Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home
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pinklotus39
Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

We're getting ready to paint the exterior plaster detailing and trim on our 1934 Spanish Revival house in Los Angeles. Should we use a wire brush to loosen the old paint as we prep the plaster? The existing paint is in good shape - I think the previous owners did a quick paint job before they sold last year. My concern is that the wire will leave "scratches" on the surface of the plaster. Would sanding it be a better choice? We're in an historic home and I don't want to do anything irreversible.

Thanks!

Clarence
Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

Why not do a sample panel say 3 ft. sq. paint this area as you plan for the other areas.
Also have the Historical approving authority check it and sign off as excepted or approved.
If you are inreffence to Stucco on the exterior a wire brush should not damage the surface.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

Is this ornamental exterior plaster details, or stucco?
You can wire brush stucco, but not ornamental plasterwork.
Casey

ordjen
Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

I have to admit, I didn't know there was such a thing as exterior plaster. Stucco is a cement product designed to be repeatedly wet and dry down without passing moisture into the house. What keeps exterior plaster from falling apart?

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

Supposedly, they would add linseed oil and a little white Portland cement to the gypsum plaster.
This entire pediment panel is plaster:

The pediment is from 1910, but the column capitals were recreated (in plaster) in 2001. The scalloped molding above the capitals was originally plaster, but it had all deteriorated by 2001, so we made a mold and recast it in resin; it's holding up real well. This year we had to repair one segment of one of the capitals because the paint failed and it got wet.
Casey

ordjen
Re: Using wire brush on exterior plaster - historic home

Nice work Sombreuil! I admire tradespeople with such talent.

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