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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

    We're getting ready to paint the exterior plaster detailing and trim on our 1934 Spanish Revival house in Los Angeles. Should we use a wire brush to loosen the old paint as we prep the plaster? The existing paint is in good shape - I think the previous owners did a quick paint job before they sold last year. My concern is that the wire will leave "scratches" on the surface of the plaster. Would sanding it be a better choice? We're in an historic home and I don't want to do anything irreversible.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

    Why not do a sample panel say 3 ft. sq. paint this area as you plan for the other areas.
    Also have the Historical approving authority check it and sign off as excepted or approved.
    If you are inreffence to Stucco on the exterior a wire brush should not damage the surface.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

    Is this ornamental exterior plaster details, or stucco?
    You can wire brush stucco, but not ornamental plasterwork.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,611

    Default Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

    I have to admit, I didn't know there was such a thing as exterior plaster. Stucco is a cement product designed to be repeatedly wet and dry down without passing moisture into the house. What keeps exterior plaster from falling apart?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

    Supposedly, they would add linseed oil and a little white Portland cement to the gypsum plaster.
    This entire pediment panel is plaster:

    The pediment is from 1910, but the column capitals were recreated (in plaster) in 2001. The scalloped molding above the capitals was originally plaster, but it had all deteriorated by 2001, so we made a mold and recast it in resin; it's holding up real well. This year we had to repair one segment of one of the capitals because the paint failed and it got wet.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,611

    Default Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

    Nice work Sombreuil! I admire tradespeople with such talent.

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