4 years ago, I began designing, manufacturing and marketing a line of raised plaster stencils and ornamental molds. My focus was to introduce the art of raised stenciling to the general consumer, creating a new market for common stencils, which I did quite successfully.
However, as news spread of the revival of this lost art, I began to receive more and more calls from drywall contractors and builders across the nation quizzing me about the possible application of these techniques in their drywall/plaster business.
The typical slow down in winter due to san go da nang harsher building conditions (and now the recent downturn in the housing industry) commonly left a gaping hole in revenues for businesses of this nature.
Smart drywall professionals began seeing Raised Stenciling and the application of Ornamental Ceiling and Wall designs as a way to bridge the gap between busy seasons and increase their revenues through this easy and inexpensive craft.
Plaster stenciling simply involves smearing common wall mud (joint compound) over the stencil openings, removing the stencil and allowing the design to dry which creates an ornate raised design on walls and ceilings.
Ornamental molds are just as easy! Spray the mold with mold release (a silicone based spray that prevents the plaster from sticking to the mold), filling it with plaster of paris mixed with water, allowing the plaster to harden then applying joint compound (used as the adhesive) to the back of the hardened piece and holding it to the wall until it bonds.
Various mold designs are combined in artistic ways to create ornate ceiling medallions, ceiling corners, wall border designs, wall and ceiling frames and to turn plain fireplaces in to ornate beauties.
The investment in stencils and molds can be minimal and as everyone in the industry knows, plaster of paris and joint compound are extremely cheap, allowing you to create a high ticket service for very little expense.
Professional creation and installation of an ornate plaster ceiling design can produce as much as $50,000.00 from the high end client and can be scaled down to the simplest frame around a light fixture for lower end consumers or builders.
How do you market such a service? That’s easy. By doing some of these designs in your own home, you can quickly begin a beautiful portfolio to show builders and clients.
Visit plaster restoration websites on the internet for lay-out ideas.
Don’t forget that areas such as above doorways, windows and exterior doorways also benefit from the beauty of this easy treatment, along with fireplace designs.
In conclusion, do yourself a favor and look in to the possibility of extending your business services in to the area of decorative art to help you through the slow times. What you may find is a much more lucrative main staple in your business service line-up for the remainder of your career.
© Victoria Larsen 2006