Venetian Plaster Wall Finish
Venetian Plaster is an ancient building material which originates with lime and marble. Lime that can be brought up to a high polish, low polish, matte finish, and smooth to the touch. It can also have a granular texture.
The term Venetian Plaster also can refer to the method of application. Natural lime plasters have been around since the time of the ancient Egyptians and peoples of Antiquities. Originally, they were strictly used for the protection of structures. The Venetians took it to another level. They added natural pigment to add a decorative use both interior and Exterior.
Mariani Affreschi Company of Brescia Italy is one of the oldest established companies supplying authentic frescos throughout the world. They combine the ancient technique of fresco and the so-called "Calicot" method of "strappo da muro" (pulling of the fresco). They can make a custom fresco in any shape you need. www.mariani-affreschi.com
artSparx.com, a comprehensive art, interior design and lifestyle web site provides the tools and ideas that allow users to take home décor to a new a level of sophistication and creativity. Linking home design with artists, art techniques and creative ideas, artSparx is a unique, one stop design resource. artSparx.com offers features on design concepts and step-by-step tutorials including color mixing, decorative paint effects, gold leafing, and furniture renovation.
The Art Sparx Venetian Plaster Kit comes complete with everything you need to get started. ... Stucco Veneziano (Venetian Plaster) - is a decorative paste plaste for interior applications that results in a highly decorative, encaustic, glossy finish. This is a natural, easy to use, Venetian Plaster. It is a natural formula composed of organic ingredients, calcium, and acrylic binders. Andrea Palladio, a famous Italian architect proposed it in the splendid Venetian villas. From, 360 Colors are available plus 18 standard tints. Stucco Veneziano can be applied many of different ways. Ck the traditional, highly polished, 3 coat trowel and spatula applicationn demo on their site. If the the wall has been properly prepared, Stucco Veneziano can be applied over many types of surfaces. Ideal conditions for applying Stucco Veneziano are interior walls with smooth surfaces.An application of several coats is the usual method. A final coat of Wax for Plaster may be applied for added gloss and protection. www.artsparx.com
One option is SprayStone, a spray on Venetian plaster made of limestone and just enuf acrylic to allow it to be sprayed on. After this product is sprayed on, it is usually trowled and sealed. It is not quite the same as traditional hand-trowled Venetian plast4er and it has a more porous plaster look and is not as glossy as the hand applied finish. But when light hits it, it does have a lot of light-play as light bounces off the finish.
Old world Venetian plasterers were made from slaked lime. Due to the nature or slaked lime and the Spray-Stone finish, you get what is called 'dual refraction' meaning that because of the crystal formation of the components, when light enters, it is bounced around and you end up getting more light out. This property is present in limestone, some granite, and slaked lime plasters.
The Venetian plaster products can be tinted using universal paint tints, but the most popular choice is the 'Old World' colors of buff, light yellow, off white, and shades of yellow ranging from cream to mustard.
