Frequently Asked Questions

Custom wall finish distressed brick
Q: What is Polished Plaster?

A: Polished Plaster is a natural lime based plaster wall finish. It replicates the organic beauty of polished natural stone. It is known by many names including Venetian Plaster, Venetian Stucco, Marmorino, Carrara, Spatulata, Travertine, Tadelakt (which is a Moroccan style lime plaster that doesn’t contain ground marble), and Scagliola (which mimics marble). It is trowelled onto a level 4 finished substrate in multiple coats which are then burnished to create a smooth almost glass like venetian plaster finish. The Venetian Plaster or Polished Plaster wall is then waxed using a natural bees wax. Bishop Master Finishes apply the polished plaster by hand using a team of highly trained artisans.

Q: What makes Bishop Master Finishes different from other Polished Plaster companies?

A: Bishop Master Finishes do much more than just Polished Plaster, in fact we have 14 unique finishes. We have an exclusive supply chain from manufacture to application Australia wide, we have applicators based locally to apply: Venetian Plaster Melbourne, Venetian Plaster Sydney and Venetian Plaster Brisbane, Cubitt Carrara, Kelso Concrete, Cremorne Velvet Plaster, and a selection of textured renders, including pitted, granite, travertine and metal leaf finishes. We are also more than happy to travel to Tasmania, SA and WA to apply our finishes. We are passionate about collaborating with our design colleagues to help realise their vision, and only employ highly skilled artisans with years of experience in the application of Stucco, Faux Concrete, Polished Plaster and Venetian Plaster, both locally and internationally. We are Union Compliant with our employees work under a current EBA. We also offer a 10 year warranty on our products.

Q: Where can I use Venetian plaster?

A: Venetian plaster or Polished Plaster is suitable for use on interior walls and ceilings, and curved surfaces like archways and columns. It works beautifully on fireplace walls and feature walls. Our Polished Plaster is also great in bathrooms, venetian plaster offers a grout-free, low-maintenance alternative to tiles or stone. It is naturally resistant to mould and mildew, and its hardness and durability is comparable to tiles. Polished Plaster should not be used directly under flowing water.

Q: How to use Venetian Plaster?

A: Bishops do not recommend applying Venetian Plaster without the correct training. We do not sell our Venetian Plaster range, we manufacture and apply the finishes ourselves.

Q: Can I order samples of your range?

A: Samples are available to be ordered through our website. Bishop Master Finishes have 14 different textured finishes available and over 50 standard colours to choose from. We also have the ability to custom match colours and finishes. Where other applicators are limited by the colours they buy off the shelf, we have colour specialists that can colour match the majority of our finishes to any Dulux Colour, we can colour match almost anything, from existing finishes to colour matching tiles. Our Concrete Kelso finish can be used as a substitute for finishes such as X Bond or Unirock.

We colour our plasters using natural or synthetic tinters. The ability to tint is especially helpful when a specific colour that does not exist naturally is wanted. Bishop Master Finishes can range in sheen and texture from a smooth highly polished marble-like finish to a distressed, stone-like Tuscan appearance. Using ground limestone and marble dust in a lime putty, walls can have the authentic feel of stone. Our trained artisans can create unique special plasters in an infinite number of colour combinations or level of texture to realise your design vision. Bishop Master Finishes is a company dedicated to the application and creation of finishes and plasters, based locally and specialise in Polished Plaster Melbourne, Polished Plaster Sydney and Polished Plaster Brisbane, we also work on projects in Tasmania, South Australia and WA.

Q: What finishes do Bishop Master Finishes have in their range?

A: Bishop Master Finishes have an extensive selection of finishes and textures.

Range of Smooth Finishes:

  • Polished or Venetian Plaster is highly polished, shiny smooth and cool to the touch. It has pattern that runs through the finish which is created by the trowel.
  • Cubitt Finish which is more of a matt finish and is sometimes referred to as Carrara or Marmorino. It resembles hard set plaster and is perfect in spaces seeking a more natural look.
  • Kelso Finish mimics a Concrete or Micro Cement wall finish at a fraction of the price and significantly lower environmental impact. This is a cement free product.
  • Clifton is a silky smooth polished rendered finish that is trowel applied using a similar process to Polished Plaster, is has less pattern running through it and is less polished so doesn’t have as much shine. It’s perfect if you’re after a more subdued finish in a space that needs a luxury polished finish without wanting to draw too much attention to it.


