Creating High Sheen Wall Finishes with Venetian Marmorino Polished Plasters
Venetian plaster says luxury, having a high sheen & mirror polished finish with rich, vibrant layered colours of depth. Traditionally, this is due to the high sheen potential of Lime-based Grassello Venetian Plaster, commonly called Marmorino. This high sheen mirror wall finish can be achieved with Lime-based Marmorino plaster products.
Traditional Marmorino Classico & Lucido Grassello Italian Lime Plaster
The reason Marmorino Venetian Plasters are sought after is their ability to provide a mirror like finish similar to marble. The name “marmo”, means “marble” in Italian, with a very smooth polished finish because it contains finely ground marble and aged slaked lime. The final product is durable, high sheen wall finish. These Marmorino plasters are very eco‐friendly wall coatings. Trowel‐applied products are best done by experienced applicators who take advantage of the very fine finish. Used for interior surfaces only.
Marmorino Classic & Lucido Grassello Application
Before Marmorino Plaster application, prime the work area properly. After priming and any other necessary preparation, the first coat of Marmorino Venetian Plaster can be either white or colored, usually applied with a metal trowel using a visible movement, which will be the underlying texture base for the final coats. Figures for coverage depends on the applicator’s ability.
Normally, you should start high on the wall (either the right side preferred by the left-handed people or the left side preferred by the right-handed people). When you are smoothing with the trowel, the trowel moves in different directions to the previous one each time, so that you obtain a harmonious Venetian Plaster texture pattern.
At the beginning of each movement, the trowel should be at a 30-35° angle to the wall moving in towards the Marmorino Plaster you have already laid down. As you continue the movement, you immediately remove excess material by changing the angle of the trowel to 40-45° while moving toward the area you have previous applied. In this way you keep the newly-laid Marmorino Plaster thin enough over the previous coat, while polishing the area of contact between the newly laid plaster and the area you have already polished. This is known as a layered Marmorino Polished Plaster wall finish.
1st Coat Coverage: one kilo of Marmorino Plaster for 30 sq. ft. In applying the first coat, the aim is to obtain a fairly smooth absorbent layer to build the successive coats.
2nd Coat Coverage: one kilo of Marmorino Plaster does 50 sq. ft. When the first coat is completely dry, normally after 12 hours, the second coat is carefully applied with a trowel. Always keep in mind that the aim of the 2nd coat o Marmorino Plaster is to lay the smoothest and most uniform surface possible, being careful to avoid creating shiny areas when compressing with the trowel. Shiny areas can cause problems when applying successive coats. Therefore, it is necessary to work with a light touch, without pressing too hard and maintain a shallow angle with the blade of the trowel.
NOTE: If the application of a second coat does not give you a smooth, even surface, you should apply another coat immediately before the second coat dries. We suggest applying this additional second coat of Marmorino Plaster especially when the desired finish is to have little texture finish or when you want to achieve a superior, quality job.
Most people prefer to wait for the second coat to dry completely because of the risk of peeling. Apply the final coat of Marmorino Plaster in a thin layer to small areas with a medium-sized trowel, in this case less is better.
The aim of the third coat of Marmorino Plaster is to obtain a smooth and shiny surface (Shiny meaning that the porosity has been reduced as much as possible by compression). As the material begins to dry, it shrinks, opening up micro-pores. The more micro-pores there are, the less shiny the surface will be.
If the third coat is too thick: either by mistake or by necessity (in the case where the previous coat was not smooth enough), the finish might not be shiny enough.
To avoid this, it may be preferable to apply the final coat of Marmorino Plaster in two layers; by applying a quick coat without polishing to the area, and then applying another as thin as a sheet of paper immediately, this time completing the polishing as described above, for a truly remarkable Venetian Polished Plaster wall finish.
With this last coat of Marmorino Plaster, proceed to the final polishing, going over the surface repeatedly with a clean trowel, moving in different directions. Be sure the edges of the trowel blade are always smooth by using P240-360 sandpaper. Then before the plaster dries completely, finish by polishing it with a buffer for a high sheen Venetian polished plaster finish.