Spray-Stone is an environmentally friendly sprayable plaster that captures all the beauty and texture of plasters used by European craftsmen for centuries, according to their website, Spray-Stone is easily mixed with a drywall mixing blade and a high powered drill. Spray-Stone colors faster than paints so start slowly and dry a test patch. Spray-Stone can be applied over dry-wall, concrete block both interior and exterior. There is a nice demo video on the Spray-Stone web site. One very interesting statement that they make on the web site is: " The lime will slowly carbonate and get harder yet can actually heal it's own small cracks over time, a unique feature to cured limestone." www.spray-stone.com
Another product option is LusterStone.... LusterStone™ is a decorative architectural trowel-on coating, which produces beautiful natural looking reflective stone patterns. They say that no burnishing is required for designer quality results. This product can be used to produce a wide variety of dull or high sheen dimensional finishes, or combinations of highs and lows. The Faux Effects® line of products was developed as an environmentally safe, water-based, VOC compliant product line for the discriminating faux painter, decorative finisher, and artist, and can be applied to a variety of surfaces through traditional methods. Faux Effects Inc. offers Instructional Workshop Classes at their Studio adjacent to the corporate headquarters in Vero Beach FL.and also by Faux Effects'® International Network of accomplished artists and distributors.www.fauxeffects.com
Then there is Vella Plaster. Vella Plaster offers free 2 hour training sessions every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday currently (2008), 2 sessions are available per day. These classes are offered free of charge. Vella Venetian Plaster comes pre-mixed in a white base and ready to use. Choose from any of the exclusive Vella colors or create your own custom color. Vella Retailers will add universal color tints to the Vella Base to achieve your desired color. Vella Plaster can be shaken by the retailer or mixed thoroughly with a drill.This system requires that two coats of plaster be applied using either a hawk and trowel, pan and drywall knife, or a 1/2" nap paint roller. The first coat will smooth out any minor imperfections in the wall while creating a consistent base surface. With a good base coat of plaster the second coat will give the desired Venetian look and smooth effect. Vella Venetian base coast can be applied by using a 1/2" nap paint roller and standard paint rolling techniques. While still fresh, trowel or spread the material smooth in a random pattern with a 12" drywall knife to remove any marks from the paint roller. After the Vella Plaster has thoroughly dried, apply two thin coats of Vella clear or dark wax with a sponge. Buff the wall with a cloth or a power buffer soon after application to seal the wall and bring out the sheen.www.vellaplaster.com
Behr Venetian Plaster has a Venetian Plaster Technique online. They offer their own plaster product that is available at Home Depot. Behr Premium Plus with Style® Venetian Plaster and the Venetian Plaster Topcoat. This heavy-bodied, water-based product can be burnished to create a marble-like appearance. Apply 2 coats on smooth surfaces. The Behr product is applied with a steel trowel. They suggest that you round the corners of the steel trowel with 100-grit sandpaper or a file to reduce edge marks during application. Then follow up with 400-grit sandpaper for a smoother edge. Spread the Venetian Plaster thinly across the surface using long and short random strokes. Venetian Plaster takes texture even further, producing a wonderful three-dimensional, marble-like appearance. It comes in 24 colors, but can also be colored to match any color in the BEHR Premium Plus® range. You don't need to be a professional plasterer! Simply apply two coats of Venetian Plaster with a trowel in a random pattern, letting the original wall show through, and then burnish it once it's dry. You can also add a topcoat for extra durability. Behr, sold at Home Depot, has a two part, 3 stage Venetian Plaster finish. They also have a CD of faux finish techniques. Their step by step instructions will guide you thru the popular Venetian Plaster technique that Doug Wilson has used on Trading Spaces a number of times.Venetian Plaster, which can be color matched to hundreds of colors, produces a three-dimensional surface with an attractive marble-like appearance. www.behr.comwww.behr.com
