Much as fashion changes over the decades, building and interior design is constantly seeking to push the boundaries of materials through new textures and finishes, or by using traditional techniques in novel ways.
In recent years, polished plaster has seen a resurgence in popularity. First pioneered by the Egyptians and later the go-to choice for Mediterranean-style properties, the materials and techniques available today allow polished plaster finishes to achieve a range of depth, texture and colour that is unmatched by any other material.
Contemporary plaster finishes can be seen on the interior and exterior of buildings, including decorating the stucco facades of minimalist-style properties. Their effects can be difficult to recreate, often requiring the skill of specialists in plasterwork.
As part of our dedication to offering property owners a complete building restoration service, our plaster repair specialists are equipped to conserve and restore all types of contemporary plaster, including Venetian plaster, Marmorino plaster and Tadelakt plaster.
One of the most easily-recognised plaster finishes, Venetian plaster is a high-gloss plaster made from fired limestone and water. Venetian plasterwork can be polished to an iridescent finish that allows it to reflect the light, after which patina waxes can be applied to add a metallic sheen and an extra luxurious feel.
Applying Venetian plaster requires an expert hand – and restoring it needs no less skill. Localised repairs must blend perfectly with the existing finish, while larger areas require careful layering to create the desired effect. Fortunately, our expert plaster restorers are dedicated to putting in the hours needed to ensure repairs are invisible to all but the most trained and experienced eye.
Similar to Venetian plaster, Marmorina plaster has a silk shine finish, but that finish is achieved through the addition of aggregates such as marble, granite or glass rather than by polishing, creating a travertine texture that sets it apart from its lime plaster sibling.
Equally durable and applied using a similar method, Marmorino plaster benefits from an additional, natural fungicidal quality meaning it helps prevent the growth of mould and algae in humid environments like bathrooms and kitchens.
Most known for its use in Moroccan architecture where it is often pigmented with red or orange tones, Tadelakt has experienced somewhat of a revival and is increasingly being used in interior design finishes in the UK.
Its waterproof properties and the minimal maintenance required to preserve them have enabled this ancient plaster technique to withstand the test of time and changing fashion trends to be used in applications ranging from exterior walls to bespoke baths.
Regular application of a simple olive oil soap solution enables Tadelakt plaster to retain its waterproof seal but, once damaged, it cannot be repaired, as this seal will have been compromised. Replacement of Tadelakt plaster requires application of between six and eight layers – three times that of Venetian plasters – necessitating considerable dedication of time and effort.