Revive plaster moulding Photo:

Many Victorian arches have plaster keystone designs. The top of this keystone was missing although its neighbour was intact. A mould of the complete keystone could be made to create a new one.
  STEP 1
Make a mould


With a fine-toothed saw, such as a junior hacksaw, remove the piece to be copied. Soften some artist’s wax over low heat. When cool enough to handle, knead into a ball and press over the area to be reproduced. Carefully peel off for a perfect mould.
 
STEP 2
Duplicate the moulding

Mix cornice cement with water to a yoghurt-like consistency without lumps. Pour into the wax mould and leave to set for five hours. Remove the plaster from the mould and smooth using 100-grit abrasive paper or trim with a chisel for crisp edges.
  STEP 3
Fix moulding in place


Secure the moulding with cornice cement, using masking tape to hold small pieces until set. For larger pieces, drill a hole where the moulding and the arch butt together to fit a dowel. Apply cornice cement to both surfaces.
Fix big pieces
Pieces bigger than 60 x 60mm need reinforcement. Cut short lengths of nylon string and add to the wet cement mixture. Smooth them so they don’t protrude.

Hint
If you don’t have a hacksaw or a junior hacksaw (or the moulding is in an awkward position, wrap a few turns of masking tape around a hacksaw blade to create a handle, and off you go.

 

 

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