Marco Polo Sable

What makes Polished Plaster so Unique?

Polished plaster is an ornate style of plaster that traditionally uses marble dust within the mix to leave a marble-like surface effect on the finished wall.  Although the term refers primarily to the product, meaning a plaster that comes from the north of Italy and is used for creating beautiful unique surface effects, the term is more widely used within the trade to refer to the job, the style and the techniques.

Polished plaster or Venetian plaster as it is also known dates back to ancient Roman times. Evidence of it can be seen in Pompeii and other ancient structures. It became especially popular in Venice, at it is a city that extends over water. Transporting large quantities of sand was a problem, as was getting rid of the scraps from terracotta, marble and stone.  Techniques such as Marmorino, scagliola and travertine which were developed in ancient Roman times are still in use today.


Polished plaster is priced at the higher end of the scale because of the skill and artistry required to install it correctly. But it is that skill and artistry that makes every polished plaster finish unique. Polished plaster work is a specialist skill, and it can take months, even years of practice to master the techniques and effects that can be created.  Polished plaster is a popular option for high end properties, both commercial and residential, and the specialised nature of the skill often means clients are willing to pay top dollar for a unique finish.

Although the cost of authentic polished plaster is high compared to standard plasters and paint finishes, it is more durable and easy to clean and does not need maintenance or further work once it is done.  Creating stunning stone effects and highly polished features is much cheaper in plaster than using real stone, and can create pillars and features on a wall at a fraction of the cost, offering the homeowner the chance to have something really special without spending a fortune.  Because an authentic polished plaster wall is a long term investment that will not be painted over within a couple of years the clients expect the highest quality finish, so it is worth getting as much experience as possible in order to build up a portfolio of projects and to perfect the techniques and styles that are possible.


It is the range of textures and finishes that can be achieved with polished plaster that make it unique, especially the array of colours and depths that are available to fit in with any decoration scheme.  The skill and knowledge of good plasterers makes it even more special, as is not something just anyone can start doing on a whim.

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Stucco Veneziano


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