How to Make a Plaster Ceiling Medallion

Written by serena styles Google
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How to Make a Plaster Ceiling Medallion
Make your own plaster ceiling medallions and save considerable money.. (lamp. arched ceiling image by L. Shat from

Ceiling medallions made of plaster and wood were common accents in government buildings and upper class homes centuries ago. According to Neal Barrett, author of "Ultimate Guide to Architectural Ceiling Treatments," in today's society ceiling medallions are commonly plastic rather than plaster. If you would like to add a touch of antiquity to your home's decor, you can make a plaster ceiling medallion. Making your own medallion allows for customisation and costs only a fraction of a commercial plaster medallion.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Round styrofoam slab
  • Oil-based clay
  • Clay sculpting tools
  • Silicone-moulding compound
  • Square cardboard box
  • Scissors
  • Plaster
  • Plastic bucket

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  1. 1

    Sketch the design for your ceiling medallion on a piece of paper. Ceiling medallions can range from 6 inches to 4 feet in diameter. Base the size of your styrofoam slab, box and bucket accordingly.

  2. 2

    Cover the styrofoam slab in a 1/2-inch layer of oil-based clay to provide a smooth working surface. Only cover one face and the edge; leave the other side free of clay. This is the basis for your ceiling medallion's shape.

  3. 3

    Use sculpting tools to carve your sketched design into the ceiling medallion.

  4. 4

    Center the sculpted ceiling medallion into the cardboard box. The box should allow for 1 to 2 inches of space on all sides of the medallion. Use scissors to cut down the boxes' sides so they are only 2 inches taller than the ceiling medallion.

  5. 5

    Mix the silicone-moulding compound, following manufacturer's directions.

  6. 6

    Pour the silicone-moulding compound over your sculpted ceiling medallion, filling until it is 1/2 inch away from the top of the box. Allow it to dry for the time specified by the manufacturer, or at least 72 hours.

  7. 7

    Peel away the cardboard box from the silicone mould and turn it upside down.

  8. 8

    Pull the sculpted ceiling medallion out of the silicone mould. If you have trouble pulling it out, use sculpting tools to pry it out, piece by piece. Do not worry about breaking the clay or foam, as you will discard them after removing.

  9. 9

    Once you have cleared the silicone mould, wash it with warm water to remove any remaining debris.

  10. 10

    Mix plaster, according to the manufacturer's directions, in the bucket.

  11. 11

    Turn the silicone mould upside down, so the flat, solid side is on the bottom and the open side, with the ceiling medallion's impression, is facing up.

  12. 12

    Pour the plaster into the silicone mould, filling it completely. Allow it to dry for the time specified by the manufacturer, or at least 48 hours.

  13. 13

    Pull the silicon mould away from the plaster ceiling medallion on all sides to loosen the bond. Once the bond is broken, gently pull the finished ceiling medallion straight up, out of the silicone mould.

Tips and warnings

  • Look at different photos of ceiling medallions for appropriate ideas.
  • If you do not like the natural colour of your plaster ceiling medallion, paint it with acrylic paint to make it match your home's decor.

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