Types of Plaster Finishes

Plaster is often used to create attractive wall surfaces in homes. There are many different types of plaster finishes, which can be created using several different techniques, but the differences between them come down to how they’re made and their durability.

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There are many different types of plaster available for those who want to add a touch of class and elegance to their home. Plaster is usually produced by heating the gypsum rock, which then becomes a workable powder that can be applied to walls or stone surfaces. Once it has dried it becomes hard and durable, creating a sturdy material that will last through time.

Types of Plaster Finishes

You have likely seen most types of plaster finish on walls. Some common examples include textured finishes that resemble stone or wood; matte finishes that give an even, smooth surface; and embossed or hammered finishes that add dimension. The following list describes some other common types of plaster finish:


This look (the simplest type) involves simply brushing the finished surface with wax after it has dried to prevent dust from clinging. It’s easy to apply, but the wax needs to be redone every few years.


This look is similar to smooth, but it’s more textured because of slight variations in the plaster itself. This finish is smooth and even, with no ridges or grooves. It’s also non-porous so any liquids won’t soak through to the wall behind it. However, because stucco is a smooth finish there is a higher risk of dusting and crumbling over time.


This finish resembles an older style appearance due to peeling paint or other imperfections used during application. It can be very labour-intensive, so it may not be the most practical choice for homeowners on a budget.


This surface is created by pressing texture plates into a wet-on-wet mortar, which isn’t difficult but does demand some attention to detail and time spent on preparation. The result looks like raised stone or metal that creates visual interest without adding an extra layer on top of existing walls.


This finish is very similar to the embossed type, but it is made using a different process that creates more of an aged look. It looks best with paint or wallpaper covering the walls behind it.


This look can be created by applying plaster into cuts made in wood lath strips, or you can use metal lath instead. It’s often applied to faux logs for use as fireplace surrounds.


This surface is even and smooth like plain old drywall, but it has a slightly textured appearance thanks to troweling tools used during application. It’s also called float finish.


This type of plaster can be found in many different designs and textures, from smooth to very bumpy. The bumps are created by adding pebbles to the mixture as it dries. This type of plaster has a few more benefits than stucco does, such as being non-porous and easy to clean. However, depending on the design you choose it may require regular maintenance to keep from chipping or flaking off the walls.


If you want something unique and decorative then ornamental plaster might be perfect for you. There are many different designs you can choose from, including faux painting designs. Since this finish is so decorative it’s important to hire a professional who knows how to apply it properly.

Here are the pros and cons for each type of plaster finish – depending on your needs one might be more suitable than the others. If you need something non-porous then stucco may not be the best choice since it’s porous itself.

The texture would be an excellent choice, but if you want something with a unique design ornamental plaster might be your best option. Once you know what types of plasters are available to you, then you can make an informed decision about which one will work best for your home or business!

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