In 1996, Firenze Enterprises, Inc. began promoting Italian lime finishes to North America . They did so in association with FirenzeColor-Marmorino®, a highly respected company in Europe and became the exclusive importers for this product. Today there are a multitude of companies promoting their so-called "Italian plaster" or "Venetian Plaster" or "Marmorino Venetian Plaster". Many companies have attempted to copy FirenzeColor-Marmorino®. The formulation of Firenze Marmorino products has continued to be a favorite among Italian plasters applicators. Our signature product is made of a natural lime-based plaster, which contains no synthetics and has a minimum of 42% real marble. Firenze Enterprises carry many types of Italian Plaster. They offer instructional DVD's and Firenze Enterprises, Inc., will provide you with all the information you need regarding the art and production of Venetian plaster. We offer two lines of Venetian plaster products: Firenze Color-Marmorino®. Both lines of Venetian plaster are imported from Italy, produced using the ancient & modern techniques developed in the old world..www.venetianplasters.com
For over 30 years, Decoplast Systems have been used all over the world. Some of theri products include: Makeup, Marblestone, Marblestone Plak, Stucco Veneto, Pepsale, Marmoreous,Marmomix, this company makes industrial sizes of many commercial exterior finishes.You can see photos of large scale projects on their site. Catalogs, DVD's and samples are available upon request according to the ad in Walls & Ceilings. www.decoplast.com
Another product is from TexSton. They offer three plaster wall finishes. One of them, they call Veneciano, the other is Marmorino venetian plaster. Veneciano is very hard and durable and is ideal for interior commercial as well as residential applications. Veneciano Plaster may be burnished to a high polish. Veneciano may be waxed for an added level of protection. Tinted Veneciano will dry approximately 40% lighter than it appears when wet. The Marmorino Plaster is a versatile and beautiful version of the ancient polished stuccos used throughout history. Consisting of traditional quality ingredients including marble flour, slaked lime, and fine sand, Marmarino can be used to create stunning stone-like finishes. Marmorino can be finished smooth and polished to a high sheen. Marmorino can be used to create beautiful distressed finishes. Marmorino is water resistant and excellent for kitchens and bathrooms. Distressed Marmorino is a particularly good finish for color washing. The translucent glaze will stain the pitted areas darker than the smooth areas, further enhancing the aged quality of the finish. Their web site is all Flash and Shockwave, so I find it difficult to navigate. The links may be dead or just not working in Firefox browser.If you have trouble, use the sitemap, I had better luck with links on it. If you can get to the technical application sheets, they have a lot of good detailed info. www.texston.com
LaHabra "Venetian Plaster"--LaHabra Venetian Plaster is a 100% acrylic finish. A decorative and protective coating designed to create a unique Old World polished plaster look. Available in convenient 1 and 5 gallon pails, LaHabra Venetian Plaster comes ready to apply over interior drywall and smooth, plastered walls. Offering infinite possibilities for color and texture, it provides a durable and dramatic finish to suit any style or taste.Standard and custom colors avilable..You can add a gold, silver or pewter metallic Venetian Plaster Topcoat to create a rich, dimensional look. Can be buffed or polished with steel spatulas or metal trowels to create a hard, polished marble appearance. I can't imagine how a 100% acrylic product could look like limestone, but then I have never seen it in person. www.lahabrastucco.com
Valentino Decorative Plaster by Omega Products International manufactures high-end interior and exterior decorative plaster finishes. The Valentino line includes several products with different properties. They have a full line of acrylic-based and lime-based finishes, including true Venetian plaster and other Italian-style finishes.Venezia Finish is a unique blend of marble dust, slaked aged lime, and other materials for the authentic Venetian plaster polished finish. When applied in layers, Venezia Finish creates a rich color variation that gives the perception of depth. Travertino Finishes are cementitious, polymer-modified interior/exterior finishes manufactured with integral color and a mixture of various size aggregates designed to achieve a variety of sedimentary stone appearances. Valentino offers regular training classes for professionals in the plastering and construction industries.Classes have been held all over the Western United States; most frequently in Southern California, Northern California, and Las Vegas. Omega Products International is a producer of commercial and residential exterior and interior stucco wall systems. They have added this Venetian Plaster interior product to their line. Omega Products provides a diverse line of exterior wall options including exterior plaster systems, stucco systems, and they also manufacture performance enhancing Ad-Mixtures, Bonders, Elastomeric Coatings, Interior Finishes, and 100% Acrylic Coatings. www.omega-products.com www.valentino.omega-products.com
Olea Specialty Products Venetian Plasters -
ArcusPlaster from ArcusStone is a proprietary blend of crushed limestone and natural materials.It can be used both interor and exterior. This is a patented limestone coating, fully integrated and color coordinated system of natural limestone products.It can be finished smooth, mottled, antiqued — or anything in between. This may not be a DIY product. It looks as if they like selling to contractors only. www.arcusstone.com
