Nat­u­ral plas­ter

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Fans of nat­u­ral plas­ters tend to rave about the unique feel that they give to a home. You can paint over plas­ters, though they do con­tain nat­u­ral pig­ment, which can be en­hanced with low-VOC colourants. Un­painted plas­ters should be sealed with an oil or wax-based sealant to keep dust down, re­duce mois­ture ab­sorp­tion and give them longevity.

There are a range of op­tions avail­able in New Zealand for nat­u­ral plas­ter in­te­rior fin­ishes, rang­ing from tra­di­tional lime plas­ters, clay plas­ters, gyp­sum plas­ter to pol­ished plas­ter that con­tains pow­dered mar­ble, although find­ing plas­ter­ers who work with the more spe­cial­ist ma­te­ri­als can be dif­fi­cult. It’s worth the ef­fort to find one though. Achiev­ing clean, smooth sur­face re­sults can be very dif­fi­cult, so it’s best done by or with the close ad­vice of a pro­fes­sional.

Acrylic plas­ters con­tain petroleum prod­ucts which can off-gas, so are con­sid­ered less en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly. Ce­ment plas­ters, while long-last­ing, have a higher em­bod­ied en­ergy cost than gyp­sum plas­ter.

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