Walls & Ceilings - December 2009 - (Page 40)

TROWEL talk BY WILLIAM E. ROGERS, ACP BELLA FINITE Most of the original finishes were applied in a manner designed to show off the highly polished and silky smooth surfaces. These fi nishes are called Veneziano and are the style we often see at trade shows because they elicit the “ooh-and-ah” reaction. Another architectural application is the imitation of travertine marble. Travertine is known for its porous characteristics and can be imitated by using a lime finish containing marble dust known as Marmarino. The resulting fi nish is, not surprisingly, referred to as, Travertino. Another aspect of these finishes is age, no, not the age of the lime, although that is very important. I’m referring to the age of the plastered wall in Italy that some designer, owner or architect may want replicated. Think about it, a highly polished colored plaster applied three or four hundred years ago and made to look originally like polished marble. Add time, weather, soot from chimneys, water damage, multiple patch and repair jobs later and Walla! You’ve got an Italian look that everyone seems to be crazy over. If you ask me, it looks like a patch job gone bad, but if done with the right colors and in a consistent manner, you’ve got what these folks call Stucco Lugano or Stucco Valentino. Note the word “stucco,” which we use to refer to Portland cement plaster is pronounced “stooc-oh.” After watching so many of my peers apply these plasters, and listening almost mystified (and maybe slightly annoyed) as the Italian names rolled off their tongues as easily as if they were ordering dinner at an Italian restaurant, I decided Learning Italian When I first began to learn how to plaster, if someone would have told me then that it would one day become necessary for me to learn to speak Italian, I would have chuckled and turned away. For more than a decade, a unique and beautiful style of plastering has grown from a very small niche market into a major decorating accoutrement. It is often referred to as “Venetian plastering” or “Italian fi nishes” and identifi able by its rich, vibrant mix of colors and/or a highly polished, marble-like, surface. The style of plastering is intended to imitate wall fi nishes found in Italy. Centuries ago, in the architecture found along the canals of Venice, builders wanted to achieve the beauty and elegance of marble, but they had a problem. The structures along the famous canals have a tendency to sink, and layering large heavy slabs of cut and polished stone on a building makes them sink faster. So they devised a method to coat the base plaster with finishes that imitated real marble. The finishes were made of well-aged slacked lime and sometimes the addition of very fi ne marble powder was added. You see, the chemical composition of marble is CaCO³, or calcium carbonate, which is also the chemical composition of lime. Marble gets its color and striations from impurities such as clay or iron oxide. From the earliest records of plastering, such natural materials were used in the coloring of a host of plaster fi nishes, and by adding them in just the right amount and applying the material in just the right manner; one can imitate marble at a fraction of the cost (and weight). Stucco Lugano Use of a stencil and a little watercolor and you can create “interest” A future plasterer? | Walls & Ceilings | December 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Walls & Ceilings - December 2009

Walls & Ceilings - December 2009
Contents
Up Front
Trade News
Most Requested Products of 2009
Sixth Annual Excellence Awards
Move it on Up
City Central
The Finish Line
Smart Business
Trowel Talk
Straight Green
All in Agreement
Industry Voices
Toolbox
Information Showcase
Classified Marketplace
Advertiser Directory

Walls & Ceilings - December 2009

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