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Over the past three years, I have used my knowledge of chemistry and the help of prominent chemical companies Dow Chemicals and Akzo Nobel and many others to develop my own plaster formulations. Ceaseless time spent sourcing specific raw materials and testing formulations has culminated in truly unique, custom finishes for my clientele. I have also recently sourced many new specialty tools, additives, primers, sealers etc which are allowing me to continually fine-tune and enhance the systems I provide to my valued clients. There is almost no limit to the formulations available now as I can augment every facet of the formulation to create different looks. I can change the ratio of lime, cement and polymer binders, the ratios of marble powers, the size of the powder itself, as well as the size and ratio of crushed aggregate, be it marble, sand, colored, mica etc.
Through careful practice and observation over the last 3 years, and observing venetian plasters in general over the last 10 years or so, I have found so many variables that companies do not care to change and always provide a plaster that only acts one way. Granted this makes sense in a lot of cases for mass production and ease of use across the board; however, there has never been a company for people who enjoy more custom work wanting the ability to create and fine tune their plasters.
This service is now available to any company, any applicator to fully harness the power of plaster and provide unique looks that really go above and beyond any store bought products, be it from Italy or otherwise. I started down this path because many of the prominent Italian products, or USA made products left much to be desired in my opinion, and I often experienced issues with pealing when burnishing, darkening with light colors due to impurities, molding because of impurities, being very difficult to apply due to incorrect rheology, drying too fast and creating unsightly joint lines etc etc. The list went on and on, and eventually I become fed up and wanted to create my own plaster.
I have found and tried so many penetrating sealers, quartz primers and none of them worked very well, or specific tints caused a reaction between the sealer and caused discoloration, or the plaster simply didn’t bind as well to stock quartz primers. Regular quartz primers are usually just a low quality latex with some sand added. I know it sounds rudimentary but remove the fancy labels and everything and that is what most of them are. I developed a primer for myself over the years that has shown to never fail, and even on door applications has not allowed pieces to come off. A primer like this comes at a very premium price due to the quality of the polymers, and I use marble instead of silica for a smoother and safer application for finer finishes, and a small mesh size as well. The sealers often leave white residue, or react with darker tints to create a hazy appearance that ruins your entire project. Manufacturers supply these tints and sealers and when you use them, these issues occur and they never have any answers. Problems like these can make your job very difficult as an applicator, and with the endless tinting issues, trying to get dark colors, poor primers, products and sealers, its a miracle sometimes that the industry is still going..
But the industry is not going very strong, and very few people know about these products, because they are not widely available and the full range of application systems are not well known. Right here in Canada we now have our own primers, sealer, plasters, wall and floor plasters, as well as Tadelakt and our own 138 color chart all colored with special tints from France that are specifically made for lime plasters. They are dry beads, don’t streak, and can tint at 2.5% saturation 10x darker than any regular universal tints or oxides etc. You can now create the darkest blacks and reds without any issue of too much tint that makes your plaster wet, or stops it from drying on your wall. The structural integrity of the plaster is also kept in tact, and no compromise is made whatsoever for the special custom color.
Our color cards are almost finished, and then I can put all the products up on the website. I strongly encourage everyone to try the plasters for themselves, and see that these systems are well thought out and are being used every week by my application company with great results.
I will write another article soon on our new Tadelakt system we will be unveiling.