Dough back into plaster mould making sure to aline the finger imprints.

Step 5. Pour Plaster into mould and leave to dry, Dont worry about specialist plaster for minor jobs (such as casting plaster or crystacal) as it's hard to source and expensive.

Step 6. Remove new detail from the mould and stick into place using gripfill...