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If you know me, you know I’m a busy guy. It’s work, work, work, these days, and when it’s not about work, it’s about time with my wife, my girl, and the pups.

Needless to say, like most of us, I seldom get to do the projects around the home that I dream of doing.

That all changed in the last month, because not only did I finally get to do a bit of home reno that my family gets to enjoy, but I also got to try something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time — a heavy-duty Italian venetian plaster treatment to a bathroom shower stall.

This work was done in our main-floor bathroom, which had been wanting TLC for a while.

Doing any project for the first time, especially when it’s a bathroom, can make it hard to estimate all the work involved, so getting a chance to explore the process on my own time was great.

It was a major project by the time I finished, as you can tell by the end results, but what did it take to get there?

Here’s how the Home Shower Venetian Plaster Project evolved, start to finish.

This ’70s bathroom came with tons of cedar, which all had to come down. Luckily, it was installed by someone who didn’t make much effort to do it right, so only a couple nails in each board ensured they popped right off. Removing the shoddy work made investing time in improving the room that much more satisfying.

The first thing I wanted to do was move the shower-head up by about two feet. No one wants to crouch for a shower.

Before now, I never had the need, or an opportunity, to work with copper. I decided I’d take a kick at the copper can instead of calling a plumber, and working with the pipes was easier than I expected. I might do the odd fix-it job here and there now, but I’d certainly never do my whole place.

Next, I installed plywood. I’m sure some of you building guys out there are wondering “why not concrete board instead of plywood?”

It’s a preference, really. I find plywood’s just easier to work with, and it comes in big old 4×8-foot sheets, making for less cutting in some situations, but, most importantly, I find plywood’s a big help when it comes to installing lath. (Shown later.)

Next up was installing the water-proof membrane. Obviously a quality project is needed for a shower, and I used a local company’s product, called, “SuperSeal” you can learn more about it here.

Continue Reading..

I’ve written before about my love for wood staining. In a world of laminate from Ikea and pre-finished wood from Home Depot, we forget that wood staining isn’t just a dramatic statement, it’s a real artform, but it’s dying out.

We’re doing our part to keep it alive.

I’ve been lucky to work on this home’s extensive staining project over the last few years. The architectural detail and craftsmanship in the woodwork is fantastic, and my job as the wood staining expert is to not only ensure I’ve got colour matching throughout all the areas, but also to make sure the wood grain doesn’t get lost in coverage.Other things I’ve had to watch for has been dripping and even making sure finish on all the surfaces offers a similar shine. When you’re talking this much surface area, that takes a lot of attention to detail.

Staining is always a labour of love but there’s nothing better to do for good quality woods. With mass-produced MDF and laminate everywhere, what little great woodwork we have should be stained, and not painted.

Today’s enviro-friendly stains are durable and good for Mother Earth. I only use Earth-friendly products, and I stand behind them. If I can’t work with a stain at home around my family, I wouldn’t put it in your home.

Quality staining and clear-coating can last for decades if done right. So, we do it right, but with Earth-friendly products.

We’re not just plaster-and-paint guys, we’re the guys you call for great wood treatments that will last for ages, whether it’s staining or clear-coating existing finishes. We’ll do woodwork all over the Lower Mainland, so keep us in mind if you have a project (big or small) you’re thinking of, or if a friend’s 1930 fireplace mantel needs rescuing.

The trip home from Banff, Alberta, was an amazing seasonal drive. As I dropped from the Rocky Mountain highs to the Okanagan, then sea level, I saw things go from end-of-winter to lush and green, full of spring life.

I greatly enjoyed experiencing all four “seasons” this year, thanks to my cold-season work in the mountains and Alberta. It was mostly rain and a really mild winter in Vancouver, not one of our best years, but also not that unusual. It was a good time for a wintery change of scenery, but it’s nice (if a little soggy) to be home.

I’m getting back to making the rounds and taking on local projects. This past week, my team worked on two Valley projects — one in Maple Ridge and the other in Langley. The lengthy drives between home and the two projects took some adjusting, but it’s a great place to drive.

We just finished work on this smaller “feature” barrel ceiling’s plaster treatment. It’s one of those little jobs that starts and finishes quickly.

Italian Venetian plaster like this is where I began working in this trade, and those days kicked off what I hope will be a long and great career. It’s a real treat to work where I got my roots.

Smaller projects like this are always fun, too. Seeing the end result more quickly is a great pay-off compared to the visual impact but long work stint that doing a huge project comes with. I enjoy having a mix of both kinds of jobs.

Decorative Paint & Plaster is back in town and we’re booking clients for the next two years. How can we help you?


Office:: 604.628.7855 | Direct:: 604.779.4233 | 9am to 5pm Monday – Saturday


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