Porters Fresco – What It Is and How to Use It

Porters Fresco

To really bring home the Italian style, fresco is the prefect design touch. And with porters fresco, a particularly good brand, you can recreate the simpler times – even if your home is in the middle of a bigger city.

Fresco is a method of painting that creates a washed effect on plaster walls and other areas. The word fresco comes from the Italian term ‘alfresco’ which means ‘fresco’ or ‘fresh.’ There are two ways to apply the fresco technique – one is on wet plaster and the other is on dry plaster.

When an artisan creates a fresco, they will generally divide the wall into sections that correspond with the images that they want to paint. Maybe you want to create images, but you can also create vague shapes as well. The artist would draw the image that they wished to make on this layer – called arriccio – with a red pigment known as sinopia.

Another layer of plaster would need to be applied to this section – called the intonaco. And then the layer would be smoothed out and left wet for the following fresco process.

One such technique of painting on plaster is called buon fresco. What you would do is paint in the chosen pigment diluted with water onto the outer layer of plaster, or in some cases mortar. This technique does not require any additional chemicals to adhere to the plaster. As the plaster dries, it grabs the pigment and keeps the image on and in the wall. This creates a very durable fresco painting that can last for a long time.

However, buon fresco is difficult to create because of the rigid time frame for the plaster to dry. The artist would need to be able to finish the work within the drying time. And that isn’t always a simple task.

But there is also the secco fresco technique to consider as well. Unlike the buon technique, this painting is done on dry plaster and requires a chemical (or something like an egg) to help the paint adhere to the wall. Because of this process, the image created by the paint has a more difficult time lasting. But it is quite effective at hiding mistakes made in the buon process after that fresco has dried.

If you’re looking to create your own fresco paintings in your home

you will want to gather the proper equipment.
For the plaster you may need:
• Bucket trowel
• Notched scratcher trowel
• Wooden fresco float
• 8X3 steel trowel
• 6X3 stainless steel trowel
• 6X2 steel gauger
• Measuring pails (2 gallon)
• Wire snips (for panel and/or wall prep)
• Sand sifting screen (window screen)
• Pudding stick (wooden dowel 2″ diameter)
• Plaster mixing tray
• Hudson sprayer
• 5 gallon buckets
• 2 gallon buckets
• Wetting brush
• Cordless drill

If you want to create a larger fresco that takes up multiple walls, you may want to purchase:
• Hoe
• Metal mixing bath
• Masonry Wisk
• Heavy duty power drill
• Masonry drill

Because fresco is a complicated project, you will also need some basic mechanical equipment:
• Large metal mixing bath
• Cement mixer
• Scaffolding
• Heavy-duty drill
• Chop saw
• Table saw
• Dollies
• Mixing Wisk
• Hammer drill
• Disc grinder
• Welding equipment
• Ladders

While these lists are comprehensive, the smaller the project the less you will need. In fact, for many home projects, you don’t even need to buy anything more than a kit.

The basic process of creating fresco on your walls can also be simplified with the use of Porters frescos. These are premised fresco like solutions that can be applied to the wall for that faux fresco look without all the work of a real fresco painting.

Most homeowners only want to have the older looking finish of a fresco, as opposed to the intricate detailing of images and paintings.

The Porters fresco is painted onto the walls with a decorating brush for the antique finish that creates a Tuscan feel to any room. Choose muted colors in order to create a subtle effects created by fresco painting – less is certainly more for this style.

Thelma Anderson

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