Category: Intonachino Lime Plaster

Here are some of the before shoots

When I was approached for this fireplace in the spring of 2015 I thought to my self wow what a beast, this fireplace would be a killer retrofit from the old style of red brick. The clients had done there home work and wanted an Italian lime plaster for its beauty and versatility in colour choices and texture, we ended up using Cadoro Italian Lime Plaster Intonachio in a two tone custom colour made in house at our studio. From start to completion we handled all the construction.

When I started this project I had no idea it would evolve into such an amazing opportunity to showcase my abilities as a business owner and a creative person. Working with the builder, designer and home owner every step of the way has had it challenges, but in the same right it has made the process fun, enjoyable and a great learning experience which I welcome. Learning new things everyday whether it be people related or plaster/job site related. I live to learn and grown.

Originally this projects exterior was going to get finished in a traditional exterior stucco and then faux painted to give it a similar effect as our Lime plaster. Having learned this I showed the builder my samples and mentioned plaster would be a far superior alliterative with less maintenance and a more authentic look then paint. So we got contracted to Italian lime plaster stucco the exterior of the entire house, Tadelakt Lime plaster all the exterior pillars and Lime paint all the exterior fibercrown mouldings. As the project progressed we eventually took over the installation of the fiber crown mouldings, which was a “massive” project on its own, with compound arches and pallets and pallets of mouldings to install it took close to 3 months just for that part of the project.

We are still currently working on this house getting close to completion on the interior which I will share a few photos of and the exterior which is nearing completion as well.

Its not everyday your dreams come true, this week for me they did. I have been dreaming of lime plastering this house for quite sometime and starting June 1st I get to do just that.

before

Not only are we Lime plastering this entire Tuscan villa, we also will be applying Tadelakt Lime plaster to all the columns and Lime painting all the fiber crown trim and moulding details of the full exterior. This home is going from new to old in a matter of a few months.

Be sure to check back in the coming weeks as this Italian lime plaster exterior unfolds

 

What makes a beautiful Lime plaster finish so unique? In my opinion its the architecture and interior design taste of the clients. With clients in Burnaby, Vancouver, White Rock and all over the Lower Mainland, Architecture and Interior design is always changing. Lime plaster is the perfect material of choice that follows. Think custom fireplaces, feature walls or even full interiors Lime plaster projects.

Does your master bedroom have Architecture with curves like these? Italian Lime plaster is just the thing to bring these walls to life.

Does your style scream for a Tuscan Venetian plaster like this house?

Possibly you have a fireplace that has been needing the recent uplift. Could you dream of a sleek fireplace in Tadelakt Lime plaster?

If you know me, you know I’m a busy guy. It’s work, work, work, these days, and when it’s not about work, it’s about time with my wife, my girl, and the pups.

Needless to say, like most of us, I seldom get to do the projects around the home that I dream of doing.

That all changed in the last month, because not only did I finally get to do a bit of home reno that my family gets to enjoy, but I also got to try something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time — a heavy-duty Italian venetian plaster treatment to a bathroom shower stall.

This work was done in our main-floor bathroom, which had been wanting TLC for a while.

Doing any project for the first time, especially when it’s a bathroom, can make it hard to estimate all the work involved, so getting a chance to explore the process on my own time was great.

It was a major project by the time I finished, as you can tell by the end results, but what did it take to get there?

Here’s how the Home Shower Venetian Plaster Project evolved, start to finish.

This ’70s bathroom came with tons of cedar, which all had to come down. Luckily, it was installed by someone who didn’t make much effort to do it right, so only a couple nails in each board ensured they popped right off. Removing the shoddy work made investing time in improving the room that much more satisfying.

The first thing I wanted to do was move the shower-head up by about two feet. No one wants to crouch for a shower.

Before now, I never had the need, or an opportunity, to work with copper. I decided I’d take a kick at the copper can instead of calling a plumber, and working with the pipes was easier than I expected. I might do the odd fix-it job here and there now, but I’d certainly never do my whole place.

Next, I installed plywood. I’m sure some of you building guys out there are wondering “why not concrete board instead of plywood?”

It’s a preference, really. I find plywood’s just easier to work with, and it comes in big old 4×8-foot sheets, making for less cutting in some situations, but, most importantly, I find plywood’s a big help when it comes to installing lath. (Shown later.)

