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Your customer loves the individual? Great, then you are exactly right with a spatula technique! Because the variety of decorative fillers and plasters is huge and due to the "handwork" every wall is unique. Susanne Sachsenmaier-Wahl When speaking of spatula techniques, many painter customers still only have small, spatula-filled, smooth, high-gloss surfaces in mind. Because it was with these spatula techniques that the great renaissance of decorative painting techniques began around 20 years ago. Fortunately, to date, it has not been torn down by all painters working in the creative field. But both the materials and the execution techniques have changed significantly. The Malerblatt took a look around the market for you and put together a market overview of decorative fillers. This overview, in which around 65 products are listed, can be downloaded free of charge from the Downloads section of the Malerblatt website (). The overview provides information on the type of material and suitability, the processing method recommended by the manufacturer, the choice of color and options for surface treatment. But back to the beginning of the filling technique. The first spatula techniques were applied to the wall in small, even strokes. The small parts already dictated the tool: Instead of the large smoothing trowels, as they are mainly used today, much smaller Japanese or plastic spatulas were used. Also was almost exclusively filled on perfectly prepared, very smooth substrates,which underscored the even character. The materials used were initially largely based on dispersions, mineral products later became fashionable. Classic spatula techniques These products are still offered today - and rightly so. Hardly any other spatula technology is so well suited to producing marble imitations or the so-called stucco marble. The product names for these fillers therefore often contain the designations "Stucco" (eg "Art Stucco" by Alligator, "Stucco Decor di Luce" by Caparol, "Conti Magic-Color Stucco", "Stucco-Rapid" by Fema, " Stucco Veneziano”by Jaeger or“Stucco Classico”by Keim) or“Marble”(eg“Marmor-Color”by Fema,“Marmor-Spachtel”by Meffert or“StoLook Marmorino”). They look very fine and due to their extreme shine ortheir high polishability is almost glassy. According to the taste of today, many of these products - especially the mineral ones - are now also processed with Venetian smoothing trowels (somewhat smaller stainless steel trowels with rounded edges). In this way, larger pit strokes are achieved, the surface appears larger and involuntarily somewhat irregular. The “handwriting” of the processor is more clearly legible. However, all "classic" spatula techniques have one thing in common: they are relatively expensive to process compared to other spatula techniques or plasters. Not only is the preparation of the substrate very meticulous and therefore usually has to be carried out in several work steps, the decorative filler itself in most cases requires at least three work steps, followed by sandingPolishing and possibly waxing are added. Stone-like surfaces The painter's sheet overview is by far not only concerned with the classic spatula techniques. Currently, leveling compounds and plasters with slightly grained, stone-like structures and leveling techniques that show clear signs of processing are in trend. These fillers are usually mixed with coarser grains, sometimes they are marble grains or other stone granules (for example with "Art Nobile" from Alligator, "Spirito Libero" from Dinova), then again with terracotta stones (eg with "Coccio Antico" from Oikos). These leveling compounds are usually applied in one layer, occasionally also in several layers and smoothed out after a short flash-off. During this smoothing process, the granules leave their traces in the filler. There are small holesGrooves and stone nests as you know them from natural stones. The porous surfaces of these fillers further emphasize the natural character. These techniques do not necessarily work on smooth surfaces. Smaller unevenness in the subsurface can easily be compensated for by applying the material. If natural stones are actually to be imitated, special fillers are available (eg "Pietra Travertino" from Dinova, "Travertino Romano" from Oikos). These lime-based fillers are not only available in special stone shades, they can also be structured particularly well and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. If you like it rustic, a modeling plaster variant is well advised. Decorative fillers are also suitable for this. For example, if these are deliberately applied unevenly and then combined with a glaze, the result is surfaces that appear originally. The work step diagrams below show how such surfaces can be produced. If the surface is smooth, but the craftsmanship is still clearly legible, it is usually enough to structure the surface somewhat. Some manufacturers offer special, coarser basic plasters that are part of the system, others recommend deliberately adding grooves and burrs to the first filler layer, while others have a spatula or scratch coat applied. No matter which substrate structure you choose, the fine filler layers show every unevenness and give the technology its very individual character. The current trend towards naturalness,Ecology and sustainability did not stop at the leveling compounds either. Mineral-based fillers now dominate the market significantly. Primarily, these are lime products, but silicate fillers (eg "Art Nobile" from Alligator) and gypsum-based ones (eg "Multi-Finish" and "Universal-Finish" from Knauf) are available. In addition, fillers based on the rediscovered and increasingly popular building material clay have established themselves. With "Yosima", Claytec, for example, offers a clay design plaster that not only impresses with its extremely wide, but still very natural color palette. The plaster has seven natural structure additives (plant fibers, mica, stones, etc.) with additional effects. The “Capriccio” clay spatula plaster by Lesando is similarly diverse,which is also available in over 130 colors and with five structural additions. The Dutch clay specialist Tierrfino uses an entirely different - and very unusual for clay - effect with "Listro", a clay gloss plaster. Thanks to polishable additives, this clay plaster can be polished to a high gloss with the acrylic trowel. So if you still believe that clay products inevitably have a dull matt surface, you have to be instructed otherwise. In addition to the penchant for naturalness, another trend continues: the preference for shine and glamor. It is not surprising that the filler manufacturers have long reacted to this trend. With special fillers on a dispersion basis, velvety-metallic surfaces can be achieved (eg "Art Velluto" by Alligator, "Creativ Metallico" by Brillux,"Art Design Magic Touch" by Zero). These