I use plaster of paris over the plaster gauze bandage / wire and wire
mesh armature constructions that I have my HS Sculpture I students
construct in the making of their open/organic - volumetric sculpture
assignments. These armatures also may end up using 1/8th - 1/4"
brazing rods to increase the stability of the final piece. The students
create a 50/50 mix of plaster and cool water (to slow the curing
process), and create a coating of about an 1/8th" to a 1/4" which is
applied by hand to cover the bandage. This allows them to sand or carve
into the surface depending on the type of texture that they are trying
to create. Afterwards, the plaster surface is primed and stained (we
use the water based gel stains that Triarco sells), and then the
surface is finished with a coat of Futura No Wax Floor Finish to create
an acrylic seal which protects the work and has a soft luster look.
300 lbs. of plaster would go a long way if it was used in this manner.