The Art of Traditional Venetian Plastering

polished plasterCenturies old, Venetian Stucco has been used in homes and commercial properties all over the world. This beautiful and distinct finish relies entirely on highly skilled craftsmanship.

Traditional Polished

Traditional polished plaster is hydraulic lime putty mixed with marble dust, coloured with natural pigments. In essence, limestone is transformed from raw stone into kiln-fired quicklime, then through slaking with water into a thick putty, but once it’s applied, the plastered walls re-crystallize over time by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air; basically it changes back into limestone, thereby creating an unequalled long lasting, crystalline beauty. Take a look at some stunning polished plaster work in Colarado Springs.

Acrylic Italian decorative plasters

Acrylic Italian decorative plasters have synthetic additives which enable higher glossiness, enhanced hardness, flexibility and they ordinarily dry slower. In the early 80’s they were regarded inferior to traditional plasters but after intensive R&D and tests, a new range with improved durability and look surfaced. These days there are many looks and applications which require synthetic Venetian plasters.

Venetian Plasters

Venetian plasters can be categorized depending on the added marble dust’s grit size from Lucido (glossy) to Intona (exterior render, grit size 1.2mm<).

Venetian plasters are applied over a smooth surface by trowel or spatula in thin coats, allowing each new coat to add to the texture, depth and variation, making a stunning final finish. The added marble powder makes it possible to burnish the surface, which is essentially a kind of wet-polishing of the final coat with a special, round-edged Venetian plastering trowel. The heat and pressure of the troweling creates deep, textured colours and very high shine. This final step makes Venetian plaster ‘alive’. Learn more about Venetian plastering in London.

lime based venetian plasteringLime Based Venetian Plaster

Lime based Venetian plasters’ advantages are that they have a very low VOC level (meaning harmful chemicals), because of their alkalinity they are hypoallergenic, mold and algae resistant and ?by absorbing and releasing water when they’re unprotected (called ‘breathing’), they regulate humidity. Lime based Italian plasters are suitable for restoration and listed buildings.

Venetian plasters can be combined with colour washes and metallic effects to achieve bespoke, one-of-a-kind look. To read more about the benefits vs other forms of plaster click here.

Plastering Tips and Tricks

Plastering may look like a straightforward thing that you can do on your own. However, those who have tried and failed have come to realize that this skill requires regular practice, for perfect results. If you are an amateur, it is good to tackle the small jobs and leave the large projects to the professional plasterers. Having said that, here are some few tips and tricks that can help you master the job and execute plastering with finesse which have kindly been provided by a local plasterer in Glasgow which goes by the name reskim. Check them out.

Best Tips and Tricks for Plastering

Prepare the Surface before Plastering

Many people overlook this important stage when plastering for the first time. The reason why you want to plaster is to cover an unstable, uneven, or ugly surface. However, preparing your surface before plastering is important if you want to achieve a perfect plastering finish.

Plaster will not stick properly to any damp surface, wallpapered, unstable or dusty surface without prior preparation. The secret is removing any loose existing plaster, paper, dust or any unnecessary material on the surface. Before plastering the surface, dampen the surface with some fine water spray, to help the plaster stick.

Mix Your Plaster Right

You do not need to be a fine artist to mix plaster. However, you need to get some basics right. Firstly, plaster is always added to the water. Don’t attempt to do it any other way. You can first add a good amount of plaster until it covers the water. Mix it thoroughly until you are sure that there are no lumps. Proceed to add handfuls of plaster, until it is consistent, lump-free and smooth.

If you want to check on consistency, the plasters should rest on the bucket trowel without falling off. If you can achieve that level of consistency, then you can be sure that the plaster will stick properly when applied on the surface. Another way you can check for consistency is inserting a stick into the mix. If the stick stands on its own without falling off, then the plaster mix is just right.

What you should know is that water and plaster mix on a 50:50 basis. This implies that half a water bucket will produce a full plaster bucket. Use clean and fresh water for mixing the plaster. Any contaminants can reduce the consistency of the plaster making it fall off after application.

Clean As You Go

Cleaning as you go is one of the best plastering tips you should learn. As a novice, you are racing against the clock. Therefore, anything that reduces your plastering time means that you will eventually do less work. In light of this, clean your plastering equipment as you go, to avoid contamination and other delays as you proceed.

Don’t Over-Polish Your Surfaces

Plastering is all about ensuring that the right stages are done perfectly from the first coat to skimming, to wet trowelling and dry trowelling. Novice plasterers tend to over-polish during the final stages, thinking that it is the key to a smooth finish. The reason behind this is that wallpapers and paint will fall off if your surface is too smooth. Therefore, attempt to leave the surface like that of an eggshell during the final finish.

Bottom line

Plastering is an art that you can learn within a short period through regular practice and good execution. Within a few months, you will be able to achieve the perfect plastered surface, without putting too much effort.