materials are available in numerous matallic shades, based on the basic shades of gold and silver. With “setta creativo Meran” VFG is limited to gold and silver, Jaeger offers its metal filler wax “Crown Exquisit Finish” in gold, silver, bronze and brass. The latter is predestined for the refinement of smoothing techniques, which it then gives a noble metallic shimmer. The Italian company Oikos offers a lime-based gold filler with "Aureum". Those who prefer a more subtle sheen should like “StoLook Effetto”. This lime filler contains fine gold mica, which, depending on the light, gives the surface a more or less strong "sparkle". "ArteTwin" from Caparol is also sometimes available in the colors gold and silver. However, the product does not primarily impress with metallic effects. Rather, the peculiarity of this filler is that it contains lightly pigmented particles that do not mix with other color pigments. This "speckle effect" results in a lively, multidimensional surface appearance. The way ArteTwin is processed also differs from conventional fillers. Two different colored but harmonizing fillers are placed on the trowel at the same time and filled on the wall. The subsequent pulling together creates lively surfaces that seem to be in motion. Oriental Beauty You can also offer your customers something very special with Tadelakt, a lime plaster from Morocco,in which the surface is polished with smaller stones (about the size of table tennis balls). This type of polishing never makes the surface smooth, but always has small waves that can be seen as a hallmark of Tadelakt. During the polishing, olive oil soap is repeatedly applied, which is rubbed into the plaster. This soap is not only responsible for the typical velvety shine of Tadelakt, but also has a different effect through the reaction with lime components: it makes the lime plaster impermeable to water. Tadelakt can therefore also be used to coat sanitary objects. The processing of Tadelakt is very demanding and extremely time consuming. A processor only creates about four square meters per day. If you want to offer this exclusive technology, you should also master it. It is therefore advisable to attend a processing seminar in any case. There are special lime plasters for the production of Tadelakt, for example from Kreidezeit ("Tadelakt") and Tierrfino ("Tadelakt Stone"). One or the other may have already finished with the spatula / smoothing techniques. After all, who can come up with a group of customers where money doesn't matter ?! Unfortunately, these customers are the exception. However, since less well-off house and apartment owners would like to have their four walls individually designed, the industry has long reacted to this. An end to prejudices Beautiful walls do not necessarily have to be extremely complex to manufacture and therefore expensive. Some fillers can be applied rationally with a roller and are then structured with a spatula or trowel. This saves time and makes the technology affordable. With the metallic filler "Art Velluto" from Alligator, only one roller application is sufficient, which is structured after flashing. Nevertheless, the result is very impressive - and will surely bring a decent profit for the entrepreneur. “Creativ Metallico” by Brillux, “fresco” by Diessner and “setta creativo Turin” by VFG are also rationally rolled up and structured. However, these products should be applied in two layers. But not only rollable materials can be processed efficiently. Many fillers that can be found in the market overview only require a single-layer material application, which then has to be treated accordingly. Examples of single-layer plasters are "Spirito Libero" from Dinova,"Marmara Decostone" by Dracholin, "Calce Esclusiva" by Fema, Frescolori "Marble Plaster", "StoLook Fondo" and the Volimea products "Exterio", "Percamo" and "Volimea". For a long time there was also the misconception that fillers and plasters were only suitable for indoor use. Admittedly, only a fifth of the products in our market overview are really suitable for outdoor use. But be honest: how often is a spatula technique required outdoors? Not really often - so it comes as no surprise that very few manufacturers have taken up this challenge. Should you ever find yourself in the situation of being allowed to use a smoothing technique outdoors, be it to set accents, you will certainly find a suitable product. With "Intonachino" and "Marmorino", Dinova offers two products for the outside. At Jaeger, in addition to the "Antiqua" fine plaster, the "Fresco Veneziano" filler is also suitable for the facade. Other suitable products: "Marmorino Naturale" from Oikos, "Prodexor K + S" from Schwenk, "Alpha Affreschi" from Sikkens, "Exterio" from Volimea and "Art Design Magic Touch" from Zero. With the exception of Jaeger, Schwenk and Zero, all manufacturers recommend protecting their products outdoors with an impregnation or a wax. Anyone who believes that in order to be able to produce a filler technique should necessarily correct his opinion. Anyone who has witnessed the beginnings of creative surface technologies can probably still rememberthat back then even with conventional solid colors. Of course, this did not result in the same gloss and depth effect as is the case with special fillers. The first impression that paint had been filled and not painted or rolled here was often enough to amaze the viewer. At the end of the 1990s, the plastering company Knauf launched a design campaign. Design techniques should be developed using the company's common gypsum materials. The result is, among other things, a smoothing technique and a stucco lustro effect, both of which can only be produced with colored plaster materials. Above all, the “Multi-Finish” pommel, a plaster filler that is usually used to fill uneven surfaces,Slits and holes are used, proved to be suitable for decorative techniques. Colored and sharply smoothed, the gypsum mass certainly gives the impression of a decorative filler. Ardex, on the other hand, proves that highly decorative surfaces can also be achieved with cement fillers. The "Pandomo" filler, which is available in different versions for use on the wall and on the floor, not only has a high surface hardness, but also impresses with its concrete-like character.which are available in different versions for use on the wall and floor, not only has a high surface hardness, but also impresses with its concrete-like character.which are available in different versions for use on the wall and floor, not only has a high surface hardness, but also impresses with its concrete-like character.
A market overview, in which around 65 leveling compounds and plasters are listed, can be downloaded free of charge from the Downloads section of the Malerblatt website (). In addition to the type of material, the overview contains information on processing, available colors and options for surface treatment.