Faux Effects--This is a newtork of classes and schools that also have branded products for sale. They offer Licensed faux finishing in locations all over the world. www.fauxfx.com
Volterra Architectural Products--this company offers the most extensive line of plaster tools in the USA. Made in Italy, the Master Crafstman's Toolkit is a Complete Kit for the Application of Marmorino, Venetian Plaster and Lime Putty. With built in locks, your tools will be safe and secure. They also have American, Japanese, and German plaster finishing tools. www.volterraproducts.com
Firenzecolor-- Authentic Venetian Plasters, Firenzecolor Marmorino® and Firenzecolor™ Plasters are available online in the United States. They also provide Venetian Plaster tools, primers, sealers, color washes, and decorative finishes, and more. You may attend the Venetian Plaster Seminar at the Firenzecolor Miami or New York office. Contact them for further details. Firenze Enterprises has been providing authentic Venetian Plaster and the technical instruction for more than ten years. As true Venetian Plaster, the products contain (Marmorino®) 42% marble, slaked lime and water. It is considered a green product by the Italian tradition giving you the beauty of ancient art and durability unmatched by synthetic, paint-based imitations. www.Firenzecolor.com
Good article from Walls and Ceiling Magazine, a trade publication:
Veni Vidi Venetian
A look at lime and decorative plaster through the millenniums.
It was history before time. Seven thousand years before Christ walked the earth, a settlement of villagers in what is now northeast Jordan smears a concoction of lime-plaster on the floors, walls and ceilings of their simple mud huts. The result was pleasant, with a starch white finish that made the room much more livable. The knowledge was passed down through the generations. How the technology was derived remains a mystery.
During the Bronze Age (5600 BC), the early Greeks became more proficient at the task, mining quarries of limestone that they had discovered and placing the rocks in large fire pits. At nearly 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit this broke down the limestone rock (calcium carbonate) into its basic component parts, through the release of carbon dioxide and steam, leaving behind lumps of calcium oxide. This remaining crumbly, friable material was allowed to cool and then it was pulverized.
This material now known as “quick-lime” or “lump lime,” was recombined with water in a process now referred to as “slaking” to make the basic binder or lime putty for the plaster. This chemical (exothermic) reaction creates a violent liberation of heat which dissipates over time. For this reason the slaked lime, which took on the consistency of heavy cream, was stored and covered in a pit and aged for months or even years. This also prevented the lime from being exposed to air, at which time it would begin to cure back into calcium carbonate by a process known as carbonation, in which the lime putty sequesters carbon dioxide back from the atmosphere.
At the time of the first Roman Empire, Caesar Augustus entrusted the charge of codifying building laws and principles of the Greek and Roman civilizations to one of his senior military engineers, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio. Astute in the workings of the great army’s artillery such as the Ballistae, Catapult and Trebuchet, Vitruvius shared Augustus’s passion for ensuring that knowledge that had been gained through the ages, was not lost. By Augustus’s directive, Vitruvius engaged in writing a great treatise that encompassed the disposition of ten books on the science of building. It is in Vitruvius’s second book on materials that he elaborates on the principles of producing a finished wall. Here are some of his words from over 2,000 years ago:
“When the lime is rich and properly slaked, it will stick to the tool like glue, proving that it has been completely tempered.”
“When not less than three coats of sand mortar, less the rendering coat have been laid on, we must make the mixture for the layers of powdered marble.”
“After this powdered marble has been spread on and gets dry, lay on a second medium coat. When that has been applied and well rubbed down, spread on a finer coat.”
“These colors, when they are carefully laid on stucco still wet, do not fade but are permanent.”
“Owing to the solid foundation given by thorough working with polishing instruments, and the smoothness of it, due to the hard and dazzling white marble, will bring out the brilliant splendor of the colors which are laid on at the same time with polishing.”
In effect, Vitruvius was identifying a seven step process which included: a dash coat, a scratch and brown coat; the application of three coats of finish plaster and final polishing. The Romans referred to the finish as Marmoratum Opus meaning “marble capable of taking a high polish.”
