Types of Interior Plaster Finishes and How to Recognize Them

Photo of a fire place done with Interior Plaster

Plaster, stucco, and cement can be tailored in various ways and applied according to functional needs or artistic preferences. Interior plaster finishes significantly enhance the architectural design of an indoor space. Some textures are tied to particular architectural styles, and incorporating them during construction or restoration adds genuine authenticity. Let’s explore the different plastering finishes and their identification techniques.

Varieties of Interior Plaster Finishes

Different types of plaster exist based on the materials used and their intended functions. The choice of plaster type hinges on the availability of materials, the need for durability, and the desired finish.

Choosing an interior plaster type for your walls affects the resulting type of finish, which can greatly change the look and feel of the plaster. For example, a smooth finish feels different than a textured one. It is therefore essential to pick the right finish. While some finishes are simple to apply, others require expert technique.

At Griffith Plaster, we’re here to assist with such matters and ensure that you receive an interior plaster that enhances your indoor space’s safety and appearance.

Venetian plaster:

Venetian plaster, a distinctive type of wall covering, boasts a rich historical legacy that traces back to ancient times, with its origins linked to the Roman Empire. Traditional Venetian Plaster, ormarble plaster, is made of lime putty and marble dust and provides a highly polished finish to walls and ceilings. As a result, it’s often used successfully for decorative effect. When it’s applied correctly, the plaster on its own can provide a rock hard, deeply textured, and smooth marble-like finish which displays a glossy, high sheen.

Polished plaster:

Polished plaster is a style of finish for certain types of plasters. The term covers a whole range of decorative plaster finishes, from the highly polished Venetian plaster to the rugged look of textured polished plasters. Polished plaster is mainly used internally, on walls and ceilings, to provide a finish that looks like polished marble or limestone. Such plasters are usually applied over a primer and basecoat base in several layers. They are finished (burnished) with a specialised steel trowel to a smooth glass-like sheen. Polished plaster is usually sealed with a protective layer of wax.

Milano plaster: 

Stolit Milano is a high quality, versatile specialty finish used in conjunction with various techniques incorporating color, texture, profiles, and effects to create one-of-a-kind custom finishes. Milano plaster is a very fine, sandable, and extremely workable finish for interior or exterior wall surfaces. In just two or three coats, this finish can achieve multiple decorative effects, from a fine grit texture to an ultra-smooth one. Highly breathable and mildew-resistant, Stolit Milano can also be top coated to provide additional abrasion protection.

Lime plaster:

Lime plasters are ideal candidates for repairs because they are flexible and resist water damage. Plaster is by nature a more durable finish than drywall. Lime plaster has the property of killing bacteria and mold particularly well due to its alkaline ph value. It is therefore particularly popular in damp rooms, such as bathrooms.

Smooth Cast Finish:

Commonly referred to as ‘neat’ or ‘white coat,’ this interior wall plaster finish provides a smooth and even surface without any added textures or designs. While it’s a widely recognized plaster finish, its simplicity doesn’t necessarily lend it a basic appearance. The clean finish often acts as a foundational layer for more intricate techniques like marbleizing, faux bois, Venetian plaster, trompe l’oeil, and others.

Smooth Cast Finish is typically linked with gypsum-based plasters. Craftsmen achieve this interior wall plaster by frequently troweling and compressing the plaster, using water during the process to maintain a sleek surface.

Rough Cast Finish:

Often referred to as ‘float finish,’ this type of interior plaster finish has a textured, rough appearance. It is frequently found on exterior stucco finishes, and is used in styles like French country or Tudor, but craftsmen occasionally adopt it for indoor plaster finishing.

Although less common now, rough cast finish served as a creative touchstone prior to the 20th century. Historically, it camouflaged irregular surfaces or rooms that weren’t perfectly aligned. Various scraping techniques on the setting plaster produce distinct textures and an informal look.

At times, small amounts of plaster may be haphazardly troweled on to mimic this look, but this method is typically categorized as a textured finish. During its wet state, the plaster is consistently troweled using a wooden float. Circular troweling movements bring the aggregate to the forefront, crafting its textured appearance.

Sand Faced Finish/ Float Finish:

Frequently mistaken for genuine lime plaster, this interior wall plaster involves multiple layers, the final one featuring a thin layer of sand applied to a drying plaster base. The end result is a finely textured plaster surface that is both gritty and rugged. Often, sand-faced plaster isn’t adorned with painted designs due to the challenges of painting on its texture–it’s usually painted in a single shade.

In contemporary settings, synthetic sand is often blended with plaster for ceiling applications. Similar to Rough Cast, Sand Faced is also smoothed out using a wooden trowel.

Textured Finish:

This category encompasses any finishing technique that hasn’t been mentioned previously. Common hand-finished textures like the fanned, fancy-edge trowel, and jagged finishes are typical examples. The world of textured finishes is vast, with almost innumerable unique variations. Plaster offers a plethora of possibilities beyond a mere flat, smooth surface.

Innovative architects and skilled plasterers employ a range of finishing methods to captivate attention and accentuate specific areas within a finished environment. Whether it’s for an entire room or a quaint alcove, diverse textures contribute to a sense of depth and intricacy.

Why Opt for Griffith Plaster for Your Interior Finishes?

When in search of top-notch interior plastering delivered promptly, look no further than us. Our expert plasterers take a similar duration to gather essential materials and draft a plan that aligns with your requirements.

Our esteemed team of professionals consistently ensures superior quality. Additionally, we prioritize tidying up your property. During and after our work is complete and all tools are put away, we ensure your space is cleaned up before our departure.

Contact us today to address your interior plastering requirements.