What is Venetian Plaster?
Venetian plaster, is a common term used to describe a style of plaster found in Italy. It is a natural lime plaster finish that has been around for centuries. Known by several names, such as marmorino, scagliola, and polished plaster, Venetian plaster has such deep historical roots due to its decorative and durable nature.
The very fact that we can see Venetian plaster works created hundreds of years ago that still remain intact is a testament to the material’s longevity. The use of Venetian plaster waned in its popularity post-World War II due to the rise of synthetic products. However, its ability to transform a space with its unique beautiful finishes paired with its versatility and protective qualities has brought it back into the forefront of design.
Venetian plaster consists of a mixture of aged slaked lime and finely crushed marble powder as the aggregate, with the option of adding natural pigments to create the colour of your choice. When properly finished, it can be polished to a high shine, have incredible strength, and be reminiscent of marble stone without the associated weight.
The Application Process
We apply this interior plaster finish in multiple coats, usually at a minimum of three in order to achieve the desired strength and look. It is a physically involved process as every stroke of the material is applied by hand using small specialty trowels usually sourced from Italy as well.
Venetian Plaster Finishes
The most popular of Venetian plaster finishes in Vancouver is that of the traditional polished marble but as it is such a versatile material that anything is achievable, from a contemporary matte concrete finish to an antique weathered look. It is also quite popular to seal Venetian plaster with natural beeswax, a method that requires a bit of labour as it is buffed and polished all by hand. However, it is a rewarding process, protecting the surface from dirt and stains while giving dimension and depth to the shine.
There is plenty of flexibility when it comes to choosing where and how to use this interior plaster finish. It can be applied upon a number of substrates including existing drywall or plaster, concrete, and even old painted walls, provided it has undergone the proper preparation. Because of its natural origins, it is well suited to buildings and structures built with wood, stone, concrete, or steel, like any natural lime-based plaster, Venetian plaster is moisture-permeable, breathable, and highly flexible.
The characteristics of this lime-based plaster also make it excellent for interior use as this means that the material will not emit any toxic volatile organic compounds; on the contrary, as its permeability promotes mould and fungi resistance as well as healthier air quality.
This interior plaster finish is a popular choice for accent walls, bespoke Venetian plaster fireplaces, and custom range hoods. It offers a myriad of opportunities to incorporate itself into a well-designed, environmentally conscious interior. A material that dates itself back to ancient civilizations, this lime-based plaster still holds a place in contemporary design. We are more than happy to help you achieve your interior design vision with Venetian plaster in Vancouver- just give us a ring!