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TRENDS WE LOVE: VENETIAN PLASTER

Can something be called a trend if it has been around for centuries?

Dating back to ancient times, most notably around Italy and Greece, Venetian plaster is a classic tradition that lends nuanced color and shine to plain walls, often mimicking the aesthetic of stone or marble without necessitating that you splurge on such expensive materials. And though plenty has changed over the past few hundred years, one thing remains true: Venetian plaster is much more luxurious and versatile than most people give it credit for.

If you love the old world aesthetic and elegant simplicity of hundred-year-old European homes, then Venetian plaster might be the perfect finish for your own custom home building project. Need more convincing? Read on for a few more reasons why we love the resurgence of this “trend.”

IT’S NATURAL

Traditionally, what makes Venetian plaster special is that it’s all natural, made primarily from limestone and water. Some strains may also include marble dust or other aggregates, but in general, it’s an organic material harvested from nature.

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This is great on two fronts. First, using all-natural materials helps creates an elegant, organic look that blurs the line between indoor and outdoor (one of our favorite aesthetics—particularly in locations like Hawaii and California). Secondly, natural Venetian plaster is nontoxic, will emit no harmful substances into the air, and is naturally mold-resistant.

IT LOOKS LIKE MARBLE

If you want to get the look of marble but can’t use actual marble because of budget or design constraints, Venetian plaster is a fantastic substitute. Because of its natural characteristics and the way that it’s applied (in thin, translucent layers that are often burnished), it provides a soft, earthy appearance with an iridescent finish—just like marble or stone.

With this in mind, Venetian plaster is a particularly great choice for curved walls, columns, and other large areas where actual marble would cost a fortune.

IT’S CUSTOMIZABLE

Venetian plaster can be tinted using either natural or synthetic colorants. If you’re looking for the aesthetic of a particular marble, or if you want to get extra creative, the sky’s the limit! Though natural, earthy tones are most often preferred, as this is how Venetian plaster shines best, know that you are not limited here. If you want a color that doesn’t exist naturally, chances are you can create it.

Similarly, the texture can be customized. When Venetian plaster is burnished (the traditional method, as mentioned above), the result is a gorgeously smooth texture. However, if you’re interested in a more rugged feel, that’s also possible—it just takes the addition of extra materials.

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IT’S SURPRISINGLY LOW MAINTENANCE

Venetian plaster (particularly Venetian plaster made without additional aggregates) doesn’t age or fade, and is very durable. It’s also easy to clean and, should you discover a blemish, can be repaired without hassel. Gone are the days of having to re-plaster an entire wall just because of one little scuff!

Sometimes, regular paint can only get you so far. While Venetian plaster is best known for its old-world appeal, many people also claim that the smooth texture and subtle sheen is gracefully modern—which just goes to show how versatile this finish really is. So if you want a refined, sophisticated look that’s natural and affordable, Venetian plaster is a great option. Contact Smith Brothers to learn more today!


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