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Renovation - would like to make plaster cove crowns

Renovation - would like to make plaster cove crowns


Old 07-30-07, 06:34 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 11
Renovation - would like to make plaster cove crowns

Just looking for hints and tips, perhaps a how to video stream. We are renovating a small half bath. The cabinet has been replaced with a furniture style cabinet to give a more airy feel to the space.

The floor tile is down the walls have been plastered and textured. We plan to do the same texture to the ceiling and use the same color to make the room seem larger. A light pastel sea green color for the walls is being used to also make the room seem larger.

In order to improve this effect we are planning to do a plaster cove crown. I have the idea that the plaster cove might need to be reinforced with a mesh and am not sure how to proceed. Anyone have sources or information that could help us move forward with a better understanding of the issues we might encounter.

The planned cove is to be a small 2" diameter and will have the same texture as the walls and ceiling. If we can get the cove formed I know I can get the texture matched.

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to point us to or you might be able to provide.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Posts: 1,722
I think the easiest way to get a cove this small is with foam. It might seem rather costly to have the foam cut but the ease of installation and finish will make up for it. Look for a styrofoam fabricator. They can cut the foam to any profile you ask for. Maybe if you are lucky they will have something you could live with; that is a little smaller or a little larger radius and could cut a few extra feet for you when they cut another job without the setup charge
Use a mile adhesive to install the shape. Get one that won't dissolve the foam then finish the joints with setting joint compound and mesh tape and coat the whole thing with a couple coats of setting compound.

Do a search on styrofoam shapes and I think you might find some companies that sell something like what you want.

You could also cast your own plaster shapes. Uuild athree sided box and use sheet metal to form the cove. In the box the sheet metal will have to be convex to give you a cove cast. maybe you could cut a piece of PVC pipe in quarters and form the cove with that. It might be a little rough when you cast it but maybe that can be dressed with a little sanding or grinding.

I think to run this cove in place is more than you want to try.

This sounds fun. Let us know what you do and how it works.
Old 07-30-07, 07:50 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 11
thanks for the lead

tightcoat, Those were prolly the best ideas. I did try to locate foam fabricators. Not many from the searches that I could find and those were beyond the budget of this small town-home. Nothing local.

I understand that many use pre-cast plaster crown molding. Your suggestion to pre mold our own seems to have a reasonable dollar cost but time consuming. This room doesn't deserve that kind of project.

I remain more interested in a mold in place piece. That is why we decided on the smaller diameter. I have seen it demonstrated for a complex crown molding on one of the home shows in years past. I guess we'll just experiment with a section of the wall until we get it right.

I have the idea of cutting a plastic putty knife to a circular shape as our squeegee. Then sanding it smooth and perfectly round as a hemisphere. Then making a straight guide to slide it along; first pass will be to embed the plaster mesh then again to smooth and finish. I guess if we're lucky it'll be just a bit more frustrating and difficult than I make it sound here. (insert nervous LOL) Plan on putting the texture on after it drys.

If anyone has suggestions on the methods to do a cast in place plaster crown molding any help is still appreciated. We'll be starting this part of the project next weekend.
Old 07-31-07, 05:28 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,822
All the new houses with plaster mouldings that I've painted, have had all the mouldings formed back at the plaster's shop and then installed and finished ready for paint. I don't know if you can find any that small but you might check with the larger plaster shops and see what they have that you can buy.

Drywall/gypsum mouldings might be another option.
Old 08-01-07, 12:38 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 11
Our original idea was to use drywall plaster for the cove. Also to use mesh tape to reinforce it and prevent cracking while it dries and ultimately shrinks.

Came across a form idea while mulling this over, thought I would share it. Perhaps to make the mold or form (for the cast of the cove) it would be easy to use stock materials at the local supply store. This would also require a jig perhaps made of wood to hold the assembly. Maybe some rubber bands to secure it all while the plaster dries.

A piece of metal corner for drywall plaster and a piece of PVC pipe should be adequate to make a cove molding for the top of the walls. The metal could be left as part of the finished piece and the pipe would be removed to show the face of the cove. There are also some plastic corner pieces now available.

Other advantages of this simple and cheap system would be that the metal or plastic corner would provide additional support to the cove and could be precut to fit the walls with miters in place.

Last edited by cpergantis; 08-01-07 at 12:41 PM. Reason: additions for clarification

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