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"Venetian plaster" is American-made term to explain the variety of different techniques and materials used to create the polished stucco finish. The Term "Venetian Plaster" is common misconception.
The English word "plaster" comes from old French word "plaister" which literally means gypsum. The term "Venetian plaster" is mainly used between architects and designers in the US.
None of the materials used to create those finishes is plaster except the Scagliola finish. Basic Plaster mix is gypsum, sand and lime or just the gypsum and sand. In other words gypsum is the main material in the plaster mix. Stucco is the mix of lime and sand (Traditional) and modern stucco is the mix of lime, cement and sand. So, main material in the modern stucco mix is the cement and traditional mix is the lime or hydraulic lime used in polished stucco.
A part of history
The ancient art of Venetian Polished Plaster is re-emerging as a magnificent form of surface decoration. Out extensive collection of luxurious coloured and polished hard Palsters combine ancient skills with modern materials to create an extraordinary range of intriguing and lusterous wall finishes.
They can be used to express their own distinctive character, emulate expensive dressed stonework such as marble and limestone or recreate the sparkling shimmer and natural rugged texture of travertine, at lower cost and less weight, thus reducing foundation loads.
Architects and designers have not been slow to recognise the impressive qualities inherent in this versatile technique. The process can also produce an apparently seamless reconstituted veneer of marble, pietra granite or variegated stone. However, with modern developments we now produce a far broader range of consistent colours and textures. With their own unique character, these are equally well suited as a wonderful complement to art works, antiques and traditional interiors, or to enhance an exciting contemporary project with colours ranging from soft natural tones to rich and vibrant shades. The applications for polished plasters are diverse and include curved panneling, columns, pilasters and walls and many of the finishes can be used externally.They can be suppported on a broad range of substrates including dry lined surfaces, concrete, brickwork, block-work and existing plaster.
While this distinctive finish may require a higher initial capital outlay than some other forms of surface decoration, it is cost effective on a whole life basis. Each completed finish is a unique art-work, providing a permanent and valuable asset to the owner of the building. Contrast this to the transient nature of conventional finishes, which require repeated redecoration or renewal over the same period and the appeal of polished plaster is evident.