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.