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Due to massive cracks and drooping ceilings we need to tear off our existing plaster/lath walls and replace with sheetrock. The 1948 house currently has coved ceilings that we want to duplicate when we do the remodel. Are there products available to help create the coved look that would make the job easier for a novice?

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when you say coved ceilings, do you mean coved crown moldings or a complete arched radius to the wall? – shirlock homes Sep 25 '12 at 9:51
A complete arched radius to the wall. – RET Sep 26 '12 at 14:14
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Although I have never used them, and don't know the brand names, there are light weight cove sections made from composites that you can nail or screw to the wall/ceiling, then finish in with mud. I'm quite sure I saw a tutorial on using these products on the TOH website. If I can find it, I'll post the link.

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Here is one example of kits. www.archwaysandceilings.com – shirlock homes Sep 25 '12 at 10:00
Thank you...I will look this up. – RET Sep 26 '12 at 14:15

Your coving was most likely created using a mold of some kind, you can still buy molds and do the work, but it is not easy or quick. I've tackled lots of jobs but I'd never try that one myself.

In the states and the UK (I've lived in both) you can get preformed plaster and styrofoam coving in a variety of styles, and that's much easier to work with. Styrofoam is very inexpensive, and easy to work with as it is extremely light. If you make a bad cut you just use another piece, and just glue it into place and then prime/paint. Preformed plaster is heavier and harder to cut and fit, however it is stronger and may last longer.

Personally I'd go for stryofoam, it may not be as sturdy but it's so much easier to work with! Just be very careful not to damage it as you work with it.

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You don't say where you are based (I'm assuming the USA), but in the UK you can buy preformed plaster coving in a variety of styles:

These are from Screwfix, but other places sell them as well.

These can be cut with a mitre saw to form corners, or some types have pre-cut corner packs you can buy. With an older house it might be best to cut the corners yourself as you can account for the variations that will occur that make the corners not quite square.

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