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Stuck: That certain something - not just in old buildings
Stuck: That certain something - not just in old buildings

Video: Stuck: That certain something - not just in old buildings

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Stucco work in your own four walls is a real stroke of luck for most people. Today we associate that certain something with stucco that turns a normal apartment into a place for stylish living. But what do those who don't live in a chic old building do? They stick the wow effect themselves on the wall. Or the blanket. We explain how it works and what you need to consider.

Table of contents Table of contents stucco: timeless elegance for the wall

  • What is stucco made of?
  • Process stucco
  • Decorative element with tradition
  • Stucco as a modern material
  • Attach stucco elements
  • Maintain stucco
  • Decoration tips with stucco

Table of contents Table of contents stucco: timeless elegance for the wall

  • What is stucco made of?
  • Process stucco
  • Decorative element with tradition
  • Stucco as a modern material
  • Attach stucco elements
  • Maintain stucco
  • Decoration tips with stucco

What is stucco made of?

Stucco is made from mortar, also called food. That means: water is mixed with gypsum, sand, different types of lime, possibly cement and sometimes glutin glue. Which ingredient exactly and how much of each one depends on what the piece is used for. In the meantime there are also decorative pieces made of plastic, strictly speaking made of polyurethane foam. Colloquially, the end products are still called stucco, even if the material is no longer the original mixture. Once attached, especially if it is painted, laypeople cannot distinguish real, old stucco from the new plastic variant.

Process stucco

The mixed piece is then drawn, poured or applied. That means: It is used as a binder for plasters indoors or outdoors. Or to produce the decorative elements that most people probably have in mind when they hear the word stucco: straightforward to ornate ornamental or even figurative decorations, mostly in white on the wall and ceiling, less often on doors or furniture. These can be prefabricated using templates or designed as a so-called application piece directly on site. The smaller of these decorative elements are now often made of plastic or polystyrene - and no longer with the help of cement, hard plaster or plaster.

Few plasterers have mastered the technique of imitating different types of marble with stucco - for example, to produce cladding for columns. Or to make sculptures using the so-called plaster cut.

Decorative element with tradition

In the past, these techniques were often in demand. It was not uncommon for the need for representation of the emperors, kings, church representatives or even wealthy citizens to be greater than the wallet and instead of real gold ornaments, the plasterer of trust applied a deceptively genuinely colored plaster variant. Sometimes the clients' demands were so great that real marble was too normal for them. Then the plasterer constructed a stucco wall in marble look, but with more dramatic effects and shapes than the natural product would allow.

Archaeologists discovered traces of stucco in what is now Turkey - and dated it to around 7000 BC. So people have been processing stucco in their homes since the Neolithic Age. The material was used a lot from the 16th century, the Renaissance. Italian artists processed the "Stucco" extensively in churches, pallazi and public buildings. In Baroque, Rococo and Art Nouveau, the wedding of the stucco, almost no house was built in Germany today without stucco elements on the facade and the walls and ceilings of the representative rooms.

Altbau mit Stuck
Altbau mit Stuck

Nowadays, old apartments with stucco are very much in demand on the real estate market.

Photo: iStock / hanohiki

After the First World War, the stucco went out of fashion - hardly a new building with the decorative plaster elements. After the Second World War, stucco work was banished from most private houses, the decoration torn from the facades and from the interior or unscrewed.

For some years now, however, the stucco has been making its way back into the houses. This goes so far that some owners have their stucco, which was torn out in the 1950s, reinstalled in their tenement houses as a real stucco or imitation stucco, in order to give potential apartment tenants or buyers the desired old-style wow effect. Tried-and-tested applications, but also new forms, are popular with apartment and house owners worldwide.

Stucco as a modern material

Stucco elements can appear grand and opulent and underline a corresponding furnishing of the living rooms. Especially if you colorize the stucco or combine striking colors such as gold, royal blue and red. Or stucco work is the reserved thing that prevents the modern room from looking too cool and uninhabited.

