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frequently asked questions

  • What materials do you use?
    We use a pure gypsum casting plaster for all interior ornament. For exterior ornament, we use a polymer-fortified gypsum plaster called FGR95 that is stronger and more weather-resistant. Unlike its plastic counterparts found at big box stores, decorative plaster is a highly stable and durable material that can last for centuries when made and installed correctly.
  • Do you ship?
    Plaster is heavy and fragile. We do offer crating and shipping, but our clients often find the costs to be prohibitive. For instance, a $200 ceiling medallion runs ~$450 to ship from San Francisco to Chicago.
  • How do I install a ceiling medallion?
    PREPARATION Prime the medallion, front and back, and after the primer is dry, apply a coat of paint. We strongly suggest that you thin down your paint, as being an interior piece it requires no protection from the elements, and it doesn’t take many coats to lose some of the delicate sculptural or incised details of the medallion. Make sure your electrical box is in good condition and securely attached to the ceiling. Make sure there is enough wire to come down through the medallion and still have enough left to make a connection inside the canopy of the light you are hanging on the face of the medallion. Typically that would mean having about 6 to 8 inches of wire exposed after the medallion is in place. You can also add a strap with a threaded hole across the box, and screw in a threaded pipe through which to send the wires to the surface of the opening. Please note that the canopy of the light, once in place, will also help hold the medallion in place. Pay attention to the orientation of the medallion in the room. Most medallions have points or a repeated pattern that should line up with the x/y axis of the room, or on the diagonal if that is your preference. Anything in between will look askew. If you are installing a larger medallion with a three or four part surround, be sure you assemble it on the floor first, see how the seams line up, and make registration marks with a pencil to make it easier once you are working overhead. INSTALLATION Trim head drywall screws are easiest to use, but regular size head screws will work as well. If you are affixing to a sheet-rock surface, locate the wood joists for the screws to securely grab onto, or if you have the opportunity, install a plywood surface flush with the bottom of the joists as a screwing surface beneath the drywall, behind the medallion. If you are affixing to a lath and plaster surface, you will be fine screwing through the plaster and into the Lath. Pre-drill pilot holes into the medallion to correspond with the location of the joists in the ceiling; if lath and plaster, this can be more random because you will be almost sure of hitting wood anywhere behind the medallion. If you are using a larger head screw, you will want to counter-sink your holes so that the head of the screw will fall beneath the surface of the Medallion. For a permanent installation, apply adhesive to the back of the medallion. Any adhesive caulk or panel adhesive will work. Screw the medallion into the ceiling, being mindful not to over-tork while tightening. Once it is screwed to the ceiling, use a lightweight spackle or sheetrock compound to cover over your screw holes and fill the gap between the ceiling and medallion. If you think someday you might want to de-install your medallion, you can take a picture or make note of the screw locations on the medallion before they are covered over by spackle so you'll be able to find the screws later. Also, protect the head of the screw from being filled in by the spackle. A punched out paper circle from a hole punch works pretty well or some bit of tape. This way, it will be possible to remove the medallion to work on or change the electrical box, if necessary. Then you can relocate the screw heads from your photo or notes and dig out the spackle and paper and back out the screws to remove the medallion. Hook up your electrical, affix your light fixture, and admire your beautiful work! Cheers!
  • Can I visit the studio?
    Yes! We love to host our clients by appointment. We have a showroom that has medallions, moldings, cartouches, rosettes, cornerblocks, friezes and column capitals all on display. Give us a call or (even better!) shoot a text to 415.312.6269 and let us know when you want to swing by.
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