Category Archives: Tadelakt


Distressed Tadelakt from Class

Distressed Tadelakt from Class

I like this Distressed Tadelakt sample we just did in our last class.

I wouldn’t use this in a Tadelakt shower since the open areas would probably be more difficult to clean, but as a wall finish I think it works nicely. The olive oil soap gives this Tadelakt technique a nice soft feel on the smooth areas.

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Is Stucco Italiano Tadelakt “Real” Tadelakt?

Is Stucco Italiano Tadelakt "Real" Tadelakt?

I decided to go straight to the source and speak with someone who has used Moroccan Tadelakt many times in the past in order to see what other applicators thought of our material.  This man is a true professional and even trained in Morocco on it’s use.  He did a large steam room with Stucco Italiano Tadelakt and could not stop raving about how much he loved it.  It is a truly wonderful material.

This reminded me that I get asked fairly often if our Tadelakt is the “real” Tadelakt.  When people ask this they are usually asking if it comes from Morocco.  Stucco Italiano Tadelakt is manufactured in Italy.

In our humble opinion, ours is an improved version of the Moroccan material.  This is what our applicators are telling us as well.  Stucco Italiano Tadelakt looks the same as Moroccan Tadelakt and it has the same chemistry behind it.  But due to the Italian refinement in the manufacturing process it is easier to polish and less likely to peel off when it is being polished.  On flat surfaces it can be brought up to the highest sheen with only a trowel – a stone is not necessary.  So it looks better more consistently and requires less labor.  Anything wrong with that?

Here’s the official statement from our website:

Stucco Italiano Tadelakt is manufactured in Italy by Giovanni Polistena.  Giovanni’s intentions in developing this Moroccan-style material were to remain entirely faithful to the look, feel, and chemical makeup of the original Moroccan Tadelakt, while creating a more sophisticated, user-friendly product. Enlisting the help and guidance of Moroccan Tadelakt installers, Giovanni spent many months formulating the perfect blend of natural limes, clays, and sands.

Stucco Italiano Tadelakt is now preferred by many installers of  Moroccan Tadelakt for it’s beauty, ease of installation, and ability to resist delaminating/detaching from the surface as Moroccan Tadelakt often does in the hands of anyone but the most expert installers.  The results speak for themselves – Stucco Italiano Tadelakt is the equal to Moroccan Tadelakt in it’s look and durability, and superior in ease of application, price, and availability.

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Fact or Fiction: 5 Things You’ve Probably Heard About Venetian Plaster

A Prime Candidate Inside or Out

A lot of people throw around the term “Venetian plaster,” but what does it really mean?

5 things you’ve probably heard about Venetian plaster, and why they are wrong:

1. You’ve heard: “Venetian plaster is a faux finish.”

The truth: Authentic Venetian plaster is not a faux finish. In fact, it’s the most authentic veneer wall finish you can have. When natural, lime-based venetian plaster is applied it will eventually return to it’s original state, which is lime and marble, AKA stone.

2. You’ve heard: You can buy Venetian plaster at Lowes or Home Depot.

The truth: You will find products labeled “Venetian plaster,” but they are actually composed of acrylic polymers and fillers such as gypsum and/or clay. While these synthetic Venetian plasters made by paint manufacturers may look somewhat similar to the real thing to the untrained eye, it’s been our experience that these synthetics will ultimately fade and become “tired” looking over a relatively short period of time, just like painted walls. Unlike real Venetian Plaster, synthetic Venetians are more closely related to paint than to stone, so this should come as no surprise.

3. You’ve heard: Venetian plaster can’t be applied in the shower, on exteriors, or on any surface that will get wet.

The truth: True Italian Venetian plaster is actually a wonderful choice for surfaces that will get wet. Lime plasters perform extremely well in wet climates by simply allowing any water that is absorbed into the plaster to quickly evaporate and exit the structure. That’s why they’re called Venetian plaster, because they can tolerate rising damp and canal-side applications like in the lagoons of Venice that would cause failure in acrylic and cement plasters. Traditional Moroccan lime plaster Tadelakt has been used in the Hammams (the traditional Moroccan steam baths), and in the riads of Marrakech for centuries. 

4. You’ve heard: Anyone can apply Venetian plaster in their home.

The truth: Well, it’s true that anyone can apply it. But applying it well is a different story. While we definitely aren’t saying you’ll be a pro after one day, our new Introduction to Authentic Venetian Plaster is a good place for a beginner to start understanding the do’s and dont’s of Venetian plaster application. Also, consider hiring a skilled contractor to do the job.

5. You’ve heard: Installing Venetian plaster in your home will break the bank.

The truth: Unlike paints which must be reapplied over and over, Venetian plaster is a lifetime finish. The material is self-healing, much less likely to crack than cement finishes, and naturally mold-resistant, resulting in beautiful walls that will withstand the test of time. Green building will be a key part of America’s economic future, and authentic Venetian plasters are not only beautiful, they fit perfectly into the future of green building.

6. You’ve heard: Venetian plaster is really shiny.

The truth: OK that’s 6 things, not 5. You caught me. Just consider this as bonus knowledge. Yes, Venetian plaster can be brought up to a natural high sheen by compressing the material as it dries. The more compression, the higher the sheen. However, natural lime plasters can also be finished to a rustic matte or satin sheen, depending on which material is used and how it is applied. The possible looks and finishes for Venetian plaster are limitless!

Got any more questions about Venetian plaster? Feel free to ask and we’ll do our best to shed some light on the subject. Ready to experience authentic Venetian plaster for yourself? Visit our store and get all the materials you need, or sign up for one of our classes and learn how to plaster like a pro.

Posted in lime plaster, Tadelakt, Venetian plaster
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Black Tadelakt exterior in Vancouver

Black Tadelakt exterior in Vancouver

Aaron and Kay Lynn paid a visit to some of our best customers and our Vancouver distributor, PacWest, up in Canada this week.

Steve Manby of Authentic Plaster FX posted on his blog about Aaron checking out his black Tadelakt exterior.

Hopefully he’ll send us more pics soon!

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Ecofriendly Shower Surrounds

// Nice article on shower surrounds featuring our Austin distributor, House and Earth.

Green and Clean: Ecofriendly Tub and Shower Surrounds Houzz- Kitchen Remodel, Bathroom Remodel and More!
Posted in Featured Stucco Italiano Installer, Green building, Tadelakt
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