doing plaster in this house with tall
ceilings, and picture rails, it became
readily apparent that it's there for a
practical reason.

The old plasterers would have had to
build a scaffold to reach the high parts
anyway, and the scaffold makes it
difficult to go from the lower parts, all
the way up the wall.  With a picture rail,
the stage can be built, and the upper
parts of the walls above the rail finished,
as well as the ceiling without worrying
about getting to the lower part below the
rail.  That leaves the part below the
picture rail to be easily reached from the
floor, once the stage is moved out of the

on the walls where the original plaster
was flush with, or even proud of the
picture rails.  After doing the first room
without moving the rails, we decided to
bring them out a little so the new finish
skim coat would be easier to get a good
So as not to break out large chunks of
old plaster, we cut a small amount away
from both sides of the rails with a
diamond wheel on a Dremel, so the rails
could be pulled off the wall, and spaced
out another 1/4.  It really helped the
ease of finishing, and the rails were
already well back from the face of the
casings anyway."
bond with a skim coat.  We have seen old plaster to
plaster bonds that are over a hundred and fifty years
old, but not with skim coats.  His system is not as
easy to do as using plaster bonder, which has only
been on the market a relatively short time.  Plaster
bonder is a PVA glue that is put on anything, allowed
to dry, and when plaster is put on it afterwards, the
glue reactivates,and bonds the plaster.  We don't feel
like it will last as long as a plaster to plaster bond.  
Experts at U.S. Gypsum told Tom a plaster to plaster
bond couldn't be done with a skim coat.  Tom was
able to skim coat the old walls, using his system, with
new plaster after removing all the old coatings down
to bare plaster.
Everything that is
not going to get
plastered, is
covered, and
derelict for 50 years, the plaster walls were
covered with graffiti both painted on, and
scratched into the plaster.  All of this was
removed down to bare, original plaster, and
covered with the minimum thickness skim coat.
Thousands of cracks were repaired before the
finish, skim coat.