Friday, October 22, 2010

One Hundred and Twenty Feet of Venetian Plaster...

Well, the project is finally complete!  There were some mishaps in the beginning, like my using a new plaster company that tinted by hand which caused more than one mis-tint.  I finally went to what was reliable: Spatula Stuuhi.  I was working with a sample board that the designer had come up with, but the client wanted to go less green and more blue.  I ended up taking a catalog teal color from Spatula Stuuhi (Triarch), and mixing it with one of the mis-tints from the original company (kind of a navy blue), which resulted in a color that could not have been more perfect.  Challenging and a bit frustrating, for sure, but all were extremely happy in the end.

These are some pictures taken with my cell phone.  Quality is horrible, and the wall is not yet finished off with baseboard and top-trim.  I'll post professional photos when they are taken.

I love construction as it's happening.  This was the first day I saw the wall, and yes, it was quite intimidating!  Drywall laid out on the floor, not knowing what the *actual* wall looks like...

First day, view from the south.  Primed with quartz primer, and skimmed the first coat of plaster.

View from the north.

South section of wall, on day of final coat and burnish.  And meet Bob!  Bob was such a great help, completely accommodating of my time-line while balancing it out with his own schedule.  He's actually a tile and concrete guy, so if anyone on the west coast of Florida ever needs those services, shoot me an email and I'll send you his info.  Absolute riot to work with, completely competent, and I will definitely be using him on other projects.

Bobs tile background really came in handy when it came time to seal the wall.  When I'm using lime-based plasters (instead of acrylic) I just wax the walls with BriWax.  The issue is that any wax darkens the color of the plaster, and for some reason it darkened this blue/teal to almost black on the sample boards.  Not good, especially since everyone (including myself) was very attached to the color.  So we did a test with "penetrating tile & grout sealer".  Originally I was thinking that I would use that to seal the plaster so that I could put wax on top without the raw plaster soaking it up.  It did a decent job of that, but it still ended up too dark. 

Surprisingly we ended up spraying on (and rubbing in with furry so that it didn't leave a white haze) two coats of this penetrating sealer, and that was that.  The color didn't change a bit, and all of the dye is now embedded into the walls with no chance of rubbing off.  I will admit that the sealer did dull out the burnish by about 10%, but that is something I was willing to live with.

The color couldn't be more perfect.

Next post: The Cyber Cafe in the same building.  Yup... They loved the work!