Tip: We show you here how you can easily make stucco ornaments and stucco moldings yourself.

With decorated stucco columns you can transform your bathroom into a Roman bath, you can put a stucco frame on your mirror and feel as soon as you get up like the goddess Venus himself. Decorative strips made of stucco or imitation stucco are available in many different widths, with little or a lot of decoration, with holders for lamps, trimmed to antique or very modern - for every room and every style. Stucco moldings can also act very effectively as tunnels for indirect lighting.

A real eye-catcher are the rosettes, which are attached to the ceiling as a decorative element and in the middle of which a magnificent chandelier is hung. If you want it a little more extravagant, you can have a stucco niche built into the office, for example, and place an indoor fountain there.

But you don't have to do without stucco for the exterior design of your house either: decorative arches for the windows, decorative elements for the front door, columns for the terrace and borders for the columns - the list is long.

You can get some of these elements from the hardware store, others can be bought directly from the manufacturers online. Most producers also have customer service to whom you can contact with any questions, from planning to the number of individual elements to fastening.

Stuck in der Küche
Stuck in der Küche

The stucco is a beautiful eye-catcher in the minimalist kitchen.

Photo: living4media / Simon Maxwell Photography

Attach stucco elements

Before you put stucco on the wall, you have to free it from wallpaper and paint. It is best to apply the stucco on the smooth plaster or on a plasterboard. Carefully draw the outline of your stucco work on the surface with a pen. Then take a spatula and use it to roughen the part on which the piece will later be attached. Now moisten the roughened areas and immediately apply the adhesive plaster. Only mix as much glue as you can process in a few minutes, because it will quickly become unusable. Now press the piece carefully and carefully onto the surface - done. If you are more of a visual type: online you will find several quite detailed videos that show you step by step how to apply the piece.

If you want to apply certain patterns or the stucco work consists of several elements, lay out the pattern completely on the floor along the wall and work your way slowly, piece by piece. Always stick one element at a time. This way you keep an overview and ensure that every element is later in its place.

If you want to paint the piece, stick to the information on the packaging of the adhesive plaster with regard to drying times. You should also find out on the packaging of the piece or from the manufacturer whether you need to apply a primer and which color is recommended. Not all colors adhere to stucco.

In order to fix stucco work made of plastic or polystyrene, it is advisable to use glue for the respective plastic and to make sure that the paint is suitable for the plastic before painting.

Maintain stucco

Both the real and the plastic stucco are quite easy to care for. Regular dusting with a soft cloth and, if necessary, a brush is sufficient. Do not wash off wet! If you have painted the piece, you can only use the paint again to refresh it - because the more paint you apply to the pieces, the less delicate it will look. And then you need a good restorer who will uncover the fine structures of the stucco under the entire color layers. Do not paint stucco too often. And if in doubt, get advice and help from a plasterer.

Decoration tips with stucco

The new apartment is practically furnished, but that certain something of decoration is still missing? Buy stucco rosettes of different sizes and paint them colorful. Pay attention to the packaging labels - for some products you have to prime beforehand and not all colors stick. Attach them to the wall with adhesive plaster, dowels or nails - ideally not arranged symmetrically. Since the rosettes weigh little, this is also possible with difficult walls, for example in old buildings.

Bunt bemalte Stuckrosetten
Bunt bemalte Stuckrosetten

Colorfully painted stucco rosettes are a pretty decoration for the living room and bedroom.

Photo: living4media / Hoersch, Julia

Do you still have some of the eye-catching decorative wallpaper left over? Not enough to paper, but too much to just throw it away? Then take a picture of it. Mark the size of the picture on the wall with a tape measure and a pencil. Cut the stucco moldings - and here you can take thin, wider, classic or even unusual moldings - to the dimensions (think of the bevelled ends of each molding, as with a normal photo frame), glue them to the wall, fill them Bump corners between the strips at all four corners with silicone, paint the strips in the desired color and wallpaper the "picture" in the frame on the wall.

Sabrina Deckert

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