Next up was installing the water-proof membrane. Obviously a quality project is needed for a shower, and I used a local company’s product, called, “SuperSeal” you can learn more about it here.

Continue Reading..

When you’re a guy working in the building trades, it’s not very often you get to travel for work, let alone work in a place like Banff, Alberta. This fantastic retreat in the mountains has been a dream-like project for me, and I’m happy to share with you this video of a walk-through of how the project’s coming.

As the build got further along, more plaster work got added to my slate. I love an owner getting excited about my technique and wanting more as the work progresses, especially in a place like this. By the end, Stucco Italiano’s Italian plaster was used throughout, stretching from the bottom up to the third floor.

 

Please set your viewing to high-def for all the detail!

Take a look at the waxed deep magenta plaster walls in the powder rooms, which includes that awesome entry feature and incorporates those subtle smooth textures across the walls and ceilings, on all floors.

Why would you want to use Italian plaster over both walls and ceilings? You have to consider the characteristics. No paint will match the beauty or durability over the long-term like Italian lime or Venetian plaster, and when you’re creating a mood in a room, why would you neglect the ceiling?

When the colour is fortified right off the bat, as I hand-mix plasters for application, including base coats, it gives a rich layered finish that doesn’t look man-made — it looks like it just belongs that way. It’s natural, rustic, and amazing for creating a mood in big and small spaces.

Lime plaster builds an atmosphere you just can’t get with only paint, and I’m a painter saying that.

When you’re talking about any kind of art or space, lighting means everything, and it’s definitely true with Intonachino plaster approaches I use in my Venetian/Italian lime finishes. As light moves across the room, during dusk through to dawn, and the light shifts from season to season, it changes the way the plastered surface appears, and you’ll always notice something different. It’s almost like your walls are a living part of your space.

This video will provide a perspective on the feel created with these finishes, but if the same video was shot at different times of day, you’d get more a sense of why I say that lightning — natural or electrical — is plaster’s best friend.

It’s been a while since this amazing journey began. Have a look at how far we’ve come, and how this plaster came to life. Click here to see the beginning blog posts.

It’s great to be back in Banff!

The progress from other trades has been awesome! I’ve come back to see the millwork going up on our lime plaster ceilings in the dining room, and the drywall’s being installed throughout the home.

With such a positive start for the new year, we’ll have a super-productive month.

Having lost some time to travel early this week, we’ll be working straight through the weekend. We’ll be focusing on the kitchen, which means Venetian plastering the ceilings so we can finally take on the walls.

After arriving in town, we spent the week preparing all these areas for the next seven days of work. That meant we had to prime all the walls and ceilings, and float some walls to get them perfect and level so they’ll the right canvas for our work.

Old-school methods like floating walls don’t get a lot of talk on the home reno shows on TV, but they can really make the difference in the level of craftsmanship seen in work like ours.

Remember, we’re working with natural products like wood, and one warped 2×4 can mean a world of trouble for more than one trade on a job like this. Using today’s tools and yesterday’s know-how, our finishing techniques transform trouble spots that could make an elaborate plastering job like this seem less than perfect.

Sometimes, it’s what you don’t see at the end of the job that makes the difference between good work and great work.

Here’s the dining room. I can’t wait to see this room get further along!

The design is just amazing, and look at all the windows. I’m in love with the look of this space and keep trying to imagine the final result. With all the lines, the angles, the textures, the light, I know it will be stunning.

Below is a detailed shot of the first floor’s drop ceiling.

The architecture here blows me away, I can’t get enough of it! It demands that we spend way more time on the finishing work, sure, and our necks and shoulders are cramping up with the strain and effort it takes, but that’s the way it goes.

It’s honestly a privilege to work on such a high level of craftsmanship, in such an amazing natural setting, and if it takes an ice bag or two, that’s okay.

These ceilings are something else, aren’t they?

I think the slight sheen and subtle rustic texture bounce the light nicely while adding lots of character. What about you? Can you see this in a space for your project?

Can you imagine enjoying an Irish coffee, reading a mystery book, and the glow of a roaring fire casting shadows on this pitted ceiling? If you’re a designer, would your clients enjoy this?

