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Crown moulding with plaster replacement

 I have a 1916 American foursquare with balloon construction. Most of the plaster walls
have significant problems and will need repair or replacement. For a number of reasons (rewiring,
adding insulation, installing fire stops), I am likely to replace the plaster with wallboard.

In the living and dining rooms, there is beautiful three-piece crown moulding. It is
finished with shellac, and shouldn’t be difficult to refinish in place with denatured alcohol. I really
don’t want to take it down. I made that mistake once in a home where I took down the crown
moulding and refinished it. When I went to reinstall the moulding, the room was a different size due
to wall and ceiling replacement. It actually was smaller because I left the lath up. I don’t want to
mess around cutting, mitering, or coping priceless old moulding.

Is there a good way to scrape down some of the plaster behind the crown moulding, and
then slide the drywall behind the moulding? I presume that when I remove plaster and lath from the
wall, I may need to fur out from the studs some, perhaps using lath. Does anyone have any

Timothy Miller
Re: Crown moulding with plaster replacement

Howdy on my 105 year old grand home i am renovating. I have removed the plaster but left the lath so i can install new drywall in the 1/2 gap that was occupied by the plaster. Some areas i used the cardboard drywall shims becasue the plaster varies in thickness. This is working for me an at the base trim that is 10" 4 piece that the plaster was installed into the 3/4' cavitiy in the top of the base i have just been popping the plaster out of the pocket and sheet rock going right into the gap...

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