After the plastering comes the painting. Maybe I was premature in commenting on the quality of the plasterers' work in my earlier post, because the painter, who asserted he knew something about plastering, was critical of some aspects.
Perhaps it was partly our fault, we said, because we had chosen that parts of the cornice be patched rather than replaced. Be that as it may, the painter said that he wanted to do some extra preparation (not covered by the quote), to which we agreed. We also noted his point that he had drawn our attention to the issues, and that if these resulted in aspects of his work being slightly less than the standard to which he would normally aspire, we would not hold it against him.
All this work is very intrusive and we've got things scattered in temporary positions all around the house, so we'll be glad when it's finished.