How To Do Marmorino Plaster

Marmorino plaster is a way to create marble or stone look finishes in your home.

Originally used for exteriors in Venice, Marmorino plaster has found its way to modern interiors because of its beauty and versatility. In Venice, plasterers used it as a lightweight substitute for marble and stone, the weight of which was feared to sink Venice to lower depths, submerging the city in water.

Marmorino plaster, also called Marmorina Venetian plaster, adds depth and durability to a room. It can retain a stone-like look or be polished to a soft sheen. This industrial-strength wall texture can take on thousands of variations, depending on tints, textures, and additives such as metallic flakes.

Marmorino plaster creates a smooth, matte sheen with cloudy variations. This Italian plastering technique used lime and fine marble dust to create the matte look. Today, you can buy different commercial Marmorino mediums to create jus the look you want, from a very smooth, refined surface to a more rustic look.

Learning to apply Marmorino plaster yourself can save you a lot. The average rates for labor of Marmorino plaster run between $5-10 a square foot. So if you learn to do it yourself, you can have a beautifully plastered room for the price of the materials, and you'll learn a new skill.

You can buy the materials online or at a shop that specializes in faux finishes. If you're going to tint the plaster, make sure the tint is manufactured specifically for the plaster you purchase. There are many products to choose from, from acrylic-based plasters and tints to true slaked limestone plasters, like the original ones used in Venice. Decide what your needs are before you make a decision.

The first step, and maybe the most important, is to ensure that your wall is flat and free of any blemishes. Any protrusions will shine more than other areas and catch the eye, which you want to avoid. Tape off any areas you don't want plastered, spray the substrate, and then prime the surface with an oil-based primer. The primer allows the plaster to stick to the wall, so you don't want to miss this step.

Next, apply a base coat of Marmorino or Marmur plaster with a trowel (look for a stainless steel trowel designed for Marmorino plastering, which has rounded corners), and allow this coat to dry for 24 hours. When this base coat is dry, sand it with a fine-grade sand paper until the surface is smooth.

Now you're ready to create the plaster look. With short, random strokes of your stainless steel trowel, apply another coat of plaster. Don't allow the edges to dry before you move on to your next area. Always apply wet plaster to wet plaster. When this coat is about 70 percent dry, apply another coat on top, increasing your trowel pressure to smooth the surface.

When this topcoat as dried for an hour, polish the surface with a short, random strokes of a clean trowel. If your trowel gets dirty, clean it and continue polishing.

For a more polished look, or if your plaster is in a high use area such as a kitchen, consider using paste wax to polish finish the surface. Simply apply the paste wax with a clean cloth and buff it with a buffing wheel or a rag.

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