Polished Plaster FAQ's
What is Polished Plaster?
Polished plaster is a natural lime based plaster wall finish. It replicates the organic beauty of polished natural stone.
It is trowelled onto a minimum level 4 finished substrate in multiple coats and then burnished. A sealer or natural beeswax can then be applied for added protection.
What is the difference between Venetian Plaster and Polished Plaster?
Polished plaster is really a general term that refers to a range of decorative plaster finishes including traditional venetian plaster, marmorino and more modern textured acrylic or synthetic plasters. So in short there is no difference between Venetian Plaster and Polished Plaster, they are just different names for the same finish.
How can I use polished plaster?
We do not recommend applying polished plaster without the correct training.
It is not especially DIY friendly and needs to be applied by hand by highly trained artisans. Application is labour intensive and each artisan is highly qualified in learning about the different materials, how they behave, the timings, how the environment affects the application and the list goes on.
It is important to us that we don’t compromise the quality of work we do hence why we don't apply any products if there are issues with the substrate that needs attending to first.
Where can I use polished plaster?
After appropriate preparation has taken place, Venetian plaster can be applied on natural stones, cement boards, bricks, tiles, drywall, and customwood, (not ply). It is a safe alternative when it is too expensive to carve or too heavy and difficult to install marble panels and concrete. It can be applied to complex surfaces including balustrades, arches and columns. It works beautifully on fireplace walls, kitchen splashbacks and feature walls. Polished Plaster is also great in bathrooms because it offers a grout-free, low-maintenance alternative to tiles or stone.
The lime content naturally repels any mould and if you do notice any build up you simply give it a wipe over and that’s it.
How do you clean and maintain Venetian Plaster walls?
Click here to take you to our page explaining how to maintain your venetian plaster walls.
How long should I allow for the installation of polished plaster?
Depending on the type of finish, size of the area and what it is we are going over eg. tiles, concrete or new plasterboard, application can take anywhere from 3 days to 10 days. It could take up to 3-4 days just to complete a small feature wall because of the layering process. This is due to the recommended drying times required of specific products.
Can you apply Polished Plaster to joinery and benchtops?
Yes, however being crushed marble, although it is durable, care still needs to be taken once applied to joinery. Its lack of elasticity texture means chipping or stains can occur if it is not sealed properly. It is the same with concrete or timber benchtops for example, if you are taking care of your products, there should never be any affected areas. It is recommended to use an approved countertop sealer or epoxy depending on what type of joinery. It is also good to note that this can change the overall look of the plaster once applied so it's best to discuss with us first before specifying it.
Does Venetian Plaster crack?
It can take quite a lot of effort to break through venetian plaster but yes cracks can appear. Sometimes these are normal and add to a distressed look and sometimes these cracks require repair.
Some of the most common factors that can cause Venetian plaster to crack include:
- The substrate is compromised - eg. plasterboard/MDF has shifted. ( In which case the substrate needs to be repaired first.)
- External vibrations
- Building or land movement
- Non-professional installation
- Poor mixing of product
Depending on the level of damage we can either patch it or redo it.
Is Polished Plaster waterproof?
No. Polished or Venetian plaster in its natural form is not waterproof. It can be used in areas that get the odd splash of water as it is a naturally occurring product. You can apply wax or some sealants to make it water resistant but it will never be totally waterproof.
We do not recommend its use under direct running water like on a shower floor or on a sink or bath.
What alters the costs of polished plaster?
- Plaster starts off as off-white and pigments are added to achieve the vast range of colours desired. A black polished plaster finish will work out slightly more expensive than a white plaster finish due to the extra material costs involved in turning the plaster black.
- Some finishes are quicker to install and less labour intensive than other finishes and require fewer coats of plaster to achieve the end result. The less product and labour intensive the finish, the lower the price.
- The substrate the polished plaster is going over needs to be in an acceptable order so the more preparation required to get it up to standard, the higher the costs. Sometimes this still works out cheaper than totally replacing the substrate altogether so it's best to discuss with us first to work out the most cost effective solution.