Here’s a ceiling shot taken before the drywall was installed. You can really see the jagged edges and the revealed planks underneath.

Our work is literally cut out for us!

This is the biggest wall in the house, area-wise — and the tallest. We have an amazing design happening for this, which is carved in, with half-inch reveals. You don’t get to see how cool it looks until next week’s blog posting, though.

If you’re enjoying Week One of the exciting second phase of this big project in Banff, Alberta, then stick around for more excitement — now that almost all the prepping is done, you can expect to see change happening quickly and dramatically.

Stay tuned!

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2011,
Darrell Morrison

I remember my parents telling me their stories about how hard life was “back in the day,” when they’d have to slog through heavy snow, up snowy hills, all while braving the freezing weather. Now that I’m working in Banff, I can finally tell my daughter the same kinds of stories.

Except that my stories will involve my struggles this week — hauling some 2,650 pounds of Italian lime plaster up a snowy, icy hill, down some stairs to the lower level’s entrance, and all in chilly -14 degrees Celsius weather.

Yep, just another wintery day’s work in Banff, Alberta.

Laying down the base coat

There’s a reason they call short people “vertically challenged,” and my work in Venetian plaster and the constant need to do ceiling treatments means I’m proof of the “challenged” part.

Ladder, please!

I often need a little extra height, and that perfect height still means a world of work but a lot less pain!


Living and working in one of the mildest climates in Canada means I’ve never experienced the difficulties of building in high-altitude severe winter climate like that found here in Banff.

I’m enjoying seeing how different practices are needed for success here, and I’m super-impressed with how the builder deals with nature’s wrath, tenting exterior areas so the work on the home’s landscaping can continue throughout the season.


This is the exciting part, for me! Just last week, the main floor had barely any drywall hung. That was then and this is now! The build team has really pulled together, everyone’s always on the move, and they’re working as a team to get ‘er done. There’s a lot of good nature on the build site, with everyone being very friendly and communicating clearly, all things that are very important to me in a work environment.

It feels wrong to post without sharing another photo of the area. Here’s the town as we head to our lodgings after a day at the job site.

Banff is such a lovely place. I have so much more of it to experience while I’m here, and that’s really exciting. It’s not just a mountain town, it’s a winter wonderland, and it’s feeling like an epic journey’s just getting started. Thanks for following the experience!

Cheers,

Darrell Morrison

This Week’s Banff Trivia:

 

Geologists report that the Rocky Mountains that make up Banff National Park are 45 to 120 million years old. In just the national park alone, one can find more than 1,000 glaciers — but only if they wear really, really rugged hiking boots!

This clip shows you some of the fine details featured in my Venetian plaster style. In this architectural space, it was all about “Tuscan”.
To get that classic feel, we used Stucco Italiano, Intonachino, and Tadelakt. We’re industry specialists in these authentic lime plaster finishes, and I feel this video shows you exactly why. Enjoy!

On June 1st, I begin a great project — a 10,000 square-foot (Venetian) lime plaster interior. This project calls for a smoother finish with minimal texture, a “Tuscan” influence.

To get that look, I’ll be using Stucco Italiano Intonachino.

For an accent in the basement level, I’ll be creating a woodgrain finish (also known as faux bois) for all the crown moulding.

This home has a view to die for and architecture I’m excited to be taking to another level with my finishing techniques. I’m scheduled to reach final completion in early August.

With a Tuscan/Mediterranean feel throughout this home, getting the perfect colour so a client can be comfortable with their final decision is a tough task, but it’s got to be perfect — just look at the stunning architecture! Anything less than perfect would be a crime.

You might wonder how a “young” guy like me in this industry is landing big projects like these large interior Venetian plaster jobs, but I think my work speaks for itself — and it should, anyone’s should. I love the work I do, I do it the best way I can, I use the best materials that are available to me, try to deliver the best customer service, and have finished work that blows expectations away.

Whether it’s in my work’s detail or in the way I work for my clients, I know it’s the little things that make the difference. My guys and I are tidy and clean, flexible, and we all know how to work well with other trades.


Isn’t that how it should be?

Enjoy the read and the photos.

Cheers

Darrell Morrison


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