faux carrara marble

MARMORINO COARSE POLISHED PLASTER

Overview

Marmorino Coarse is just a thicker version of Marmorino Medium. It is about twice as thick as marmorino Medium and similar to the antique Marmorino of Venice which had a total final thickness of about 3 millimeters.

This Marmorino is thick like a true coating plaster. As with all the other plasters it has its place in the history of Venetian plasters. It was used as a surface substrate which was applied in numerous coats with each coat being progressively finer.

This is the right material for finishes like Faux Marble. It is also appreciated for its calm texture and looks more like polished stone.

It is also the right material for finishes like marmorino with Mother of Pearl.

APPLICATION

Its application is just like the one for Marmorino Medium.

Details

Marmorino Veneziano Coarse is the kind of marmorino that more reminds the traditional histtorical Venetian finish. It is a type of plaster or stucco. It is based on calcium oxide and used for interior and exterior wall decorations. Marmorino plaster can be finished via multiple techniques for a variety of matte, satin, and glossy final effects.[1] It was used as far back as Roman times, but was made popular once more during the Renaissance 500 years ago in Venice.

The History of Marmorino

Marmorino is well known as a classic venetian plaster; however, its origins are much older, dating to ancient Roman times. We can see evidence of it today in the villas of Pompei and in various Roman structures. In addition, it was also written about in Vitruvio's "De Architectura", a 1st Century B.C. history of Rome. Marmorino was rediscovered centuries later after the discovery of Vitruvio's ancient treatise in the 15th century. This 'new' plaster conformed well to the aesthetic requirements dictated by the classical ideal that in the 15th century had recently become fashionable in the Venetian lagoon area.

The first record of work being done with marmorino is a building contract with the nuns of Santa Chiara of Murano in 1473. In this document, it is written that before the marmorino could be applied, the wall had to be prepared with a mortar made of lime and "coccio pesto" (ground terra cotta). This "coccio pesto" was then excavated from tailings of bricks or recycled from old roof tiles.

At this point, to better understand the popularity of marmorino in Venetian life two facts need to be considered. The first is that in a city that extends over water, the transport of sand for making plaster and the disposal of tailings was, and still is, a huge problem. So, the use of marmorino was successful not only because the substrate was prepared using terra cotta scraps, but also the finish, marmorino, was made with leftover stone and marble, which were in great abundance at that time. These ground discards were mixed with lime to create marmorino.

Besides, marmorino and substrates made of "coccio pesto" resisted the ambient dampness of the lagoon better than almost any other plaster. The first because it is extremely breathable by virtue of the kind of lime used (the only lime which sets on exposure to air after losing excess water) and the second, because it contains terra cotta which when added to lime makes the mixture hydraulic, that is, it's effective even in very damp conditions (because it contains silica and aluminium, bases of modern cement and hydraulic lime preparations). The second consideration is that an aesthetically pleasing result could be achieved in an era dominated by the return of a classical Greco-Roman style allowing less weight to be transmitted to the foundation when compared to the habit of covering facades with slabs of stone.

Usually, marmorino was white to imitate the stone of Istria, which was most often used in Venetian construction, but was occasionally decorated with frescoes to imitate the marble, which Venetian merchants brought home from their voyages to the Orient. (In this fascinating period of the Republic of Venice, merchants felt obliged to return home bearing precious, exotic marble as a tribute to the beauty of their own city.)

Marmorino maintained its prestige for centuries until the end of the 1800's when interest in it faded and was considered only an economical solution to the use of marble. Only at the end of the 1970's, thanks in part to the architect, Carlo Scarpa's use of marmorino, did this finishing technique return to the interest of the best modern architects.

At the beginning the industries were not interested in marmorino which was only produced by artisans. Today, however, ready-to-use marmorino can be found, often with glue added to allow them to be applied on non-traditional surfaces such as drywall or wood panelling.  

Finishes

true marmorino

Traditional Marmorino Coarse

This has a semi-gloss finish with light chiaroscuro. This was the traditional exterior finish of all of the Venetian villas and important buildings.

faux marble

Faux Verde Alpi Marble

The technique for finishing faux marble is very old. It was the traditional finish for bathrooms and false ceilings at a time when real marble was too expensive. In those days there were few cutting and polishing tools for marble, while labor was cheap for applying faux marble.

faux finish

faux marble

Faux marble is a ‘fresco’ application which means that the marmorino is applied thickly so that it will dry slowly enough to allow ample time to complete elaborate decoration.

faux carrara marble

faux carrara marble

Polishing Faux Marble is done with a special tool heated on the fire. This is called Hot Iron Polishing so that the colors become fixed deep within the plaster and the surface acquires a deep polish like real marble.

Marmorino with Mother of Pearl

Marmorino with Mother of Pearl

This variation has mother of pearl added. The finish has flakes gray, brown and silver flakes which reflect the light like seashells. Packages of crushed and sifted Mother of Pearl are ready to use in 24 kg. containers of Marmorino Coarse. Applying this marmorinio is a bit more laborious than for normal marmorino because of its is so thick.

faux paint

faux red verona marble

This finish is applied al fresco on marmorino. It was always used the the Venetian tradition to imitate the most precious marble. The polish is obtained by using a warm smoothing it down with a warm iron.