How to make plaster ceiling molds

Written by katie yancey
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How to make plaster ceiling molds
Decorative ceiling plaster adds beauty to your home. (antique ceiling image by John Sfondilias from

Ornamental plaster ceiling medallions were popular in homes dating between the 18th century and the Great Depression. Though few original ceiling medallions have survived, it is relatively easy to create ornamental plasterwork yourself. Adding ornamental ceiling plaster around your pendant light fixtures can bring beauty and value to your home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Airid mould spray or mineral oil
  • Small brush (optional)
  • Gloves, mask and goggles
  • Newspaper
  • Mixing container

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  1. 1

    Purchase one or two plaster ceiling medallion moulds. These can be purchased at a hardware store or online and are reusable. Often these moulds are made of plastic and come with instructions that tell you how much plaster is needed.

  2. 2

    Cover your work area with newspaper. Spray the inside of the plaster mould with Airid mould spray or brush it with mineral oil.

  3. 3

    Mix some plaster of Paris in a mixing container following the directions on the plaster bag. Mix until smooth, but be careful not to overmix it, as the plaster will set too quickly.

  4. 4

    Starting at one edge, slowly pour the plaster into the mould. Tap the mould lightly to remove any air bubbles. The mould will feel warm as the plaster sets, which usually takes 15 minutes.

  5. 5

    Right before the plaster has set, scratch grooves on the exposed surface. This will allow for better adhesion between the ornament and ceiling.

  6. 6

    After the plaster sets, place your hand over the opening of the mould and gently turn it over. The plaster piece should easily slide out. Allow the plaster pieces to cure for a couple hours to a few days, depending on the size of the piece.

Tips and warnings

  • When mixing plaster of Paris, add plaster to the water (instead of adding water to plaster), as it allows for the plaster to become thoroughly wet.
  • Use protective gear when working with plaster, as it is alkaline and can irritate your eyes, skin or respiratory system.

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