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When I was contacted about The Exchange in 2013, I was immediately drawn to the difficulty of installing a polished plaster finish to such a vast area.

The finish I created was installed in a 3 layer system of Italian lime plaster, the final layer had mother of pearl added to enhance the look and stone like characteristics of the surface, emulating the look of stone with a semigloss shine and dullish areas.

-Scroll to the bottom to watch the video of the Exchange-

With walls sprawling 5 story’s in the air, complete with 1/4″ FryReglet reveals, detailed vertical battens and a concrete pillar to match. A project of this stature could surely make or break a career. In my life of creating finishes for projects like the Exchange doing the normal is not enough for me, I live for a challenge and the ability to learn and grow in my plastering skills.

 

In the beginning of the specification for the plaster system I gave my experience with long term durability of plaster in commercial spaces, making it a point that the base board and external corners be treated with a stone cap for added protection. We also discussed a design concept for the wall system including a high abuse coating below my plaster on the lower portions of the most hi traffic areas.

Getting to be part of the team involved in creating and building The Exchange was an amazing experience and I thank all those involved. I worked closely with Iredale group, PCL construction & B&O drywall on this project.

The Exchange Office Tower Interior Lobby Arial Drone Footage from Darrell Morrison on Vimeo.

Over the summer we had the opportunity to work in the Kitsilano Aēsop cosmetic store on West 4th Ave. The design for the store was designed split in half with a mono tone Italian lime plaster in a grey concrete colour. One side highly polished and the other matte. The two sides split with a brass strip down the centre.

Challenges in Venetian plaster applications is really what we thrive in, when asked if we could plaster the cabinets for the store we excepted the opportunity. One of the largest issues that arise on commercial construction projects is time and having enough of it to complete the project in its proposed deadline. Over the years we have developed systems to help aid these situations for our clients.

 

Aēsop from Darrell Morrison on Vimeo.

 

We recently finished this detailed interior using venetian plaster in this beautiful traditional home, infused with tuscan details. The owners wanted a house built using environmentally safe products, however they were not aiming for LEED points. We used low voc colorants designed for this project and soap wax’s for sealing all the surfaces. Venetian plaster is a great alternative to paint materials as its surface does not show ware easily and its depth and beauty spark conversation. All the ceilings throughout the project were finished with a 2 tone Tadelakt lime plaster. The base boards, crown mouldings and stair kicks are finished in a pitted plaster finish to give the look of solid stone. I hope you enjoy viewing this project just as much as we enjoyed helping create it.

Continue Reading..

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.

This past week I was able to express my creativity on a large ceiling in downtown Vancouver. Installing silver leaf, in a setting like this condo it can be difficult to say the least and with clients living in the environment special precautions must be taken to protect there space and furniture. Sticking with my madness I like to stray away from perfect lines and symmetry. It was a joy to work in this Vancouver penthouse with the designer and clients. The silver leaf ceiling will provide years of conversation among friends and family

Lime plaster has been my choice of material for almost a decade now. Recently someone told me it takes 10,000 hours to become proficient at any trade whether it be carpentry, framing or even a stone mason, the time spent honing that skill will one day make you a tradesman (or tradeswoman).

Over the summer I have been fortunate to work on a project in an Old World Italian Design Tuscan Villa. Breaking into my crate of techniques from WoodGrainingGoldLeafingVenetian Plastering, Lime Painting and Stencilling.   I have been challenged in ways that excite my mind and creativity, opening a new chapter in my life and the world I love to call Italian Plastering.

Here are some photos from this recent journey, the project is still in progress.

WoodGraining base coat

WoodGraining complete

Fibre Crown is a foam moulding used to simulate stone and in most situations is painted with acrylic paints.

Here is a close up of the foam moulding

Lime Painted Fibre Crown Moulding To Simulate The Look Of LimeStone

Fibre crown molding Lime stone 2 before & After

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

I’ve always enjoyed refinishing wood, including wood furniture. Last weekend, I decided to tackle a little side project of refinishing an oak table. I really enjoy the beauty of rejuvenated wood, so I was pretty keen to get started on this one.


Using a new 6-inch orbit sander with paper discs varying between 100- to 220-grit, I removed most of the old finish with great ease, compared to doing all the work by hand.


Something to keep in mind when refinishing any kind of wooden table is, it’s likely a veneer, and if you sand too much, you’ll wear through the woodgrain pretty quickly and hit the core-wood base — which isn’t going to have any of the grain’s appeal. This is where it’s dangerous to use an electric sander if you’re not sure you can control how far down it’s sanding.


For this particular table, I figured using two different stains would work best. This choice was inspired by the table itself. Since the centre was slightly raised, I thought a contrast on each level would enhance the design.


I used 100% water-based stains and clearcoats for this refinishing job, and I’m thrilled with the results. The low-VOC content and lack of smell was great, and I absolutely plan to work with these projects again when I’m on larger projects.


Check out the photos and you’ll see why I’m feeling good. I hope more of these tasks come my way in the future.

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