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