The New Plaster

Decorative painters have been using plasters of one kind or another for several years to create stunning dimensional effects. These plasters, once on the wall were then embellished with glazes and paints to further enhance their look.

Several years ago, a company in the USA began manufacturing several new distinctive plasters designed specifically for the decorative artisan. These plaster materials are distinct from the authentic Venetian Plaster imported from Italy. In upcoming posts, I will describe several of these plasters as well as some of the many authentic venetian Plasters on the market.

For today, as part of my ongoing series sample board recipes I want to focus on a plaster material that finds its way into many of my finishes. The material is called Luster Stone.

As the name suggests, Luster Stone is shiny metallic plaster that lends itself to many hi end decorative wall treatments. It is somewhat fluffy out of the bucket but dries very hard and can be left without a top coat making ideal for bathrooms.

The finish below is I called Espaldera Brillante or loosely translated to Lustery Trellis. The technique itself is rather simple.

The first step is the base coat your surface with a satin or eggshell paint in a tangerine color. Once dry, thin the Luster Stone material with water to a butter milk consistency. For this sample I used the color of Luster Stone called Tequila Sunrise. You will roll on a thin coat of Tequila Sunrise Luster Stone and allow this to dry. Avoid visible lap lines. This first coat will serve as a scratch coat.

After this rolled on coat dries, trowel on a very tight coat of the same color Luster Stone and allow that coat to day as well. Here I introduce a technique that many decorative painters call smooshing. My smooshing technique involves thinning Luster Stone to a very runny consistency. I mixed 1 part Luster Stone to 5 parts water. I brush it on and immediately use a plastic grocery bag to rub the Luster Stone into the surface. What I am aiming for is a very thin glazing over the previous color. For the smooshing technique I used Royal Jade Luster Stone. Allow to dry fully.

I used a trellis stencil available through RoyalDesignStudio.com, but you could use whatever you think is appropriate. Once I have positioned the stencil I again used the Royal Jade straight out of the bucket as a stencil medium. You could use a trowel or a stencil brush to pounce the material through the stencil openings. You are trying to achieve a rather full coat of Royal Jade. Be careful about having material run under your stencil. If this does happen, quickly remove it with a Q-tip. Allow to dry fully. Clean your stencil IMMEDIATELY, Luster Stone is a fast and hard drying material.

Reposition your stencil directly over your previously stenciled Royal Jade and with a very light touch, hi lite these areas using a gold paint of your choice. I used Olympic Gold by Modern Masters.

That is it. This decorative painting technique looks and sounds complicated but is actually quite simple. It looks great in a powder room or a tray ceiling. Have fun.

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