One of the types of finishing is structural wall plastering. It allows you to create the most different reliefs on the surface, both abstract drawings and imitations of wood, stone, cork. All this is achieved due to special additives in the plaster mass. Structural plaster has a lot of advantages, so it can be used in any premises and even for finishing the facades of buildings.
It should be noted that there are structural and textured decorative plasters. Such a distinction is quite conditional, since the composition of their plaster masses is identical. How are they different? The clue lies in the destination. The appearance of structural plaster is formed due to additional additives, and textured plaster – due to the use of special tools.
Embossed structural plaster is a universal finishing material, since, thanks to the variety of possible design solutions, it will fit into almost any interior style. The properties of the plaster are such that it is suitable both for residential premises and for finishing walls in the bathroom, kitchen and for facing the facades of buildings.
A distinctive feature of structural plaster is that it can be applied to any wall base. It can be plasterboard, concrete, brick, wood or metal, the main thing is to correctly choose the composition of the finishing material, or rather the type of binder.
It is not necessary to carefully prepare the base for applying relief plaster, as it, thanks to its structure, perfectly masks small defects.
The advantages include:
- water resistance;
- ease of care, can be washed both with water and with any detergents, except for solvents;
- tolerates temperature changes well;
- plastic material that allows you to create various decorative effects;
- high vapor permeability due to microporosity;
- relatively small cost.
The disadvantage of such a wall covering can only be called the difficulty of dismantling. If you decide to change the decoration, it will not be easy to remove the decorative plaster, after which it will be necessary to restore and level the wall surface.
Composition and species
Structural plaster is sold in the form of ready-made or dry mixtures. In the first case, it is ready-made layers of plaster in sealed buckets – it is enough to open it and immediately apply it to the wall. In the second case, a dry mixture is purchased and diluted with water or a special solvent according to the instructions. The disadvantage of this method is that you need to carefully monitor the consumption of material and the amount of ingredients so that the old plaster does not dry out, and the new one has the same structure.
Structural plaster includes a binder, which determines its type, water or solvent, as well as various additives to create a relief. Small pebbles, wood fibers, shells, wool fibers, pieces of foil and much more can be used as additional impurities. The choice is large and allows you to create real masterpieces.
Depending on the binder, the following types of structural plaster are distinguished:
- Mineral (based on lime and cement). This type is sold in dry form and is mixed on site with water using a construction mixer to a homogeneous mass. It is used for mineral bases. First, the surface is thoroughly primed with quartz sand. It has a white color, so after application and complete drying, such plaster must be painted in the desired shade. It is distinguished by a relatively low cost, but at the same time it is inelastic and may crack over time.
- Acrylic, synthetic (based on acrylic resin). Presented in the form of a ready-made mixture, very elastic, resistant to deformations. It is moisture resistant, so it is perfect for decorating the walls of the bathroom. Acrylic plaster is easy to work with, but before applying it is important to carefully prepare the surface of the wall, prime it. The disadvantage is that it supports combustion, so it is not used in combination with flammable materials.
- Silicone (based on “silicone resin”). It has many advantages compared to analogues: elasticity, durability, moisture resistance, vapor permeability, good adhesion, easy to care for. Silicone plaster is immediately ready for use and already tinted, which facilitates work and creates a finish with ideal color saturation. The downside is the high price. It is also necessary not only to carefully level the surface of the wall, but also to treat it with a special silicone primer.
- Silicate (based on potassium silicate, “liquid glass”). It is mainly used for exterior decoration. The finished mixture has high operational characteristics and various color solutions. The disadvantage is that it dries quickly, so it requires fast and high-quality work from the master.
Depending on the combination of fillers and grain size, I distinguish types of structural plaster by appearance:
- Bark beetle The drawing is presented in the form of characteristic furrows.
- Orange peel. Simulates the texture of citrus fruits.
- Baranchyk Thanks to the use of pebbles of different sizes, the effect of a rough surface with curls reminiscent of sheep’s wool is achieved.
- Africa. Imitation of cracked skin or sandy landscape.
- Adobe. Creates a feeling that the wall is finished with a mixture of straw, clay and sand.
- Concrete. It looks very good for creating a hi-tech or minimalism style.
- Safari. It resembles the skin of reptiles with scales.
Before applying structural plaster, it is necessary to prepare the wall. The old coating, wallpaper, paint, tiles, etc. are removed. The surface is cleaned of dust and dirt. In most cases, it is not necessary to perfectly level the base of the wall, as in the case of Venetian plaster, the structure of relief decorative plaster is such that all defects will be eliminated when it is applied. It is enough to remove visible defects, depressions, height differences, chippings. The cleaned wall must be primed. The choice of primer depends on the type of structural plaster, be sure to clarify this point either in the instructions or from the seller. The primer is important, as it will provide better adhesion, and therefore a longer service life.
You should start applying structural plaster only after the primer has completely dried.
Structural plaster is applied in several layers. If various tools, rollers, and improvised items are used to add relief to textured plaster, then in the case of textured plaster, everything depends on the skill of the master. Of the tools, in fact, only a trowel and a spatula will be needed. The drawing is formed by the application technique: waves, circles, jerks, criss-cross, etc.
The first layer is the basic one, it forms the base, smooths out wall defects. It is applied evenly over the entire surface, after which it must dry well. Drying can take from 8 hours to several days, it all depends on the thickness of the layer.
The rest of the layers already form a picture. Their number depends on the required effect and is determined individually by the master.
The applied plaster must be allowed to dry for a week or two. Only after that, you can start further processing (painting, waxing), if it is necessary. Color is applied with a special rubber sponge for color saturation or a wet foam sponge for an aging effect. At the end, wax is applied, which provides a moisture-proof coating and better visual transmission of the surface structure.