Variance Finishes

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am always looking for new materials that will yield distinctive decorative finishes. It is even better when these decorative products are cost effective and easy to use. To that end, I want to talk about a line of acrylic decorative plasters from Variance Finishes.

Variance is based out of Albuquerque New Mexico and has been developing acrylic based plasters for some 15 years. I found out about these guys quite by accident. One day while in the van of a fellow venetian plaster artisan, I found a Variance brochure under his seat. The photos were nice and like most companies that manufacturer decorative plasters, the brochure made all sorts of claims. But nothing ventured nothing gained. I called the company and requested some samples of their plasters.

In a few days I received a batch of materials and instructional DVD, which is more than I had expected. The next day i watched the DVD and played with the products they sent. While not as extensive a line as some companies, they has some cool stuff. When I found out how affordable these products were, they became even more interesting.

I found I could substitute some of their plasters for more expensive stuff from Faux Effects or Safra a manufacturer of authentic Italian plasters. I won’t go into detail on each of these products but i can tell you that if you are a decorative artist or faux finisher, you may want to investigate their line.

In particular I really liked two products. One was Alto and the other was Anciano. Alto is a 100% acrylic polymer based plaster. It produces aged, distressed textured finishes. Alto has soft color variations and was pretty easy to apply. You can also give it a colorwash effect to make the finish even more complex looking.

Anciano, is another cool product. It too is a 100% acrylic polymer plaster but what makes this one of my favorite decorative plasters to install, is that it contains an aggregate that reveals itself when you trowel on the material. I can best describe it a flecks. It gives the finish movement and depth.

The best thing, is that while I have many decorative finishes that are really unique and interesting, they don’t lend themselves to large areas but rather work great in powder rooms and such. When I have to do 2,000 square feet of entry way in a 6 million dollar home, I need something subtle but with character. It must also be cost effective to make it practical.

While authentic venetian plasters are hi end, they also cost a lot more. That 2,000 square feet of entryway can be completed for substantially less and still yield a nice upscale decorative finish. Variance also carries their version of a venetian plaster some call veneziano as well as couple other plasters that have their uses.

I would suggest checking out their website and requesting samples. Nothing ventured nothing gained and with Variance I do believe you will find value and viable options. Here a few photos of completed projects with Variance acrylic plasters.

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