You can walk through any borough in New York City and find historic buildings – ornate, colorful and artistically beautiful… Whether you are in a glass and steel structure, a row home, townhouse, or brownstone, it is safe to say that those old walls often need some “sprucing up”.
Enter Gerard Goodman, of Goodman Plastering. http://goodmanplastering.com
Born and raised in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, he has taken his artistry from the old country to the United States and utilizes that talent very well. Mr Goodman specializes in three categories of the trade, Plain, Ornamental and Venetian Plastering. Within these main categories there are lots of various techniques and materials used so there are endless possibilities in how a wall can be finished especially in colored plastering.
Plastering, (which is truly an art), has been around at least four thousand years. It was used in the pyramids in Egypt and also in early Greek architecture. Plaster decoration was widely used in Europe in the Middle ages from the mid-13th century. It can be put over an existing wall structure for enhanced durability, or existing plaster walls and ornamental mouldings may be restored to their original historic charm as well. Gerard can make a rubber mold to ensure the original historic design is perfectly replicated.
It may look easy to do, but it takes a real artisan to be able to do this type of work – work that I truly appreciate and admire. Mr. Goodman strongly suggests to his clientele that they use an architect before getting any plastering job completed. He says plaster can take from two weeks (for a thin coat), to 30 days or more to cure.
As a commercial real estate agent, I understand that corporate landlords have new tenant deadlines to meet with respect to move-in dates. When doing commercial work, (due to time constraints), he will mix plaster with a compound, which allows the plaster to dry more quickly.
Here are some facts regarding plaster;
- Lime is added to plaster to make the plaster pliable/easiest to work with
- The type of aggregate used in the plaster depends on the style of finish. Venetian has no aggregate and has a smooth finish whereas Marmorino has aggregate resulting in a rougher surface with depth.
- Usually Venetian plaster is the only plaster to have a wax finish whereas other plasters have a sealer applied.
- An anchor must be built up to help create the base coat
Working with plaster is very clean, with No Dust ! Depending on the skill of the craftsman working with plaster should be a clean operation. One artisan must do one wall at a time to ensure consistency, since each person has a different movement. Small movements in sculpting are paramount – as it affects design and color.
As a landlord or homeowner one may ask, “why should I choose plaster instead of a sheetrock/ compound finish, especially when dealing with deadlines ??) Mr. Goodman responds, “Plaster gives a much richer finish, especially when used with color. Your investment with plaster will pay you dividends by the look, feel and depth of your walls”.
Plain plaster can be applied over imperial board (looks like sheetrock but is designed for accepting plaster ) and also existing wall structures. This lime/plaster finish will give a true, even feel and will also enhance durability.
Ornamental Plastering can include matching existing (or a newly created) plaster crown molding in accordance with an architect’s drawing.
Venetian Plastering can be divided into five categories.
( A ) Venetian plaster leaves a beautiful polished colored finish.
( B ) Antico plaster leaves a finish and feel of honed stone with a soft sheen.
( C ) Marmorino plaster is a modern version of ancient polished stucco and has a unique character.
( D ) Metallic plaster has a different look depending on the angle you are viewing from. Very interesting finish.
( E ) Tuscany plaster gives an old world look with its subtle pits and etchings.
Mr. Goodman is available to show you special samples of these beautiful plasters so you may choose from many colors, surface designs, etc.
Gerard Goodman has proven that, not only is he a very good craftsman, but his attention to detail as well as his passion for what he does is infectious.
I find this to be the “most acceptable” way to get plastered in real estate…..