As might be expected, polished plaster was seen as an unnecessary step for most common utilitarian uses. While lime-based plaster flourished through the ages in creating wall planes that were monolithic, clean and vermin proof, the processes of creating beautiful polished plaster walls became forgotten over the centuries.
The Renaissance spirited in an age of enlightenment. The re-discovery of ancient classical authors such as Plato, Cicero and of course Vitruvius ushered in a new found awareness in the “antiquities” as they were known. In 1414, Vitruvius’s “10 Books on Architecture” reintroduced the processes of creating polished plaster to the Renaissance world. Many involved in the medium today attribute polished plaster’s rebirth to Renaissance architect “Palladio” who described the process as “Pietra d’ Istria,” which loosely translated refers to the resemblance of the plaster to natural stone formations of marble, granite and travertine that surround the region of Venice. To the untrained eye, much of Palladio’s work appears to be stone, but look closer and you will find that they are actually of brick and stucco (lime-based). The first layer of coarse plaster was referred to as arricio, this was followed by several layers of lime putty with powdered marble pigmented integrally or a fresco (plaster still wet) to give a smooth surface or intonaco. Marmoratum Opus became transcribed to the Italian Marmorino or “little marble” by virtue of the marble dust that was added to the lime putty to impart the polished stone look of the plaster.
Much like what happened as a result of the fall of the Roman Empire before, polished plaster’s popularity waned as the Renaissance transitioned to the Baroque period. In the 1950s, Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa is largely attributed as the person who was most influential in reviving the craft of Marmorino in many of his contemporary designs. Scarpa not only looked to those processes identified by Vitruvius and translated by Palladio, he innovated in coming up with modern compositions that included animal hide glues and later acrylic resins.
You may have noticed in reading this article to this point that with the exception of the title, “Venetian” plaster has generally been avoided. That is because the term in actuality is a distinctly modern American name that invokes the image of Old World decorative plastering technique. By and large it recognizes the processes described by Vitruvius so long ago, but it also encompasses a variety of newer techniques that emulate the look of leather, suede, honed stone or sandstone. Polished plaster in the vein of Old World methods is probably better described by calling it Marmorino or even Pietra d’ Istria as coined by Palladio.
Interior: While there are today many derivative products that aspire to the look of Marmorino, there are also many purists that insist on the true descendants of the ancient Roman compositions and methods. However even the purists are resigned to the fact that the economy of Venetian plasters are best suited to drywall applications. In this respect, most manufacturers require a Level 3 to 5 drywall finish. Typically, per modern methods a sanded (marble dust) acrylic primer or bonding agent is applied to the prepared drywall to provide some “tooth” to the surface. The finish plaster coat is then troweled on in typically three applications and burnished with a steel trowel for the polished effect. In some cases an additional wax coat is applied to further bring out the sheen of the polished plaster and to impart better wear and durability.
Exterior: Some manufacturers allow for their products to be installed over a base of Portland cement (stucco), cement board, properly prepared masonry or even EIFS. The manufacturer of the Venetian plaster product should be consulted to determine whether an application is viable for the climate conditions in which it is intended and whether any warranty for any other related product may be affected by its application.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS: TRADITIONAL LIME-BASED (MARMORINO) VENETIAN PLASTER
Without question, Marmorino is the most recognized of the Venetian plaster names; however different regions of Italy have inspired yet further formulations that are closely guarded by generations of craftsman. Some of these formulations may also include quartz, kaolin or other pulverized minerals in their makeup. Similarly these visages have spawned modern polymer formulations that emulate or have creatively challenged some of these more traditional methods. Venetian plaster, it should be understood, encompasses not only Marmorino, but many old and new decorative plastering materials and techniques.
|Product Info||See Our DAC-ART House Construction Journal, Step-by-Step with Photos|
DAC-ART Building System
Copyright 2000-2016 All Rights Reserved