Lime or plaster finish for inside of shower

freedeeAugust 10, 2007

I've seen finishes that look like adobe on the walls of showers. Usually they are done with some kind of lime mixture. Has anyone done this? How has it worked out? Are they hard to clean?

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I'm doing a lime plaster finish in my bathroom called Marmormino. It's a venetian plaster with lime in the mixture which makes it suitable for damp areas. Prior to doing the marmorino finish you have to also paint the walls with quartz paint.

Would I use this in a shower? No, it's "ok" for damp areas, hence my use of it in the bathroom, but it's a breathing surface, and I can't see that I'd want something breathing up the damp in a shower LOL. You finish the wall with a paste wax or oil based wax, so you couldn't wash it with any of your standard bathroom cleaners.

For a standard application, lime plaster is very expensive. It also isn't a really easy finish to do well (you need to practice practice practice). And I can't find one recommended for "wet" areas myself, but perhaps in an industrial application area you might find one with enough grain size to work in a shower. I think tile would be cheaper frankly, and much easier to maintain.

In venice, where I first fell in love with plaster...I saw lots of it everywhere...but not IN the showers.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 3:52PM
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I found reference to a plaster-type finish in a shower in a magazine (perhaps "This Old House"? I'm not sure, I was skimming quickly through a huge stack of magazines pulling out the useful stuff so I don't have to pack and move 200 pounds of waste paper) recently - they used POOL plaster, which is obviously waterproof. :-) It looked very good, although not the same as lime plaster.

Made me curious so I also did a little poking around online and found a company that makes plaster specifically for wet areas - Merlex Super Shower Finish, which they describe as "Polymer-Modified, Portland Cement Based Plaster Finish For Interior Surfaces Exposed to High Moisture".

The website for Artisan Finishes' "Milestone" indicates that their product is suitable for use in showers; they recommend Enviropoxy sealant to prevent staining, although the "plaster" itself is claimed to be sufficiently waterproof by itself. (You can even use recycled glass for the aggregate, for a cool sparkly look.) Here's a shower done with Milestone.

I discovered that the lime-plaster technique the OP is asking about is most likely a Moroccan plaster called "Tadelakt". It is extremely expensive as it is difficult to do properly and there are few Tadelakt artisans in this country; again this is not a DIY project.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 1:47AM
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That's pretty johnmari. Probably not remotely DIY lol (which in the world of plaster means way more expensive than the finest tile) but VERY pretty.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 12:45PM
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No, none of those are really DIY-able without at least taking some classes and putting in a lot of practice time. But then, for the vast majority of the population, neither is regular plaster (as opposed to glopping joint compound around, a peeve of mine). Real plastering done right is an art form IMO, and skilled plasterers make it look so easy when it isn't! And yes, it is expensive, especially the Tadelakt simply because there are so few practitioners in this country. I imagine the pool-plaster method is probably the cheapest way to go.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 6:18PM
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do you have an idea of what the cost of tadelakt is per sq ft? and do you know what kind of substrate is needed to apply it?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 10:44PM
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I am researching tadelakt right now and am waiting on some call backs now. Will post when I find out

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 2:10PM
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We plastered a shower with izonil stucco/plaster, then painted it with lime paint. It breathes and dries out, but darkens when wet.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Do you have any pictures of your shower?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Interested as well in tadelakt. The only page I found with a price had "$35," so I assume that was per square foot. That's actually not that bad considering the price of some tiles, particularly moroccan tiles that run over $60/ft.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:53PM
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