Range of Textured Finishes

  • Cremorne plaster is a velvet like plaster that has a subtle texture that diffuses light beautifully.
  • Palmer plaster is a luxurious stucco finish that has been engineered in collaboration with Armourcoat UK. It creates a beautiful horizontal line that can be mixed to match any colour, the texture can then be further enhanced by rubbing it with a coloured wax.
  • Coppin is a textured pitted finish. It can be used to replicate the look of naturally occurring limestone but it’s not limited to natural colours as we can colour match it to any Dulux colour. We can do this finish in varying degrees of texture and really tailor to your requirements.
  • Gough is a textured wall finish that can be applied in varying gritty styles to create either a vertical running texture or a horizontal texture through the finish. It can be used on walls or as a plaster finish on joinery. It mimics a classic travertine stone.
  • Lennox is a textured wall finish that is made by creating a crater like texture in the plaster. The peaks can then be polished to either a fine texture or a coarse texture.
  • Balmain is a course textured finish that mimics a granite wall finish. It can be used as a wall finish, a ceiling finish, or a joinery finish. It is a natural plaster wall finish the uses limestone, marble dust and aggregates that can then be tinted to any colour.
  • Harcourt is a thickly applied rendered finish that has a very coarse earthy organic appearance. It can be applied to most surfaces and provides a durable rock like wall finish,
  • Dover has been developed in collaboration with Armourcoat UK, it is inspired by the patterning of weathered rock. It is a rugged and semi polished wall finish that is characterised by horizontal striations of texture running through it.
  • Loretto is a staggered horizontal textured wall finish using lime and marble dust plasters. We can vary the look of the plaster by incorporating varying metallics and coloured pearl wax.


Metallic and Bespoke Wall Finishes

  • We can apply Gold leaf, Silver leaf, Copper leaf, and Verdigris leaf to walls ceilings and joinery.
  • We work closely with designers and our artists to create custom wall finishes. These include but are not limited to distressed wall finishes, aged wall finishes, surface design, French wash wall finishes, ombre wall finishes and murals… cool murals.
Q: Is Polished Plaster or Venetian Plaster a healthy option?

A: Polished Plaster is a very healthy option. It is a naturally occurring material so Venetian plaster doesn’t release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the same way that acrylic paints, sealers and do. The added lime gives the plaster a high pH level and is a natural fungicide, which means it won’t harbour mould.

Q: Is Polished Plaster Expensive?

A: Polished Plaster is not expensive when you consider it is hand applied using a trowel over a minimum of 3 visits. Generally Bishop Master Finishes products are a third of the cost of timber veneers and about the same supply and install cost as quantity ceramic tiling. To get a firm price it’s best to share drawings or have us come out.

Q: Is Polished Plaster Waterproof?

A: Polished Plaster is not waterproof. It can be used in areas that get the odd splash of water as it is a naturally occurring product, but we do not recommend its use under direct running water like in a shower or on a sink.

Q: Can you apply Polished Plaster to joinery?

A: Polished Plaster can be applied to joinery. However as it’s a brittle texture, chipping can occur. It’s best to discuss the use of it on the joinery with John or Eddie prior to specifying it.

Q: What is the difference between Polished Plaster and Venetian Plaster?

A: There’s no difference between Polished Plaster and Venetian Plaster, they are just different names for the same product.

Q: Is Venetian Plaster out of style?

A: Venetian Plaster is a beautiful and incredibly stylish product. As with many finishes, the end result is dictated by the design of the overall room.

Q: Does Venetian Plaster crack?

A: Cracks can sometimes appear through walls done in Polished or Venetian Plaster. This happens when the substrate is compromised – eg: plasterboard / MDF sheeting has shifted. The substrate needs to be repaired prior to us coming out. Depending on the level of the damage we can either patch the work or will need redo the wall.