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Whitson’s Impasto Plaster

A Look At Patterns You Can Make Using A Stencil And Whitsons Decorative Plaster

We are relaunching our “Decorative Plaster” as “Impasto Plaster”. Why are we relaunching? Because we want to make a big thing about how great and versatile this product is and we needed a different word to describe what it did. Hopefully the word “Impasto” will help artists, decorative painters and gilders understand a little more what this product does.

You can use Whitsons Impasto Plaster to texture and interest to walls.

An Example Of Whitsons Impasto Primer Used To Give Texture On A Wall

Since we are relaunching we also thought it would be fun to share some techniques with the ever-wonderful GLS customers and show you something of what it can do.

Whitson’s Impasto Plaster is a versatile clay based plaster for adding texture to any decorative finish on interior surfaces. It is easy to use, comes in a neutral base – fully tintable with universal colourants – and dries to a hard, durable film. It can be used to create embossing and textured finishes, can be over-coated with all paints and enhanced with glazes, waxes, gilding and protective topcoats. Alternatively, it can be used as a finish without extra coats if required. It can be polished like a lime plaster too.

Apply with trowel, spatula, sponge or roller to an optimum depth of no more than 1- 2mm at a time to avoid cracking (although you can crack it if you want to… I’ll talk about that later).

The first technique is done using metallic foil beneath, but you could use Roberson’s Liquid Metal to equal effect.  We then used 6mm masking tape to mask off the stripes, we laid US style cheesecloth (a sort of open weave muslin) over the surface which has a more open weave than many fabrics however you could use all sorts of fabrics, like lace or a scrim type material or none at all…this is a product definitely worth playing with. Then the plaster was tinted using Mixol colourants and applied with a small trowel. You could also roller it on, just thin it a little with water beforehand. Then we allowed it to set up till it was beginning to become firm.  Do test pull away of the cloth, if it goes into nasty peaks it’s too soon. Don’t panic though if it does get peaks you can sand these off.

Finally, we used a white scumble glaze tinted with Polyvine Universal tints, which is a nice clean white.

If you want to encourage cracking then thicker layers can be applied and/or force dried with a hairdryer will give a more dramatic effect. You can also put some crackle glaze underneath it but practice that one first, you can only touch the plaster once as you apply it.

An Image of A Striped Effect On A Wall Achieved Using Impasto Plaster And Metal Leaf

Using Whitsons Impasto Plaster and either metallic paint or metal leaf you can create your own fantastic striped effects!

Cracked Plaster Effect

Here are a couple of examples of cracking…

A cracked plaster finish using Whitsons Impasto Plaster

A chest of drawers with a decorative surface created using Whitsons Impasto Plaster through a stencil and then made to crack. Read below to see how it was done!

This chest of drawers was primed, and the plaster was trowelled through a stencil. The plaster was then blow dried to encourage cracking. The surface was painted black, sized and we used foil, however you could use a foam roller and silver paint and “dry roller” over the top. It was then glazed with a black glaze (I used Polyvine acrylic glaze tinted with Polyvine tints) and varnished. A stage could have been cut if the plaster had been tinted black.


Because of its unique flexibility this product is perfect for use on flexible substrates like canvas and for off-site application of installation work. This flexibility means it can be applied to a variety of surfaces and shipped to site without concerns of delamination. The acrylic and clay formulation mean there are no concerns with incompatibility with other water-based products.

Here is a finish carried out by Lesley Anne Kinney of Bespoke Decorative Artisans. She has used a patterned croc roller to create the texture, but just check out how flexible this really is.

The Whitsons Impasto Plaster can easily be shaped and patterned using a variety of tools, including texture rollers.

The formulation of the Whitsons Impasto Plaster gives it superior flexibility compared to traditional products. Despite being rolled up the plaster hasn’t cracked!

As this is a clay and acrylic medium – seal any raw substrate with a suitable primer sealer, for already coated surfaces apply Whitson’s Superior Adhesion Primer unless it is coated in an acrylic coating already.

Impasto Plaster dries in 20/30 minutes depending on the thickness of the coat applied.

Once the film feels hard and no longer cold you can recoat the Impasto Palster. To render the plaster scrubbable apply a good quality acrylic varnish.
After use cover the remaining plaster with plastic film and seal up the container, by doing so this material will keep for up 1 year.

Clean up and dilution is with water

We have more information about the product in this PDF download – https://www.caitwhitson.com/uploads/tinymce/Techniques%20for%20Impasto%20Plaster.pdf

TDS is here – https://www.caitwhitson.com/uploads/tinymce/TDS%20Impasto%20Plaster.pdf

and the MSDS – https://www.caitwhitson.com/uploads/tinymce/MSDS%20Impasto%20Plaster.pdf

More Example Finishes!

The surface was primed, stencilled through with plaster and painted with a dark brown eggshell. It was then sized and foiled with our copper ore-patterned foil (this one is a 100% release foil), glazed with a brown glaze and varnished. The stencil was hand-cut by us.

Door was primed, and plaster trowelled through. RH panel is done in Annie Sloan Paris Grey, finished with wax, a liming wax and then the stencil replaced, and the Lefranc Bourgeois gilt wax dusted over the raised surface. LH door was embossed with the plaster then painted with General Finishes Coral Crush, then glazed with their Vandyke Brown Glaze (with extender added). Once the glaze was dry, I placed the stencil back in place and stencilled GF Pearl Effects Copper through, finally it was varnished. The stencils are from Stencil Library.

This effect was created using the black Whitsons Impasto Plaster, which was applied with Japan Scrapers in the classic polished plaster technique. Two thin layers were built up and lightly polished before a gold wax was trowelled onto the surface.

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