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What is Venetian Plaster?

In my personal opinion is all a marketing issue. The majority of clients they haven't seen a real Venetian plaster or as it should be called, Stucco Veneziano.

People check on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and want what they see there. Almost all my clients show me pictures from their phones of Venetian walls, to be honest, most of the time I don't know what I am looking at, because they could be just flat render, lime base paint applied by sponge, Microcement with sealer, normal plaster tinted and with a coat of wax, clay plaster... who knows? Nowadays, everyone seems to offer polished plaster finishes, Venetian render, Venetian bathroom, Venetian paint, Venetian floors, Venetian microcement... whatever you offer, add "Venetian" to it and charge 3 times more! Easy money! right?

It consist on lime base plaster "stucco" with marble dust (normal plaster is gypsum based) Some stucco have up to 40% of real marble (obviously, the overall composition includes more elements but these are the main difference)

Originated thousands of years ago, using only natural materials to use in construction.

Its apply by hand-trowel (sorry no machinery allowed) in multiple thin layers to create a sense of depth, almost 3D effect with the appearance of polished marble.

Lime is highly breathable and mould resistance by nature. Also very abrasive on your skin too.

You can create pretty much any colour. Very durable, resistance and easy maintenance.

Natural Wax is used to protect the stucco.

There are different types of marble used in Stucco but the most common is Marmorino. Stucco can be used with limestone rocks which are not marble and therefore they have different names like Travertino or Tadelakt.

Travertino is a limestone created with sediments of a mix of rocks dissolved by water for thousands of years (like stalactites you see on caves). The natural appearance is very course, with big cavities. I guess many of you are familiar with Travertino tiles and their looks, beautiful!

Tadelakt originates in Morocco, also called Moroccan plaster. The main difference is the way they process the lime to make it water resistance. They soak the lime rocks in water for months (even years) so the lime develops a natural water repellency properties making it suitable for wet areas like showers, only after protecting it with black olive soap. However, to think that classic Tadelakt on a shower, would sustain the heavy use of 2024 days is wrong. The shampoos, shower gels and the chemicals we use to clean, would worn the protective coat of olive soap, and create water damage.

Microcement is the magic key, its cement base (not plaster anymore) water resistant and it can go on floors. It's a 4 coating process (2 base coats 2 top coats) with fibreglass mesh, which stops small crack so there is no need for expansion joins or grouts. It can go on ceilings, walls floors even outdoor. The biggest advantage of this product, is that can be sanded. That means multiple people can be working on the same area, leaving different finishes with different tools and it does not matter because it will be sanded and then sealed. Perfect for those projects where demolishing is not allowed.

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