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Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes
504 East St. Charles Rd,
Carol Stream, IL 60188
Toll Free: 800-797-4305
Phone: 630-653-2400
FAX: 630-653-4671
kcarroll@gofaux.com
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Decortive Artist School Decorative Arts marbling and graining techniques

Dimensions Lime Plaster

Dimensions PlastersThere is a level of truth and comfort found in a medium that can be traced back approximately 9000 years. Traveling to the far reaches of our world, plaster has been used in ancient Egypt to create life-sized replicas of their dead, in Greece where Michelangelo’s most renowned artwork resides in the Sistine Chapel, and a plethora of examples that stand the test of time in many regions such as Italy, France, and Rome.

Limestone begins in a natural state and is treated to further purify and strengthen the material for use. It is formed over time at the oceanic level, needing few steps to create lime plaster. The limestone rock, containing Calcium Carbonate, is first crushed then fired at a high temperature to convert the lime to Calcium Oxide and Carbon Dioxide, which evaporates. Water is then added to the unslaked lime and allowed to slake for twenty-five months turning it into lime putty. When the lime is exposed to air, such as when it is applied to a wall, a chemical reaction occurs and water evaporates.

Dimensions Plasters

Lime plaster has immense advantages:

  • Natural material
  • Durable
  • Harmoniously balanced
  • Ready for immediate use
  • Easy application, saves time and labor
  • Flexible, easily repairable, self-healing, crack resistant, breathable
  • Greatly reduces need for control joints
  • Vapor permeable – does not mold or mildew because of high Ph.
  • UV resistant
  • Maintenance free
  • Ages to a beautiful patina
  • Sustainable and green, no VOC’s
  • May be applied over any smooth substrate

Dimensions GrasselloVenetian plaster is the name we use in this country, which came about in the 1980’s. It is the technique where several layers are applied by trowel or spatula and the last few layers are the decorative layers. These can vary from granular to smooth, depending on the design outcome.

The decorative looks created with plaster are timeless and many. Fresco, known as buon fresco, painting with water on a thin layer of wet plaster does not require a binder. There are three types of fresco techniques, each vary in depth and beauty. To add age and movement, use a trowel or spatula to apply metallic or acrylic wax over Venetian Plaster. For another method, burnish it with a scrub brush with nylon bristles. To further enhance the intricacy and depth, add stencil work with a sponge to complete the design. In addition, there are techniques with tint, stenciling, and color washing, to name a few.

Dimensions GrasselloFor many years, Kathy Carroll has been training artisans in the intricacy of lime plaster in her studio The Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes, imparting her knowledge, skills, and techniques. She is a proud distributer of Dimensions Plaster, which she terms, “the ladies plaster, due to its ease of use and top notch quality.” Dimensions Plaster is a lime plaster company that imports 100% all natural VOC-free lime plaster and APEO-free pigments from Italy. Their Italian plasters consist of Venetian, Grassello, Marmorino, Travetino, and Tadelakt.

If you haven’t previously worked with Dimensions Plaster, come into the studio and train with us, experience its ease of use, while learning additional techniques and skills. We look forward to hearing from you or answering any questions you may have.


General Finishes Makes Your Job Easier

General FinishesKathy Carroll is now carrying the professional water based, eco-friendly furniture paints and wood stains from General Finishes. They are easy to use and come in a myriad of rich and dynamic colors.

In business for twenty years, General Finishes water based topcoats, sealcoats, and varnishes have won prestigious awards and competitions. They offer a color matching system complete with individual recipes and one hundred and fifty custom colors on 4 X 5 maple and oak tiles.

Their water based wood stains and dyes consist of two viscosities: industrial for spraying and semi-gel for brushing. The Enduro Ready to Match Water Based Stain comes in ten standard as well as custom colors. The Enduro Water Based Dye Stain is designed to work like a solvent-based stain by further enhancing the woods dynamic properties, especially cherry, walnut, and maple. Glaze Effects is a translucent water based color that creates exceptional decorative effects. Their products exceed expectations and do not end there.

General Finishes Gel StainsThe Pro Floor System offers four finishes for hardwood floors: Pro Stains, Pro Sealer, Pro Image, and Pro Shield. They are designed to work quickly, resulting in a beautiful and durable finish.

General Finishes award winning water based topcoats and sanding sealers are sure to delight. Wood working with these products is simple with stunning results.

Exterior products come in clear or a variety of brilliant water based colors. In addition, they carry a very popular line of indoor/outdoor acrylic milk paints.

See the difference in ease of application and beauty yourself. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Or if you would like, stop by the studio for a demonstration. Call today and place your order for these truly wonderful products.


29th Annual
International Decorative Artisan League
Convention & Exposition

September 30th – October 3rd
Forth Worth, Texas

Start planning ahead for IDAL. The convention will be packed with classes, lectures, and network opportunities you will not want to miss.

This year Kathy Carroll will have a booth filled with products, high quality sample boards and a stencil book filled with upwards of ninety stencils to choose from. Orders placed will be immediately shipped. Make sure to stop by; we are looking forward to seeing you there!


Would You Like to Be Artisan of the Month?Faux By Kathy Decorative Artisan of the Month

Have you ever wanted to be featured as an Artisan of the Month on our website?  Now’s your chance!  All you have to do to be considered is contact our office.  If you are selected, you will need to be available for a 30 to 45 minute phone interview and provide us with at least 10 pictures of your work, and a picture of yourself to be featured with your article. 

The increased visibility alone is worth it!  What have you got to lose?  Contact us today!


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