This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Freshly plastered cement surfaces on walls may be treated as follows: The freshly plastered surface first remains without any coating for about 14 days; then it is coated with a mixture of 50 parts water and 10 parts ammonia carbonate dissolved in hot water; leave this coat alone for a day, paint it again and wait until the cement has taken on a uniform gray color, which takes place as a rule in 12 to 14 days. Then prime the surface thus obtained with pure varnish and finish the coating, after drying, with ordinary varnish paint or turpentine paint.
Gum lac, 1 part; wood spirit, 2 parts; lampblack in sufficient quantity to dye.
Spent lime from gas purifiers, in which the sulphur has been converted into calcium sulphate, by exposure to weather, if necessary, is mixed with clay rich in alumina. The mixture is powdered, formed into balls or blocks with water, and calcined at a temperature below that at which the setting qualities of calcium sulphate are destroyed. Slaked lime, clay, and sand are added to the calcined product, and the whole is finely powdered.
Nearly all fine grades of metals can be cast in plaster molds, provided only a few pieces of the castings are wanted. Dental plaster should be used, with about one-half of short asbestos. Mix the two well together, and when the mold is complete let it dry in a warm place for several days, or until all the moisture is excluded. If the mold is of considerable thickness it will answer the purpose better. When ready for casting, the plaster mold should be warmed, and smoked over a gas light; then the metal should be poured in, in as cool a state as it will run.
Nothing takes the dust more freely than plaster objects, more or less artistic, which are the modest ornaments of our dwellings. They rapidly contract a yellow-gray color, of unpleasant appearance. Here is a practical method for restoring the whiteness: Take finely powdered starch, quite white, and make a thick paste with hot water. Apply, when still hot, with a flexible spatula or a brush on the plaster object. The layer should be quite thick. Let it dry slowly. On drying, the starch will split and scale off. All the soiled parts of the plaster will adhere, and be drawn off with the scales. This method of cleaning does not detract from the fineness of the model.