Why you should care about indoor air quality

A Prime Candidate Inside or Out

Wondering why we stress Venetian plaster’s green qualities (non-VOC, naturally mold-resistant)?

People are becoming more and more concerned about indoor air quality. Homes plagued with VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) or mold can negatively impact the health of the occupants. According to Green By Design, “an estimated 15% of the U.S. population — millions of people — are chronically ill from their homes, and indoor air quality is a major factor.”

The long and short term health benefits of using green building materials to achieve clean indoor air are numerous. It doesn’t make sense to let your home be the reason you are sick. Do something about it and utilize breathable, mold resistant plaster to enhance your quality of life. Natural lime materials dry out quickly and prevent VOCs from building up, which helps with all kinds of respiratory conditions. Authentic Venetian plaster is even self-healing, so it continues to stand the test of time while continuously providing your home with premium indoor air quality.

If you are using authentic Venetian plaster, or have thought about using it, you might want to check out some info on indoor air quality around the web:

  • Build It Green explains that “A common source of indoor air pollution is the offgassing of chemicals found in many building materials…”

There is no denying the benefits of using natural lime materials to improve indoor air quality. Have you noticed a difference between working with non-toxic Venetian plasters versus acrylic finishes? Tell us about it in the comments……

Posted in Green building, Reloaded
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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.

Posted in About Stucco Italiano, Tadelakt
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We get so many requests from contractors and homeowners asking for information on how to do showers these days.  Probably our single-most requested technical info item.  My answer is always a resounding “don’t ask me”.  But seriously, tackling a shower surround is a whole different animal than just putting up a nice finish over drywall, so this is no job for amateurs.

Fortunately there are now full start-to-finish systems available that seem to be working great as a substrate for Tadelakt or even Marmorino Carrara or Intonachino.  Our applicators have had excellent success over the past 4-5 years with the Wedi board system which is a lightweight alternative to cement board and include a special panel fastener that seems much more reliable than simple screws, as well as a paintable urethane caulking system to ensure cracking does not occur at the joints.


Click here to get to the Wedi site.


During last week’s decorative cement class one of our students gave me a brochure from Schluter, another leader in the wet area substrate industry (thanks Tamara!).  They now have a relatively new system similar to Wedi called Kerdi-board.  And they have seminars around the country for interested contractors.  In our area there is one coming up in Lynwood, WA May 17th, Tacoma on May 18th,  2011 and Portland on May 19th, 2011.  I’ll be at either the Lynwood or Tacoma one for sure.  Here’s a link to the page listing Schluter seminars.

These seminars are free.  So you want to install an incredibly beautiful Tadelakt or other lime-plaster finish in a shower and not sure how to do the substrate?  Maybe quit calling me and go learn how to do it right from a professional. 😉


Posted in lime plaster, Prep Work, Tadelakt, Tips & Tricks, Venetian plaster
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Stucco Italiano New Classes, New Dealers

Our February 2011 Newsletter

This months newsletter just went out – here’s a link to the online version.

If you’d like to receive our newsletter in the future there is a link to sign up on that page.…

Posted in About Stucco Italiano, Venetian plaster
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Tadelakt Application Questions From One of Our Customers:

Tadelakt Application Questions From One of Our Customers: use Tadelakt for an adobe style fireplace (steel frame w/ cement board substrate). Will the olive oil soap cause any problems with the heat from the fireplace? Does applying the olive oil soap affect surface breathability
Posted in Prep Work, Projects, Tadelakt
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