There's something inherently luxurious about polished plaster: the glassy, reflective appearance, the superb smoothness and the intrigue of depth in a flat surface. Such is its allure that you just have to reach out and run your hand along the surface.
Polished plaster finishes are a stunning option for walls, feature walls, columns, entry areas or just about any flat surface in homes, cafes,
bars, restaurants, high-end hotels and retail settings.
It’s not surprising the polished look has undergone a resurgence over recent years as more people seek out bespoke finishes and more attractive alternatives to traditional paint and tiles.
Polished finishes in your colour of choice can be paired with black and/or gold for a truly opulent look, timber and natural textiles for a more organic aesthetic, or left in a natural white for elegant, timeless style.Polished plaster is also an ideal way to achieve the popular polished concrete look with continuous, seamless polished concrete-look walls or feature areas.
What is polished plaster?
A polished plaster finish is created using modern wet plaster products that draw on the traditional lime-based plasters of Europe, the Middle East and Japan.
As modern-day artisan, I am fully trained in the application of modern plaster products including RockCote Venetian Plaster and RockCote Marrakesh as well as products from the Giorgio Graesan range. Other common names for polished plasters include stucco, stucco Veneziano, traditional Italian plaster, Italian polished plaster, Tadelakt and Marmorino.
Modern plaster products are applied andfinishedin the traditional way: following surface preparation and the application of a base coat, the plaster is applied with a trowel andpolishedor burnished by handto compress the surface, producing a luminous, reflective appearance. The more the surface is polished, the higher the level of shine achieved.
Venetian Plaster can be used to create a highly reflective glass or mirror like-finish while Marrakesh is best for lower polished or lustre finishes.
Polished Plaster finishes for homes and apartments
Regardless of where it is used in a home, polished plaster makes a statement while at the same time being a unique work of art that has been created just for you.
In an entry area, polished plaster can deliver a refined and elegant look that creates a theme for the remainder of the interior design.
Entire hallways or stairwells finished in polished plaster create a sense of spaciousness that is impossible to achieve with paint, the smooth, continuous surface reflecting soft, gentle light.
Replicate the look of marble for feature walls columns, bedheads or splashbacks with a splitstone finish where handcrafted “veins” are woven throughout a tactile surface.
The possibilities are endless for polished plaster in homes but it’s most commonly used for:
- Entry areas
- Feature walls
- Island benches
With so many different looks that can be achieved, I will work closely with you to find out what you like, create samples to view and come up with a truly unique finish for your project.
The allure of polished plaster for commercial projects
Decorative plaster walls can be a game-changer for commercial projects, delivering a high-end look suitable for a wide range of projects including bars, cafes, hotel reception areas, offices, showrooms and retail environments.
A mirror finish plaster is an ideal backdrop to a contemporary bar, with glass shelves added to complete the look and maximise the iridescent effect.
In a retail context, polished plaster can be an effective setting for displaying merchandise, an eye-catching background for products that effectively uses available light to offer a more expansive sense of space.
Fine polished plaster finishes are also a stunning design option for entry areas, columns, foyers, feature walls or lift surrounds in luxury hotels and apartments.
Bespoke finishes can be achieved for:
- Bar areas
- Reception areas
- Retail walls
- Lift surrounds
Any colour imaginable
Greys, charcoals, earthy colours and neutrals are the most popular shades for polished plaster finishes but with liquid oxides, almost any colour you can imagine can be achieved including bright colours, pastels, and a range of greys, whites and neutrals.
Both Marrakesh and Venetian Plaster are manufactured in a natural white colour that can also be applied untinted for a pure, luminescent look.
The application process and lime-based nature of the products means subtle graduations between light and dark colours in the finished surface are evident, enhancing the appeal. Visible trowel marks add character and personality to the finish. An ombré effect where a darker colour fades into a lighter colour across a single wall can also be achieved.
Both Marrakesh and Venetian Plaster display a natural patina. Keep in mind that Marrakesh will continue to develop its patina over time, similar to a traditional Tadelakt, while Venetian Plaster’s patina is created upon application and won’t further develop over time.
More from the blog
> Concrete look walls and features for homes and commercial projects
> Luxury beachfront home showcases concrete look finishes
> The elegance of a seamless bathroom
> The earthy beauty of a bespoke textured finish