The ceiling rose or centre piece in the entrance hall is a beauty. Unfortunately it had lost some detail due to over a century of distemper and paint and there were two small sections of the ornate moulding missing. To restore this it is stripped back to the original plaster and replicas of the missing pieces are made and fitted. This type of restoration is very time consuming and one must hope that all visitors will look up and appreciate my handywork. This is unlikely since it took us about three months to notice that two pieces of the rose were actually missing! There are 4 plaster corbles 'supporting' an arch in the hall and a beam on the landing these were also stripped back to bare plaster to reveal the detail.

Before restoration some detail is lost and two pieces are missing.

To remove the paint Nitromors paint stripper is used. Once the layers of paint are soft (at least 30 minutes wait) it is blasted with steam via a nozzle fitted to a wallpaper stripper which helps remove the soft paint and distemper beneath. A section at a time the layers are picked away with a small scraper, a screwdriver and a scrubbing brush.

It took a weekend of serious hard work to strip the whole plaster rose. Do not underestimate the time, pain, mess and steam involved (I did but now I am a wiser man).

Here are the bits that fell off during the steam cleaning process. When pieces came loose I carefully numbered them so that they could be refitted in their correct places.

The two missing pieces were essentially the same so a repeat section was carefully removed. A mould was made using many layers of latex rubber. Plaster of paris was then used to make replica pieces.

The pieces that fell off and the two replica pieces are fitted using cove adhesive and the joins are patched up.

A light coat of oil based undercoat is used as a primer before decoration. The restoration of this plaster rose is now complete (thank god!).

All detail on the 4 corbels have been lost and the distemper and paint need to be removed. The same method used on the ceiling rose is employed.

It is amazing the amount of detail that emerges when the layers are stripped back.