Stop, just for a minute and take it in.
Tasting the good life

Creating a patchwork

Pool_reflections_030 I never like to throw anything out.

We all know that if ever you do toss something in the bin you will be sure to need it the next day.
I have kept all of the scraps of plasterboard from both the first phase last year and this recent work on the barn ceiling.

I have some pipework that comes into the barn from the bathroom of the main house which needed to be hidden. Not just for the look but also to minimise the noise.

I built the pier cum boxing around the two 100mm dia. waste pipes but I had one long diagonal to deal with as well (I really wish it was chased in the wall now)

The initial thought was to put up a softwood frame and then screw the plasterboard onto this but it meant an aweful lot of drilling into the solid stone which is never easy.

Asparagus_010 The solution: Donna cut up about 180 scraps of plasterboard of between 100mm to 150mm square each.

I then randomly glued these to the uneven stone surface at intervals to use as fixing points. I needed to pack it out about 75-100mm so I glued three squares to each other using the lutece plaster.

You might think that this method is a bit iffy but I can assure you, after the plaster has gone off you need some fairly extreme force to prise it away from its fixing.

If you use this method, make sure that the plaster is a double cream  to clotted cream consistency. You will find that when 'buttered' onto the plasterboard you will experienced good adhesion and this will suck the board to the plaster using surface tension.

Asparagus_008 The plaster board will fix almost instantly (you may have to hold in place for 10-15 seconds) and the characteristics of the plaster change immediately as they come into contact with the two surfaces. It is a bit like using solvent weld on plastic pipes. The glue will remain fluid quite a while but when added to two surface and offered up to each other the effect is almost instantaneous. I would relate this as a similar effect (although, naturally, the plaster needs to actually harden as well)

I then set about using all of the offcuts of old plaster to fill in the space. It looked very irregular when done with some wide joints. However, I have come to realise that using Lutece you can do almost anything so don't be put off by having to fill holes etc.

Asparagus_011 I had one pipe joint that stuck out a bit far so I cut a space in the board where this roughly sat and used a mesh jointing tape to cover this. The tape is sticky on one side and it really is great stuff. The plaster pushed through the holes as you apply it and when it has gone off it is really strong. A bit like using re-enforcing mess in concrete and a similar effect to how a doctor would mould a plaster cast on a broken arm or leg.

I would also relate this to the old wattle and daub method where a lathe was fixed and manure, mud or lime was pushed through the spaces which then dried to create 'snots' behind that made the whole structure rigid.

All the joints now covered I could plaster the whole surface. The great thing too about lutece is the ability to 'feather' it to an existing surface without any visual border. It is as though the two surfaces wel together and they look like they were done at the same time.

The oak beam which is used as a definition/support I cut from the woods. Having chosen a tree that was straight enough to do a job yet with enough character not to look too contrived I then used the chainsaw to cut four sides in a rough square.

There was not a need to be totally symmetrical. I then used the electric hand plane to remove all of the saw marks.