Polished plaster is a descriptive term relating to the finish of some plasters. It also relates to new and updated forms of what was traditionally considered to be Italian plaster finishes.
The term covers a range of decorative plaster finishes which include the highly polished Venetian plaster to the rugged look of textured plasters.
Polished plaster usually consists of slaked lime, marble dust and/or marble chips which gives the plaster a very distinctive look. It is mainly used internally on walls and ceilings and provides a finish which looks like polished marble or limestone. The finish is usually constructed by the use of a specialised steel trowel which gives it a smooth, glass-like sheen. This is then sealed with a protective layer of wax.
Venetian plaster consists of plaster which has been mixed with marble dust and is usually used for walls and ceilings. It is applied with a spatula or trowel in thin, multiple layers, which are then burnished to create a smooth surface with the illusion of depth and texture. There are different types of Venetian plaster techniques and it can be applied to create a highly polished, marble-like finish which is extremely hard. Venetian plaster works well on surfaces where marble panels would not be easy to install and also on other surfaces that would be expensive if carved from real marble. This includes columns and curved walls.
Venetian plaster can be tinted, or alternatively coloured using either natural or synthetic colorants. The ability to tint Venetian plaster is especially helpful when a customer has requested a specific colour of “marble” or if the colour does not exist naturally.