Plaster fantasy

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Stucco in the house – it is always festive and decorative. Moreover, in spite of the deepest kinship of stucco decorations with the classical style, they can also be made to order, meeting the most extraordinary requirements of modern interiors..


The use of stucco in the house

It so happened that stucco decoration is the privilege of country houses. Indeed, only a few apartments can provide their owners with high ceilings, spacious rooms, cascades of windows. And the good old saying “in cramped quarters, but not offended” by no means can be applied to plaster stucco molding: a majestic material, with an aristocratic spirit and complex character. Because the stucco molding in the house is exactly the case when the decor dictates the rules, placing the main accents with his own hand, and only by his presence alone determines the style of the future interior.
Home decoration with plaster stucco is considered a centuries-old tradition. Despite the fact that stucco molding was widely used in the architecture of Ancient Rome, it continues to change to this day. The manufacturing principle is perhaps the same, but the range of application of stucco molding, primarily due to the unusual ideas of modern designers, has become much wider. With the help of stucco elements, a sense of completeness of any interior is achieved. This has been tested by designers in practice. Every time the decoration of the room is at the final stage, but it seems that something is missing – it’s time to remember the stucco.

Cornices will instantly give a clear outline to the ceiling, moldings will make the walls more embossed and expressive, pilasters will turn the most ordinary door into a triumphal arch, and a pedestal will replace a stand for potted flowers.
In addition to using stucco moldings for purely decorative purposes, designers also find practical applications for plaster elements. For example, to hide defects in finishing, room asymmetry, supporting structures, pipes, ventilation grilles, risers. It is not always possible to dismantle these structures, so the only way out is to disguise them under beautiful massive patterns. It happens that during the construction of a country house, some mistakes are made in the architecture of the building, or the work is performed by non-professionals, as a result of which the owners have to be content with curved ceilings and skewed walls. Before finishing the premises, these flaws are almost invisible, but after painting and other work, all the flaws literally “crawl out”.

You can adjust the proportions of rooms using stucco molding. The ceiling will appear level when using indirect lighting curtain rods. Spotlights are located inside the cornice, so only light emission, soft and comfortable light is visible. Using neon cords and fluorescent lamps, you will also achieve the effect of a ceiling “floating” in the air. But the columns and pilasters visually extend the walls in height, the impression of their “depth” and multifunctionality is created. Even a room with a minimal set of furniture and accessories will seem rich and respectable. Moreover, the stucco decoration is famous for a variety of elements. In the hands of designers are sockets, cornices, niches, columns, pedestals, curbs, consoles and other details, the simultaneous use of which allows you to organize the stylistic unity of all components of the interior.

With the help of several elements of plaster molding, you can also create complete pieces of furniture. Which looks very unusual and original. For example, in a high-tech interior, an impromptu frame for a mirror is created from stucco molding and painted in a metallic color. In rooms with an emphasis on minimalism, you can ditch the standard bookshelves. It is enough to attach two or three consoles in one row, fix a narrow glass panel above them – and the exquisite shelf is ready. There are also whole groups of elements for decorating false fireplaces. Such stucco molding will suit well in a room where the spirit of the English aristocracy reigns. In pursuit of the goal of making the interior of your home unique, you can use unusual objects that are not typical of traditional molded forms and styles. Original interior items will be made individually according to sketches developed personally for you.


Installation features

Gypsum is a capricious material, and moldings are famous for their variety. Therefore, the installation of stucco in the house requires not only technical knowledge and experience, but also good aesthetic taste. After all, only a part of the stucco elements are brought ready-made for installation. The rest are assembled into a single whole from many small parts directly in the interior. In this way, all fireplaces, columns, ceiling compositions are built. The process of decorating walls with moldings and friezes is especially creative. In addition, stucco molding, in addition to gypsum, can also be made from other materials – polyurethane and polystyrene, which weigh little and are attached to surfaces using adhesives. While the installation of gypsum stucco molding is a very difficult process, and it is not recommended to undertake the installation yourself.

All gypsum elements, even if small in size, are fixed with screws and dowels. Installation is carried out on dry and even walls. If the surface has many defects, then it must be prepared for the installation of stucco molding in advance: putty, treat with a primer and let dry for two days. Installation work must not be carried out in a room with high humidity; low temperature is also considered an unfavorable factor. Gypsum is very sensitive to moisture and can soon begin to crumble, turn gray, and give small cracks. For the same reasons, plaster stucco molding is not installed in the bathrooms of apartments and cottages with an economy layout. The only exceptions are large baths in country houses, in which each room has a well-coordinated and powerful ventilation system. You can protect the surface of the gypsum only by covering it with a special polymer film or by treating the stucco element with a water-repellent primer.

