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Plaster:  The real deal

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The real deal

Key Features:
  • Real lime plaster contains no VOCs or polymers
  • Can be used over new or existing sheetrock
  • Apply with trowel in two thin coats
  • Pigments may be added for color
  • Materials, about $1 per square foot (2009).
  • Pricing as of 2009.
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  • Decoliss
Learn more about TransMineral USA, Inc.:
by Deborah Holmes, Ebricks.com

Finding a skilled plasterer to produce a fine Venetian finish can be tricky and expensive. But if you don't mind rolling up your sleeves you can produce the same look for about a dollar a square foot.

Decoliss lime plaster can be used over new or existing drywall or plaster. It comes premixed and ready to apply. Pigments can be added to the naturally white plaster for a colored top coat.

A natural material, Decoliss does not contain polymers or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so it's a good choice for those with allergies and chemical sensitivities.

With additives to help prevent shrinkage and tearing, Decoliss can be installed by an ambitious DIYer. Its manufacturer touts it as “the 'real' finish that people spend thousand of dollars trying to re-create with other materials.”

TransMineral holds periodic workshops in California where you can give their lime plasters and paints a try before committing your own walls to the material. If you decide to go it on your own, the manufacturer recommends experimenting on sample panels. If you'd rather leave the job to a pro, plan on adding about $7 a square foot to your costs.

Decoliss is applied with a trowel in two thin coats. The final coat is then worked with a stainless trowel to create a smooth, hard surface. Finally, the wall is finished with wax or olive-based sealant.

Decoliss can be applied over acrylic primer on smooth surfaces. Transmineral also sells a lime mortar primer for uneven walls or those covered with more than one type of material.

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