Venetian Plaster Walls

•April 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Texture/Appearance Venetian Plaster normally refers to a smooth shiny polished surface, however depending on the manufacturer it could refer to a wide range of plaster products, not just from Italy. Many manufacturers use the term to add value to their cheaper products. Marmorino, while refers to a smooth, shiny polished plaster can further be categorised depending on it texture, grain size or shine. Some Marmorino or Polished plaster products may be made from Lime-based ingredients, others could be cement based or acrylic. Lime-based Polished Plasters Generally lime based polished plaster is supplied as a pre-mixed wet material and contains a minimum of 40% marble powders with no more than 2% binders. This is recognised within restoration projects as a suitable quality material. The end result should be smooth and cold to the touch without reliance on wax or machines to make it shiny. Waxing is an option but if this product is installed by a talented craftsperson there should be adequate shine in the polished plaster with waxing only being used for protection. venetian-plaster-walls

The seduction….low bidding.

•February 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

When you bid out your new kitchen/walls to a carefully selected list of Faux Artists, it’s awfully tempting to simply go with the lowest bid. That can be a mistake. Low bids are “seductive,” and it’s a fallacy to assume that you should “put out the bid to three or four people and then go with the low bid” The problem with all bids is comparing them once they’re in. If you really trace down the nightmares, you’ll find that a large part of the problem is that people go for the low-bid price. I fix bad faux but it will cost more . Repair work is labor intensive. Extra time and materials and the fact faux repair is a very narrow market.

There are many “faux artists” willing to venetian plaster your walls or glaze your kitchen cabinets, few of them know how to repair the damage. When somebody bids something too low, they may have done it on purpose and plan to make it up later, or they may have done it accidentally or they just don’t k now the market. Either way, they’ll soon be in trouble because they’re losing money or cutting corners. You have to get apples-to-apples bids.

Estimating Practices

•January 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Estimating Practices
Estimating a faux finish job is extremely difficult without seeing the room. There are many variables that make the artisan’s job easier or more difficult. For instance, high ceilings require climbing a ladder or installing scaffolding and will increase the price. The artisan needs to see the project in order to provide an accurate price. Beware the faux finisher who rattles off a price over the telephone. A “general estimate” over the phone may be acceptable.  The Artisian must be able to view the project to give accurate quote. Even if you provide the dimensions of the room, the artisan needs to see the job site. A price quoted on a job unseen will invariably increase as the job progresses because of unknown variables.

Choose a faux finisher

•January 25, 2010 • 1 Comment

Keep in mind that faux finishing is a profession and an art. The faux finish artisan should have formal training and continue the training from a faux finish school, proving that he or she has had education in the profession. In lieu of formal education, the artisan should provide the name of the decorative artisan under whom he or she served an apprenticeship.

Low Bids..who is the “real winner”?

•December 31, 2009 • 1 Comment

It is a constant battle in any sales position.  Your client is requesting multiple bids on a project.  Wise decision-if you are comparing apples with  apples.  Are you educated enough to ask the right questions or are you looking for the lowest bid? 

Hardly any other area of a home imparts more value than a kitchen or bath. Many times the kitchen and bath will be a strategic selling point, that’s why kitchen and bath cabinets need to be painted with extreme care and preparation. (It is 70% preparation that will provide a quality finish.) This is one item you shouldn’t scrimp on; you should get the best painter that you can afford.

(1). Don’t just get 1 bid, get 4 or 5. Out of the five just toss out the 2 lowest bids and only consider the 3 highest. A bid that’s way under the average rate is a sure sign of lack of experience, cheap labor and products, or short cuts taken to finish the job faster.   Remember: The lowball bid isn’t always the best bid.

(2). Ask to see some of their previous work, do they have photos (how do you know they are photos of THIER work and they didn’t “borrow” photos off someone’s website?) How about references? Give extra points to the painter that shows you sample doors (and not just photos) of his finished cabinet work! Ask are they going to be doing the work or are they going to bring in some other paint contractors that you have not met to do the work.

(3). Ask them how they are going to prepare the cabinets, are they going to sand, patch, and caulk all the corners and joints that need it? Grease and oil is the #1 cause for paint failure in a kitchen. Grease from cooking is released into the air and settles on the cabinets. Even oils from your hands from handling the cabinets for years need to be removed with a thorough cleaning.

(4). Ask them if they are going to prime any exposed wood areas before they put finish paint on? What type of primer are they going to use? If they say they’re going to spot prime with acrylic primer, get another cabinet painter. Only oil based primers that will sand down well, such as oil based KILZ, should be used. Acrylic primers are very hard to feather out.  Raw MDF must be oil primed to create a moisture barrier.

