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 Italian Plaster Techniques Once reserved for highly trained artists, the techniques for creating Italian plasterwork are now available to all. With the help of the newest user-friendly materials, and these incredibly detailed and wonderfully illustrated instructions, do-it-yourselfers can easily create exquisite wall treatments. The focus here is on acrylic plasters--particularly Polished or Venetian Plaster and Textured Plaster--and their many possible applications. Find out about tools, color schemes, and surface preparation, as well as every single step involved in applying the plaster. Drying times, adding a topcoat, burnishing, polishing, and glazing: it's all covered. Do crosshatch, stenciling, Venetian lace patterns, and lots more. The lovely finishes range from old world Tuscany to contemporary iridescent, and they're displayed in inspirational photos of finished homes.
  Date Published 6/1/2005

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Rated By: Christians M. Holes
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Comments: This book is Up to Date and is at an Amazing price here at amazon
Ok, here is the story, The bathroom was done by my brother in law before I ever lived in the house. To make a long story short it was horrid. The walls where at different levels because the sheetrock was put in completely willy nilly. Thus, the walls at the bottoms had slopes and had a half hearted evffort to fix it by giving it a "CRAPPY" spakle job that believe it or not made it look even worse.

So, finally to fix the problem I was looking at what we could do in terms of plastering. I searched the internet and the only thing I found was people trying to make you buy video tapes and come to "classes" about it... boo, I then proceeded to look for a book. I googled it and luckily enough it brought me here to this book. Italian Plaster techniques. The book should really be called "if you are thinking of plastering your walls COME GET THIS BOOK. It has a lot of good and a couple things, I feel left out so I will tell you in the review what they are.

First off, I have to say the author is amazing, she really put time an effort to making this book as user friendly as it perhaps could possibly be. It goes over ever plaster technique imaginable... from venitian / polished, to burnished, to smooth textrued, to course textured, to EVERY plaster technique out there. And have no fear, she doesn't use a material list from 1965, she is super up to date with things that I will tell you... WERE ALL at lowes. Now for all you home depot buffs I will say this, I went there and they had a big thing with BHER paints... that was stuff like bellagio FAUX and what not... but honestly I didn't find anything that resembled textured stone or anything like that... so I went to lowes and they had AMERICAN TRADITION textured stone smooth... Now the label does say FAUX but it really is a plaster type substance that goes on and dries just like it...

And you can buy good ole regular plaseter, i.e. like the dry mix version but I tried it and found that I couldn't get the consistancy right AT all... the thicker I made it the quicker it dried,,, I mean like 30 seconds and it was hard as a rock... the thinner I made it the more rediculous it was to apply... the viscosity <spelling> was HORRID... So, I recommed, exactly like she says, "find anything that says textured, whether it be smooth or course and go from there. I used smooth and to be honest it proved to be just what I was looking for... Remember I used AMERICAN TRADITION.

Now, I will tell you that I tinted mine at the store... Be carefull because when you are using the glaze the affect of going over tinted Vs. non-tinted could be dramatic... So, know how you are glazing first and tint accordingly. I will tell you again, I tinted mine TAN/kaki like colored... The first mix I mixed it real good but the second gallon I let the mixed go as was, which was not that great, and used the color variations in all my touch ups at the END... it looks absolutely amazing... My wife didn't even want to glaze it at all when we were done. Which if you really tint it the way you want glazing might really be something you may want to omit... I suggest getting a piece of drywall and cutting it to a smaller piece and plastering that, and then apply your glaze application so is to see how it will look before you do the bigger project.

Ok, now for the plastering... Truley for the money the BOOK is amazing... it would even be an excellent christmas gift for someone who might be interested. but it does have things I feel are omitted especially for a first time plaster user like myself.

One, I know she gives directions for the plastering techniques but also adhere to what the actuall paint can says... if it has a technique or information on there than pay attention... I noticed that the viscocity of the plaster I was using began to get a little runny on the edges of the "stucco" like pattern I was making... NOT in all places but in a few... make sure you go back over and lightly at a 20 degree angle or less and with a wee little bit of plaster on your action blade, run back over and make the edges sharper... Also, and this is KEY... you won't be done for about a few days, so be PATIENT... when you go back for touch ups... and I SUGGEST YOU DO... the second and third applications will be thinner and thus easier to control, so the edging problem will really take care of itself at the end... don't worry about imperfections the first couple days. or times you add plaster, we did it everyday to allow proper drying.

First application, sorry should have probably started with this. The author advocates this 60% 40% coverage thing. I say bah humbug to that. perhaps it works for her but it sure didn't work for me... and perhaps this is the biggest proble, I DON"T THINK I KNEW WHAT 60% WAS>>> LOL... I think I did less but for a "mind thing" make it 70 to 80 PERCENT... don't worry you'll be going back over it so I would do a HUGE portion at first and save yourself probably a days work... Come back and do the 20 percent... and for a day or two come back and work out the imperfections you want. I used a "mini" trowel for some of my application and then went back to the 4" blade to go back over it... <<<THIS gave it that "slabbed" piece of marble look that we were trying to accomplish... I wish she mentioned the technique but I will try to here...

you take a mini trowel not the action blade load it with a decent scoop and act like you're making a slab of stone... leaving about a 8 to 16 inch edge... you'll know what I mean after you have done this for a while... the area inside of the edge will be smooth with the trowel, let it dry and the next day go over it with the action blade like you did every where else and fill in the inside... TRULLY AMAZING...

LAST TWO THINGS>>> read her book well, it will save you from trouble in the end. BE patient this isn't for the lazy or faint hearted... you don't want to have mule this... EXPERIMENT to you're liking and HAVE FUN... you will truly create a master piece with this book... it has tons of illustrations examples and directions for ALL of it... I can't believe how cheap this book was... I HIGHLY recommend it and hope this review enhances your experience further.