Synthetic vs. Real Lime-Based Venetian Plaster

italy11Choose wisely: You can walk into Home Depot and purchase something called “Venetian Plaster” This material can be applied with a spatula and polished to a relatively high sheen. So what’s the big deal about Lime-based plaster anyway? Isn’t it about the same thing? Who cares if it is real or synthetic?

Not Fade Away: While synthetic Venetian plasters made by various paint manufacturers may look somewhat similar to the real thing at first, it’s been our experience that these synthetics will ultimately fade and become “tired” looking over time.  This is similar to the way painted walls will fade and lose their fresh look after a few years.  Synthetic Venetians are paint, not stone – they are “organic” in the sense they have not finished their life-cycle and will continue to change after application.   Authentic mineral plasters are made from stone – lime and marble – they are non-organic and will not change over time.

Linoleum versus stone: We liken it to the difference between putting linoleum on your floor versus stone.  Remember, real slaked lime and marble based Venetian plasters are actually composed of stone in the form of crushed limestone and marble. It’s “like applying liquid stone to your walls” we like to tell our customers (excellent selling point), and it makes sense these real Venetian plaster materials retain their luster and vibrancy for decades and longer.

Short term versus long term: True you may save some money in the short term using quote-unquote Venetian plaster.  But considering the labor and the time involved, I think the synthetics are generally going to be used by the uneducated applicator/consumer.  I say this because it is very rarely that we see anyone turned on to natural plasters go back to the synthetics.

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