Ten Broeck Mansion Plaster and Lath Repair

Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship of the Mohawk Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution; the Bender Family Foundation; and private donors. 

The plaster and lath on the third floor of the Mansion has been long in need of repair. The lost sections of the horsehair plaster and lath is part of the original construction of the house that has suffered loss over the centuries. Lath and horsehair plaster not only provided a finished look, but was an important insulating feature helping to prevent ice buildup on the Mansion’s roof. 

ACHA hired Halfpenny Handyman, based out of Hudson, NY, to complete this work. As much of the original plaster as possible will be saved by stabilizing each room using historical preservation techniques. Wooden lath is removed and replaced with custom wooden lath as needed. Plaster that cannot be saved is removed. Holes are drilled into the existing plaster every six inches and then filled with a special bonding glue. The plaster is reattached to the wooden laths using plaster washers and screws. Once the bonding glue is dried, the washers and screws are removed and several coats of plaster and bonding agent are used to repair the surfaces. The traditional lime plaster applied here is made using ox hair and fine sand.

The lath here is awaiting repair.

A section of plaster freshly applied. The strings visible in the plaster are strands of ox hair, which will not be seen once completed. Above the section, you can see the places where bonding agent was applied and is being held into place with plaster screws and washers.

The wall to the right is finished to completion.