Short History. Plastering has been around for past Nine thousand years, we have evidence of this in ancient Anatolia and Syria. But we have a lot more evidence from the last Five thousand years; we now know that the ancient Egyptians used a form of Gypsum plaster that was applied onto reeds. Hair was mixed in and used to give the plaster strength and bind it all together, they heated there gypsum on an open-air fire, then it was crushed It into a powder with water then added to make a working plaster. This was used to plaster inside and outside of their pyramids. We can still see this today when we look at their paintings on the wall’s of their pyramids.
Ancient Egyptians Wall Painting. The Greeks and Romans used Gypsum in the form of a screed, which is lime, gypsum, sand, plus an early form of cement, this was all mixed together into a powder and then water adder for consistency. There was plaster and stucco (plaster was used for interiors, while stucco is used for exterior surfaces) but they manly used gypsum to make their statues. The early form of cement then went on to be the basses of modern concrete.
Old Roman Building. Roman or Greek Statue made from Gypsum. So what is Gypsum? Gypsum is a naturally crystal- rock that can be found all over the world. When it has been quarried it would then be crushed and heated, to remove some or all the water, and then ground into a powder. When water is added to the powder, there is a chemical reaction between the water and the powder and it starts to set rapidly (within 10-20 minutes) and this then becomes a form of Plaster of Paris. A form of this Plaster of Paris is still used to this day to set bones in Hospitals. Dentists take moulds of teeth to make new dentures. The powder that we use today for plastering has a retarder added, so the setting time is much longer. Dentist use of Gypsum Hospitals use of plaster.
From13th century through 19th century plastering gained much importance. Knowing the value of applying plaster to the interior walls and ceilings as well as the exterior surfaces, it protected the wooden structure of the houses of the time from the elements also keeping in the heat plus now having walls that could be decorated. The plaster used at this time was sand, lime with horse hair added to bind it all together for walls and ceilings. External wall were just a sand and lime mixture, but both internal and external walls took 2 weeks to dry out and harden, but this was only in appropriate conditions it could sometimes take up to 8 week but gypsum plaster had a lot lees drying time but the cost of gypsum was it biggest problem, in the early 20th century plasters started to use gypsum instead of lime, which gave them a better binding with sand, furthermore the setting time was now controlled, allowing the plasterer to layer plaster in a few hours instead of weeks
Average Medievel homes. Tuder Home. Victorian Home.
Induction. Plastering may look easy to the untrained eye, but as many people may have tried in their own homes and failed, (would have found out!) it is an art form all on its own. With plastering you need a lot of practice, so that you could achieve a perfect finish, but even then you will make mistakes, that you will have to overcome. A good plasterer needs to “pay attention to detail, have a good technique and a good understanding” of what they are doing plus knowhow. After saying all that it would still be possible for a novice to do small jobs and still get good results, however it’s still advisable not to try anything larger than patches, until you have had a lot...
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