Lath and Plastering in Cornwall

From the early 18th to the mid-20th Century, Lath and Plaster was traditionally used to finish interior walls and ceilings.

This method can still be found today in Historic Buildings in Cornwall, and Leslie Cornell Building Restoration Ltd are specialists in the maintenance of this building technique.

The Lath and Plaster process begins with the nailing (using stainless steel nails) of the Laths to the timber joists/framework.

This is followed by the introduction of a 3-coat Natural Lime/sand plaster application.


These are thin strips of timber (e.g. Riven Oak, Hazel, Chestnut) that are nailed to the timber joists/framework of the wall/ceiling. They are positioned approximately a finger width apart from each other to allow the plaster application to penetrate the gaps between them to form keys.

Lath and Plastering Cornwall

Lime Plaster:

1st Coat (also known as the Scratch Coat) – this coat is used to bond with the surface and fill the gaps between the Laths.  Traditionally, evenly distributed horse hair is used in this coat to reinforce the plasterwork and strengthen the keys.  Keys are necessary to keep the plaster on the Laths.

Lath and Plastering in Cornwall

2nd Coat (also know as the Float Coat) – this coat is applied in a similar way to the 1st coat, but no horse hair is added to the mixture.  This provides a relatively smooth surface for the Finish Coat.

Lath and Plastering in Cornwall

3rd Coat (also known as the Finish Coat) – this coat provides a completely smooth finish, and once it has been allowed to dry for an appropriate amount of time, it can be decorated.

Lath and Plastering Cornwall

There are some advantages to using Lath and Lime Plaster in Cornwall, and they are:

  1. Traditional Lath and Plaster has greater sound proofing qualities than more modern techniques
  2. Due to there being no gaps in the ceiling, Lath and Plaster play a major role in the prevention of a fire spreading.

To have a look at our completed Lath and Plaster Projects and see what our Clients thought about the work we carried out for them, please view our Portfolio and Testimonials.

If you require our expertise in Lath and Plaster in Cornwall and would like to discuss your project, please Contact Us.

For more information about the terminology used within this website, please have a look at our Glossary.

If you have any questions about Historic Building Restoration in Cornwall, please visit our FAQ page.

Lath and Plaster Cornwall – Traditional Lath and Plaster Cornwall – Cornish Traditional Plastering

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Leslie Cornell
Unit 13/14 St Austell Bay Business Park
Par Moor Road
St Austell
PL25 3RF

Tel: 01726 337577