Facade decoration under granite and marble: fine-dispersed paintwork materials and their application technique

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How difficult is it to decorate a building with a marble or granite look? From the review of innovative facade materials from you will find out what alternatives exist for IAF systems when you need to create a noble and original appearance of facade elements.

Facade decoration for granite and marble

Stone facade: why it is difficult

The development of exterior design of buildings in most cases pursues the goal of providing an exclusive appearance at a minimum cost. In fact, it is not difficult to make a building look beautiful: authentic expensive materials do not require any tricks, it is only important to observe the installation technology so that the facade is not only beautiful, but also durable.

However, the cost of constructing a structure entirely from natural stone is prohibitive, moreover, with such a material, it is impossible to meet modern energy efficiency trends. We have to get out, using available materials in the carrier base and heat protection, subsequently hiding the resulting “sandwich” under a layer of attractive finish.

Facade clad in marble

Most modern solutions to simulate natural stone finishes use homogeneous slabs anchored to a support profile system. If climatic conditions and deformability of the building allow, these boards are attached with glue. The disadvantage of both methods is obvious: the seams of the coating are tied not to the configuration of architectural elements, but to the form factor of the material itself. This brings dissonance to the architectural ensemble, which is why even elite facades look unnatural, their fake is too striking.

Application of paintwork materials for imitation of stone

Attempts to reproduce the appearance of the stone by applying a seamless coating were made in the last century. Modern flagships of production – Feidal, First NMT, Element – offer really high-quality coatings, which have a number of differences from the common premium materials produced in large quantities and well-known to the average consumer..

Marble effect paint

The main difference is the almost complete identity of the appearance of a real stone. This radically distinguishes finely dispersed stone plasters against the background of consumer goods, which allows you to create only a remote semblance of a natural coating. Such high decorative qualities are achieved both through the use of natural filler in the form of stone crystals, and through a special polymer base, which allows you to fully reveal the play of light and natural decorative properties of natural rocks.

Marbled paint

On the other hand, finely dispersed plasters differ from the popular pebble type “Bark beetle” in that they are not an independent product for universal use, but a whole set of materials. A base leveling compound, tone-on-tone paint and a protective coating are required to ensure a natural look. All these products are sold in a complex as a single technology and the manufacturer is responsible for the compatibility of materials with each other..

Application of finely dispersed plaster

Elite facade plasters are very similar in consistency to paint, but, in fact, are a mixture of mineral dust in a liquid binder. Although the coating is based on the well-known wet stucco façade technology, the design principles and quality of the materials are on a completely different level. Work with such facade systems cannot be entrusted to guest workers under the leadership of a local foreman; qualified specialists who have been trained by the manufacturer of a particular material are needed.

On the other hand, with a wealth of experience and understanding of the principles of working with wet facades, the contractor only needs to familiarize himself with the features of the materials and enlist the support of the technical consultants of the supplier company. You cannot do without artistic skills: for most types of elite stone coatings, the pattern is formed by hand using special techniques.

Limitations for the use of stone facades

Most elite plasters form a homogeneous layer of polymer concrete. The structure of the coating is very similar to countertops or furniture facades made of artificial stone, but there is one difference – the thickness. Theoretically, it would be possible to cover the facade with a thick layer of polymer concrete, but for the same money you can order an individual set of finishing elements made of real granite or marble.

Natural stone effect paint

The layer of finely dispersed stone plaster, as a rule, does not exceed a few millimeters. On the one hand, this is enough to create a high-quality imitation of not only appearance, but also tactile sensations. On the other hand, the layer is not massive enough to correctly perceive base deformations. The facades of houses built on strip foundations designed for significant seasonal and temperature fluctuations are not suitable for covering with such materials. It is possible to use stone plaster in such cases only after careful calculation of expansion joints, which must be consistent with the organization of architectural elements, and this requires a thoughtful and scrupulous approach to the development of the facade design.

The main technical requirement for the base of the facade is high crack-opening resistance. Suitable types of load-bearing foundations are concrete panels, seamless masonry made of large-format aerated concrete blocks, as well as masonry, provided that it has near-zero deformability. The latter is achievable in the presence of a rigid monolithic foundation, the use of high-quality masonry mortar, and the use of reinforced base reinforcement.

The sequence of finishing marbled

Marble facades are of the greatest interest because of their unique decorative properties. The coating consists of several types of facade paint, which is applied sequentially using special artistic techniques. Weather resistance achieved by coating with a self-cleaning topcoat.

Before decorative finishing, it is necessary to perform a high-quality leveling of the surface using a special facade putty. Unlike plastering compounds, it is a denser material that forms a dense and durable surface with optimal water absorption and steam permeability. More importantly, the putty provides perfect color uniformity and serves to set the base tone. If in the final the coating should have a jointing, the putty is performed in two stages, between which narrow strips of masking tape are glued along the lines of future seams.

