June 2, 2017
Venetian Plaster and Faux Finishing Techniques|Faux Painting and Venetian Plaster|Distinguishing Between Venetian Plaster from Faux Finishing Venetian plaster is referred to the technique of using a finish material mixture of plaster that is mixed with marble dust to cover walls and ceilings, in which with the use of a spatula or trowel, the plaster mixture is spread over the walls and ceilings in thin, multiple layers, which are polished to create a smooth surface, creating an illusion of depth and texture. The result of unpolished walls using Venetian plaster technique is a matte finish that is rough, stone-like, brittle and can easily be damaged. Where marble panels could not be easily installed or on surfaces that would be too expensive to carve from real marble, such as columns, corbels, and curved walls, venetian plasters are used as an alternative finish. Tinted or colored Venetian plaster are oftentimes produced using natural or synthetic colorants, in which this technique is especially helpful when a specific marble color is desired or when a color that does not exist naturally is required.
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Authentic Venetian plaster is not a faux finish, and its authenticity can be distinguished in such a way that when natural, lime-based Venetian plaster is applied, it will eventually return to its original state, which is lime and marble.
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Since lime plasters perform extremely well in wet climates by allowing any water that is absorbed into the plaster to quickly evaporate and exit the structure, they are also called in Italy as Italian Venetian plasters, since they are good choices for surfaces that are always exposed to moisture, like in the damp and canal-side applications in the Venice lagoons. Since Venetian plaster is self-healing, much less likely to crack than cement finish, and naturally mold-resistant, thus resulting in beautiful walls that can withstand the test of time, unlike paints, which must be re-applied over and over, Venetian plaster is a lifetime finish. A decorative, paint technique that is applied to replicate the appearance of materials such as marble, wood or stone, is known as faux painting or faux finishing and this technique has also come to encompass many other decorative finishes for walls and furniture, including simulating recognizable textures and surfaces. Faux finishing comes in many decorative techniques, such as faux marbling (used to make walls and furniture look like real marble), fresco (uses mixture of tint and joint compound to add mottled color and subtle texture to plain walls), graining (used to imitate exotic or hard-to-find wood varieties), color wash (using multiple hues of glaze blended together with a paint brush), Strie (glazing technique using a paint brush to create soft thin streaks of color), rag painting (using twisted or bunched up rags to create a textural pattern), and sponging (free-form finish achieved by applying glaze to the wall by dabbing a sea sponge).