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  • Deconstructing 12 – Perfect Plastering
  • July 18, 2021
  • Monica Duggan

Who knew that I could write a whole post on plastering?!

Well, little did I know the importance of plastering and the skill of a plasterer until the first time I saw the imperfections that show up under the light.

I will never forget the lesson as it was one of my first residential design projects about 12 years ago. It was a beautiful apartment situated in Blackrock. My client was one of the nicest ladies you could meet, she had just retired and was renovating. Working through the design with her, we decided among other things to use a coffer detail to highlight a section of her wall. The project was in its final days when I got a call, ‘I feel seasick’ the lady said on the other end of the line. I hung up completely confused, what did I do wrong?!

I spoke to Dad, who with many more years of experience than me, had thankfully run into this problem many times before. As it turned out, the plastering work had been so uneven that once the light hit it, you could see every flaw and the pattern was disorientating! We had to pull the coffer detail from the project and find another option pronto.

This project was great learning and is now my go-to example when working with residential clients to illustrate to them the importance of really good plastering.

So, you can imagine how I may have annoyed our plasterer when doing our own project! Mattie was a local plasterer who had worked with my father-in-law for years and had a really good reputation. But knowing lighting would be key to the atmosphere we wanted to create, I wasn’t going to assume anything. Poor Mattie!

A few days into the job, I came in with a light fitting and shone it on one of the walls under the pretense that I was checking the fitting itself. My aim was to show Mattie how light can affect plastering. And in fairness it worked, my actions sparked a chat about the importance of getting it right. But I should never have worried, he was brilliant.

Mattie even advised me on the best way to finish out the ceiling ensuring we got a softer feel when up lighting my hallway and the two bedrooms downstairs. On his advice, we used a soft curve from the wall plate to the ceiling to help bounce the light better and it works brilliantly.

I have to say plastering is an art form. It is back-breaking work that must be exact. When it’s done right it goes unnoticed and so in my opinion under-appreciated, but when wrong it sticks out like a sore thumb.

I do not envy anyone who takes this craft on especially if they have a client like me who comes in covertly and tests their patience. So thank you Mattie for your talent!

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About Monica Duggan

Monica grew up with a screwdriver & bulb in her hands before she started to 'hassle' the boss! After gallivanting around the world & getting an education she worked in all areas of the business, and was a natural fit for developing Willie Duggan further. She does her best thinking struggling up a mountain, hiking a trail or beating herself up in the gym!

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