(5). Make sure they remove all the knobs and hardware, ask them if they will protect the items that can’t be removed to keep them from getting paint splatters. This is very important! Would you believe that some painters will paint right over your expensive hardware, without hesitation?

(6). Insure they will use a duster and tack rag to pick up dust and debris between sanding.

(7). What about vacuuming? A very good vacuuming between sanding is essential to a good finish, ask them if they vacuum right before painting? Do they vacuum the cabinet tops, floors, inside and outside the cabinets, what about adjacent walls?

(8). Spraying the cabinet doors is best for a great finish. Brushed doors look very amateurish. If spraying, make sure they protect every area not to be painted with paper, plastic, masking tape, and drop cloths. Rosin paper is great to protect floors. The adjacent doors leading to the rest of the home should be sealed tight with plastic before spraying or sanding. Make sure that the doors are sprayed off site in a climate controlled environment.  Paint that is not sprayed in optimal humidity and temperature will not adhere properly. Avoid (like the plague)  any painter that wants spray the doors in your garage, basement or drive way.

(9). Make sure that they are using quality products on your cabinets. Some products are extremely hazardous and deadly like lacquer and should not be used around children, pets or homeowners.

(10). Ask your painter if he will come back in a couple of weeks – if need be – to do any touch ups you may find?

Multi-purpose paints to ward of bugs, mold and mildew

•August 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Duel or multi purpose coatings are widely available and most major companies make at least one type. Information about effectiveness, performance, availability and other features is readily available through manufacturer help lines and web sites. Following are some of the major suppliers and products.

ANIT GRAFFITI: Benjamin Moore, Exological Coatings,Genesis Coatings, Kion Specialty Products, SEI Checmical, Sherwin Williams.

ANTIMICROBIAL: Alistagen, Akzo Nobel Canada

ANTI MOLD/ANTI MILDEW: BEHR Paints, Benjamin Moore,Hirshfield, JOMAPS,SEI Chemical, Sherwin Williams, Valspar, Walla Walla Environmental, Zinsser

CHALKBOARD:Benjamin Moore, Rust-Oleum

DRY ERASE:Idea Paint, Rust Oleum

ENERGY EFFICIENT:BASF, Industrial Nanotech Inc,Insulating Coatings COrp., Shermin WIlliams,SOLEC Solar ENergy Corp., STS Coatings

FIRE (FLAME) RETARDANT: Benjamin Moore, Flame Stop inc, HY-Tech, Intumescent Technologies, Shermin WIlliams

HIGH-PERFORMANCE:Dupont Industrial Coating SOlutions, Shermin WIlliams, Tnemec Co

LIME BASED PAINTSFaux Effects, Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co, Olivetti Mineral Finishes, TexSton

MAGNETIC:Magically Magnetic Inc, Rust Oleum

PESTICIDE: Walla Walla Environmental

Find your niche

There is allot of competition and if you add these paints to your portfolio it will help separate yourself from many of your competitors.  Learning more about specialty coatings can give you the cutting edge you need to win the bid!

Why you should GO GREEN with Venetian Plaster

•August 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Venetian plastered walls and ceiling (600 x 450)Venetian Plaster is sooo much more than “faux paint”.  In fact it is NOT faux paint!  It is 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. Venetian Plasters Green Qualities are almost reason enough to use this technique in your home!  Indoor Air  is often more toxic than outside pollution. Venetian Plaster will provide you with LOW VOC and resist Mold and Mildew it is naturally high in pH and lime finishes act as an anti-bacterial surface, neutralizing the development of organic substances such as mold and fungus .  Have you ever wondered how the venetian walls that cover Italy’s landscape have withstood the test of time for over 300 years!  The Benefits are unmistakable!

.    Crack-Resistant
•    Very Breathable
•    Self-Healing
•    Wets and Dries Out FAST
•    Naturally Mold-Resistant
•    Time-Tested
•    Natural & Green

Other similar finishes include Anticco, Tuscany, Marmorino ( a much older venetian plaster dated Rome’s 1st century), silkstone and Terra. All can be applied on exteriors as well on interiors. 

Cost will vary from 7.00 to $28.00 per square foot of area to be plastered, with additional costs for wall space over 9 feet and ceilings. (100 sq. ft. minimum each finish per job)

For columns, prices start at $75.00 per linear foot.

All prices include materials and labor.  Because of the artistic nature of Italian plaster application, each wall will be a unique statement with its own distinctive look. We will work with you or your designer to customize colors or combine plaster finishes, creating a beautifully coordinated look within your overall plan. View more samples of Venetian Plaster at