Once Marmorino Classic or Lucido Grassello are finished, allow 24 hours for it to be completely dry. We suggest using our Bee’s Wax, colored with the same pigment used for the plaster to even it up. This makes the Venetian polished plaster finish more refined- ‘richer’, reducing light spots. Wax can also be used as a clear coating to increase the sheen level.
For high traffic areas or where water can splash the surface, use Cera Fine Wax. Recoating with plaster without removal of the wax is not possible afterwards when using this wax.
Protek Venetian Acrylic Mineral Plaster
Protek Venetian Acrylic Mineral Plaster can be used for smooth and dimensional textures, available in bases; white, neutral and accent base plus black and red. A true chameleon among plasters, based on traditional polishing plasters, Venetian Acrylic Mineral Plaster allows freedom of style rarely found decorating products.
Four season climates with freezing temperatures were the driving force behind the creation of Acrylic Plasters products because lime plaster products CANNOT BE FROZEN or it breaks down and cannot be reconstituted. Protek was the first company in North America to formulate and manufacture Acrylic Plasters products.
Protek uses an additive that acts as antifreeze so Protek Acrylic Plaster products remain stable after unfreezing.
With Protek Venetian Acrylic Mineral Plaster you can create the finest Venetian stucco, Marmorino, leather & animal skins, all-metal textures, pearlescent finishes, iridescent finishes, embossed and relief stencils, antiqued plaster, weathered stone, wood relief and on and on.
It is combined with a full range of acrylic waxes in clear and metallic and pearl, making this a durable, washable finish suitable for all interior uses. As always, with PROTEK it’s easily applied to almost any substrate.
Any colour from any manufacturer’s paint colour fan deck can be duplicated using formula percentages shown in their colouring guide.
We do offer online colour selection, as well the option to purchase a printed colour fan deck.
Venetian Acrylic Mineral Plaster Application
How to create a High Polish Sheen with Acrylic Plaster
Prepare the surface on new drywall to a level 5 finish. Prime with PROTEK Sharktooth Primer using a roller. Allow to dry 6 hours.
First Coat: Apply a full coat of Venetian plaster with a trapezoid stainless-steel trowel to create a smooth absorbent skim coat. Allow it to dry about 2 hours.
Second Coat: With spatulas or putty knives, using a cross-hatching method, apply a full coverage about the thickness of a sheet of paper. If a stone finish is the look you are going for, using the same tool, apply a light knockdown with the plaster and flatten down.
Required Tools: Venetian plastering trowels and spatulas.
NOTE: Venetian Acrylic Mineral Plaster can also be rolled, and brushed, and even applied with a sponge to achieve the many different effects. It is important to mention that Acrylic Products are much easier to apply than traditional Italian Lime-based Plaster.
At this point you have a series of options;
- We can use a wash
- Apply wax in colours, metals or simply a clear coat of wax
- Burnish to a high sheen. Alternatively, a flat look is achieved using Zero gloss flat varnish.
For methods to achieve these design looks, take one of our Studio Class classes or contact us at PROTEK PAINT.
General Things to Remember for a High Polished Mirror Plaster Finish
Since the material on your spatula dries out overtime, occasionally you will need to scrape the thickened material off, dispose it, and replace it with fresh plaster.
To achieve seamless application when moving from one section to the other you need to proceed both horizontally and vertically. Normally, the application should continue until the wall is completely finished. If the wall is large, you will need more than one person to apply the finish otherwise, you risk leaving unsightly overlapping marks.
A correct trowel will make all the difference for both application and burnishing. When polishing white or light colours use a Co Me Bianko trowel made to leave no burn marks on the surface of polished plaster.
Protek can custom colour plasters, however, we warn you up front it is plaster, and when polished it has a marble like structure. Therefore, varied shading in the tone of the chosen colour will occur because it is not a solid colour. That is its inherent beauty and a desired feature that makes Marmorino Venetian Plaster so popular.
If you run into difficulties then, stop and try to understand what the problem is: product too thick, application too thick, product too liquid. These can all be resolved easily. Call Texturline helpline at 416-252-0051 or toll free at 888-677-6835 and ask for Barry Affleck.