Restoration Update: Plaster work beginning in Slave Quarters

Restoration continues in the Slave Quarters at the Bellamy Mansion. Wayne, John, Mac and Tab of Heritage Restoration began their plaster work in the eastern room upstairs this morning. Plaster work is no easy business. It requires a lot of hard work and muscle to apply the thick gritty plaster onto the walls and ceiling. The mixture is made of sand, lime, and either hemp or horse hair. Today the workers are using hemp. The addition of the hemp fiber helps to bond and strengthen the plaster mixture. The hard workers begin by applying a first coat to the walls, called the scratch coat. The scratch coat takes a day or two to dry depending on the weather. The slower the plaster is cured the stronger it becomes. The walls and ceiling will receive three coats of plaster each. With each coat the workers put less and less sand into the mixture so that the lime becomes the major component. This makes the finished coat a lighter color that is much smoother than the other coats. The plaster process will take time to complete. Not many craftsmen are still skilled in plaster work today, which makes it somewhat harder to find available help. Wayne came all the way from Hillsborough to assist with this project. Luckily the Bellamy Mansion found hard working, skilled craftsmen to complete the job!

Wayne and John plastering upstairs in Slave Quarters

Wayne and John plastering upstairs in Slave Quarters

The hemp used in the plaster process

The hemp used in the plaster process

Plaster

Mixing the plaster

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