Friday, January 5, 2018

DIY Ceiling Medallion out of Plaster

In an effort to restore our home to its former glory, we've been replacing the lights in our house to antique lights.

We got this antique light from Weber's Antiques in Mount Vernon. It's likely that it is from the turn of the century because it has arms for gas lights as well as electric lights. When electricity was first introduced in houses it was a little spotty and so people would use gas as a back up.

Antique chandelier

David had to rewire the chandelier because the wires were deteriorating. Luckily, he is a pro at this since he had already rewired our dining room chandelier (thanks to some help from YouTube tutorials).

Rewiring the chandelier.

The more difficult part was replacing the wires in our house and adding an electrical box to bring the electricity up to code. The chandelier was installed and working properly until my very tall brother was over one day and hit it with his head, haha. This knocked out the electricity and so David had to open it up and fix the wiring and decided to cut the pole of the chandelier so that 6' 4" people could clear it.

Hooking up the chandelier to electricity.

We wanted to add a medallion to the ceiling around the light like we had in the living room and dining room. For those rooms, we had purchased plastic medallions at $25 a pop. David figured it would be more cost effective to buy a mold and make our own out of plaster, since we needed more for other rooms.

Medallion mold.

David filled the mold with plaster and let it sit for a day or so, but when he went to remove it, it cracked into four pieces. The medallion could be salvaged by patching it back together with more plaster. 

Cracked medallion.

David added some wet plaster to the ceiling and attached each piece by drilling screws lightly in. It was difficult to match up all of the pieces so that it made a perfect circle. He covered the cracks with plaster to smooth it out. Once it was dry, he removed the screws and sanded it down. David painted the medallion first with ceiling paint, and then glossy paint. It's not perfect, but it turned out pretty well considering it was in multiple pieces. 

Painted medallion.

Installed chandelier.

We searched a long time for some shades to cover the bulbs. We looked online and in antique stores, but finally settled on some from Loews.

Shades for the light.

I love when we get to add some old touches to our house and give it a vintage feel.

Chandelier with shades.

Finished look.


  1. Dan is the most destructive kid I know. Nice work David.
    I have a plaster moulding I need to do. Any advice for that?

    1. Haha, I guess Dan has always been destructive! David doesn't know much about plaster moulding, but said this video shows how to do it

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