Façade putty application

After the outer layer of the putty has dried, it must be sanded dry. For high surface quality, sanding is done by hand using abrasive paper with a grain size of about P120 and consists in removing irregularities at the edges of the strokes. If the surface quality is poor, sanding is carried out by machine using P180 paper or higher. After grinding the surface, dust is removed from it with a stream of compressed air. Dusting priming is not practiced so that aesthetics are not compromised by streaks or uneven gloss. The exclusion of impregnation with a primer from the technological cycle is quite acceptable, because all components and materials have a high level of adhesion and are guaranteed to be compatible with each other..

The procedure for applying a decorative and protective coating is as follows:

  1. A series of random spots are applied using a high-pile roller using a special dark-toned paint. At the same time, the roller practically does not press against the surface, the content of colored areas in the final pattern can be about 15-25%.
  2. Using a sponge dipped in white or pastel paint, apply a scattering of small white spots. Their content in the overall pattern should not exceed 8-10%.
  3. Using a spray gun designed to work with viscous paintwork materials, several types of white and pastel paint are sprayed onto the surface in succession. Spraying is carried out from a distance of about half a meter with frequent pressing of the trigger of the spray gun so that the paint falls in numerous small dots. This creates the visual noise inherent in natural stone..
  4. After the paint has dried, the final sanding is carried out by hand with P320 paper, the adhesive tape is removed.
  5. The surface is covered with a spray gun with one or two layers of a special varnish, which provides the facade with hydrophobicity and resistance to UV rays.

Facade decoration for granite

Although liquid stone finishes with imitation granite are less aesthetic value, this type of facade plaster is also extremely popular. The reason is simple: the visual range is formed not due to artistic techniques, but due to the properties of the plaster itself, which is rock crystals with a specially selected ratio of fractions, dissolved in a liquid suspension.

Application of liquid stone using a spray gun

The finishing sequence is as follows:

  1. Leveling with a special facade filler and sanding until a smooth surface is obtained.
  2. Applying a primer-putty to remove the smallest scratches and chips.
  3. Impregnation with a special primer, which in this case is justified, since the base tone is set by subsequent painting.
  4. Continuous painting with a roller in the color of the base tone. As a rule, brown, burgundy, brick or gray-brown paint is chosen to imitate granite..
  5. Formation of a pattern using a spray gun. Pressing the trigger frequently causes the nozzle to spray paint in small, frequent drops, simulating the blotches of minerals that make up granite. The decorative coating can be used from three to seven different colors..
  6. Sanding with P180 paper in order to remove the unevenness formed by the paint and smooth the edges of the micro-particles of the pattern.
  7. Coating with one or more layers of protective self-cleaning varnish.

Imitation of aged natural stone masonry

We have come to the most time-consuming and skillful method of facade decoration, which allows us to imitate the look of antique buildings with high reliability. Although the previous two methods are excellent for covering not only planes, but also relief architectural elements, upon completion of the work, the surface of the newly polished stone is formed..

In turn, the technique of creating an aged stone surface, for all its complexity, will be ideal for implementing projects in styles that are relevant to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The first differences can be seen at the stage of surface preparation. Instead of filling and sanding, the walls are invoiced by hand. On a fresh layer of putty, with the help of embossing, jointing with chipped edges, cracks, chips and other signs of antiquity is formed. Of course, attention to detail and basic sculpting skills are required to create a quality texture, although there are a number of special tools designed to facilitate the implementation of such work..

Decorative plaster for stone

After invoicing, a thin layer of filler is sprayed onto the surface. This is to smoothen the impressions for a more natural look and to improve adhesion prior to application of the appearance coating. As such, fine mixtures can be used that imitate travertine and other types of limestone or sandstone that have undergone centuries of erosion..

When creating an imitation of a stone clack, they often resort to additional invoicing with the help of plastic viscous putties. The composition is designed to form a torn surface, it is applied in small portions, pressing in the center of the area bounded by the jointing and slightly stretching to the sides. The effect of antiquity is achieved by cleaning the torn surface with a metal brush.


To say that elite types of plasters are not for everyone is to emphasize the obvious. Firstly, the price tag catches the eye: from 300 to 1500 rubles per square meter of finished coating and this is not the limit, because the exclusivity of finishing entirely depends on the technique of the master and his remuneration. Secondly, these types of finishes are clearly discordant with the trends of modern construction, where simplicity, grace, minimalism and rational use of resources are placed on.

And yet, finely dispersed paintwork materials that imitate stone are a very useful material, indispensable for the restoration of facades and the creation of local architectural elements that stand out in style and bring original charm. Anyone who is engaged in finishing work should master the technique of working with such materials, at least to gain a unique experience. The only problem is to find the finishing material itself, which is supplied mainly in large quantities and by prior order..

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