DIY tips on how to apply Venetian plaster paint
Venetian plaster has experienced has gained popularity with the revival of modern renaissance of Italian wall finishes and if you are looking for DIY tips on how to apply Venetian plaster paint then Vasariplaster.com is a great place for you to start! These finishes might be new to some people, have a lineage going back thousands of years to the early days of the Mesopotamia civilization. They have unrefined clay plasters have been replaced with a combination of raw lime and crushed limestone. Sometimes the plaster was painted with lime paints or also used as a base for more elaborate frescoes.
If you look back at the remains of the Roman Villas of Pompei and other excavated buildings during that time, you will be able to see how the use of this plaster has changed to modern architecture applications. The Romans understood the advantages of using burned lime which was then appropriately mixed with water and then it was left to age so as to improve the workability. Marcus Vitruvius was the pioneer of these techniques and wrote about it in De Architecture. The writings were discovered in the 15th century and it describes the building and architectural practices of Rome 1BC. During that time, walls were plastered with three coats of sand and lime mixture followed by three coats of a fine marble dust and also a lime mix and the end result was a smooth polished finish. While the plaster was wet, colors were introduced with the goal of providing a strong, easy to clean decorative surface.
The rediscovery of these specific practices launched widespread use in the 15th century Venice. It was in the lagoon area of Venice that had an abundance of wealth and these practices became very popular and widely used in classical architecture projects. During that time, moving sand around the lagoon was not only very difficult to do and also expensive, there was also quite a bit of waste terra cotta from the brick industry and recycling of old roof tiles. As a result, plaster renders were manufactured instead with ground terra cotta and hydraulic lime to make a highly breathable surface and was suited for a damp atmosphere of the lagoon area. There was also an abundance of stone and marble waste as well, this was then grounded, combined with lime to create fine plaster finishes or Marmorino. More often than not was left white to copy the stone of modern day Croatia (Istria) which was the favorite of Venetian builders, alternatively they were also painted with frescoes to copy more exotic marble. An additional benefit for the “Sinking City” was that the weight of the Marmorino was significantly less that the classic Roman style of using slab pieces of stone and marble.
Over time, interest in Venetian plaster diminished from the late 19th century until the more recent use with architect Carlo Scarpa back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Now at this time, there is a worldwide resurgence of Venetian plasters being used for public buildings, new offices, new home construction, and hotels. Most plaster today is now made with synthetic acrylic resins, most hold true to the original recipe of lime and marble powder and with the inclusion of adhesives it can be used on modern building surfaces such as drywall.
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