Often, installation also includes painting. Firstly, it is now fashionable to paint stucco elements in bright colors, achieving a contrast between the colors of the interior decoration and its decor. In addition, with the help of paint on the stucco molding, you can apply a pattern that imitates the texture of stone, metal, ivory. These materials are expensive and very difficult to process. But after the masterfully painted stucco molding, the impression will be created that the openwork frame for the mirror was really made of marble. Secondly, it is recommended to process gypsum with white paint without fail. Indeed, over time, the material can change its properties, turn yellow or gray, but under a layer of paint this will not be noticeable.
For painting gypsum stucco, acrylic paints are used, less often oil paints. In order for the paint to lay down evenly and cover all the smallest details of the stucco molding, it must be applied using a paint sprayer. But flat large elements with a minimum of patterns and reliefs can be painted with an ordinary roller..

Alternative to plaster

Since gypsum is the oldest building material, traditionally stucco decoration was associated exclusively with it. But time does not stand still, modern developments and equipment make it possible to create new materials, making the stucco molding affordable, stronger and more durable. Moreover, gypsum is not ideal, it has its own pros and cons. Therefore, gypsum also has its competitors: cement, mesh-composite, polystyrene, fiberglass, polymer concrete, polyurethane – the last one is the main one. And before you make a choice in favor of tradition or modern technology, we will compare the characteristics of gypsum and polyurethane.
Designers agree that gypsum is the noblest molded material. The chemical properties of gypsum are better than polyurethane, they allow to achieve high detailing of molding, accurately process all the contours and facets of the composition, make the relief expressive and textured. But gypsum stucco molding is heavy and fragile, afraid of sudden changes in temperature and high humidity in the room. Therefore, it requires the constancy of the microclimate from the country house.

The lower price is in favor of polyurethane. Although gypsum itself is cheap, the manufacture of plaster molding requires the direct participation of skilled craftsmen. First, check the quality of the gypsum mass, from which the stucco elements will be formed, and then proceed to the complex creativity of manufacturing and installation. And manual production, as opposed to machine production, is known to always cost the consumer much more..
Polyurethane is a lightweight, yet durable and hard material. You can cope with its installation on your own, because for attaching polyurethane stucco molding to surfaces, only the presence of special glue is enough. Polyurethane, like gypsum, can be painted. It is not afraid of moisture, resistant to aggressive environmental influences, therefore it is actively used for decorating the facade of a house, in pools and showers. In terms of weight, texture, density and structure, polyurethane is very similar to wood, but the only difference is that it does not crack, does not rot even after prolonged use. But, unlike gypsum, it turns yellow – and the color change is associated, rather, not with the peculiarities of the conditions in which the polyurethane stucco molding is located, but with the properties of the material itself.

Another advantage of polyurethane is the ability to produce flexible molded elements. Thanks to special additives in the material, you can get curved cornices, moldings, which are very easy and convenient to decorate arches and wavy walls. While it takes a lot of time to make similar plaster molds. But polyurethane has one huge drawback. This is a synthetic material, so everyone who wants to see naturalness, age-old traditions and the obvious advantages of handwork in their home refuse it. So it is advisable to use polyurethane stucco molding only in cases where it is necessary to revive the interior of the house a little. But if you decide to decorate the house with a complex and stylistically rich decor, then only gypsum can reveal and emphasize the beauty of stucco elements..

Consumer dictionary

Cornice – an element that decorates the transition from horizontal to vertical plane. To be mounted on the facade of the building under the roof or on the line between floors. In the interior – at the junction of the ceiling and walls.
Column – a free-standing element that performs both supporting and decorative functions. Column components: capital, trunk, base. There are also semi-columns, which are attached exclusively to the plane of the wall..
Console – a decorative element that is used to create the effect of volumetric, rich in details of columns, pilasters and ceiling cornices. Consoles are also used as support, auxiliary surfaces.
Molding – a border for walls, a decorative profile for finishing mirrors, door frames, plasterboard elements. It is widely used both in interior and exterior. It can be not only straight, but also curved: for framing arched windows, semicircular niches.
Niches and domes – stucco elements, which are mounted in a wall or ceiling and give them the illusion of depth, volume.
Pilaster – a flat ledge on the wall, which serves for its visual separation, the creation of functional areas. Has the same components as the column.
Pedestal – a reduced version of the column, often replaces pedestals, flower stands, TV supports.
Power socket – a relief element, which is mounted on the ceiling and is intended to frame the upper part of the lamp, lamp, plafond.
Frieze – decorative insert (composition, ornament) in the form of a horizontal plane.

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