Intonachino – Traditional Lime Plaster
There are many options available when it comes to choosing a finish for your walls or ceilings, and plenty of them are traditional offerings that have been in use for centuries, if not millennia. Intonachino is one such traditional offering, but what is Intonachino?
Intonachino is an Italian lime-based stucco plaster that is used to give a surface a rough finish that is both textured yet soft. It is available in a variety of textures, from very fine to coarse, and has several desirable properties thanks to the lime it is made from. It also offers a very strong adhesion to the substrate on which it is being applied.
Being lime-based, Intonachino has several properties that make it appealing, such as being naturally resistant to mold and breathable. On top of that, there is an organic, natural feel to lime-based plasters that you don’t get with more modern cement-based options. Another positive for Intonachino is the fact that it has a considerably lower carbon footprint than cement-based alternatives, which is a definite plus in a world where we are constantly reminded of the damage we are doing to our environment. It is worth noting that not all modern brands of Intonachino are considered “green.” If being better for the environment is a concern for you, be sure to check that the product you are buying meets Green Leed certification.
Being a traditional Italian plaster, it instantly invokes Italian architecture, since it has played a significant part in that architecture through the years. This makes it an ideal choice for people who like Italian architecture, regardless of where in the world they are.
The Look and Feel of Intonachino
The first thing you will note about Intonachino is that it is softer than a smooth or glassy plaster. Not physically—it is as durable as any other lime-based plaster—but in look and feel. The rough nature of the plaster causes light to diffuse more readily, meaning little-to-no harsh glare from light sources, and even subtle echo-dampening acoustic properties.
Another property of Intonachino is that it is more forgiving when it comes to an uneven or rough substrate. In an ideal world, plaster would only ever be applied to a perfectly rendered substrate, but the world is far from ideal, and finances often conspire to prevent us from making our situations ideal. For minor imperfections and walls that are perhaps not perfectly straight, Intonachino does not draw attention to those aspects thanks to the light diffusing properties we mentioned.
With a smoother surface, imperfections are much more evident as the light reflecting off of the surface is more focused. With a textured surface, it is much more challenging to make out an underlying uneven surface or imperfection.
What Substrates can Intonachino be Used Over?
Intonachino is very forgiving regarding what substrate it can be used over. Most of the commonly used substrates are fine, such as cement, drywall, gypsum plaster, chipboard, and a range of other materials. If you are applying Intonachino over a painted surface, any peeling paint must be removed beforehand. And, of course, it can be applied over lime plaster as well. The only caveat is that for any substrate other than lime plaster, a primer will need to be applied first.
Intonachino is also suitable for both interior and exterior use, though it is most commonly associated with exteriors. It is Intonachino’s coarse, white texture that has become synonymous with Italian architecture over the years. That being said, it can be tinted to provide other colors as required. It can also be painted, though this may negate some of the natural properties of the lime.
This would be an issue if you were planning to pour a concrete countertop, break the mould away, and leave it at that.
Interior and Exterior Differences
While Intonachino is suitable for both interior and exterior use, there are some differences to factor in. Firstly, wind can affect drying times, which can affect how the plaster is applied. Of course, there is no wind inside, but you may have to deal with that outside, depending on the weather at the time.
Another factor is protection. Intonachino does not need additional protection when it is inside; however, when it is used outside, it is recommended to apply an additional protective treatment. This should be done a few days after the Intonachino has been applied, which unfortunately means it will need protection from rain during that time.