How To Use Concrete As Finish Plaster

January 3 2013

The cement is a material ’til now considered ‘poor’. Wrong, because if we use the concrete in combination with building structures made ​​of wood or we add to cement powder some colored pigments, we can get incredibly beautiful effects.

wall cement finish


Using concrete to finish a wall or floor, until a few years ago, was only limited to environments like closets, garages and cellars.

But as of today, as everybody is searching for new solutions and also the architects show a certain openness to novelty, we may see housing solutions, especially in prestigious properties, where the use of concrete as finish plaster for walls is currently not only accepted but, indeed considered as a touch of good taste and elegance.

The use of concrete as plaster to finish the walls can be considered a practical response to the need of having a pleasing aesthetic result and at the same time a good wear resistance.


Obviously, if we are talking about a wall, it is necessary to cover the brick wall with an usual finish plaster. That’s means a mix of sand and concrete (Portland cement) where the thickness of the sand determines how glossy the surface will be. In fact, the fineness of the sand depends on the smoothness of the final wall, usually replaced by lime or gypsum for finishing. The technique of finish the plaster only with cement is somewhere known as ‘parge‘.

To obtain the raw concrete wall need to be sanded and then proceed plastering being careful to gradually decrease the percentage of sand, and once finish plastering, after an initial drying, wipe the wall with cement dust and with a mason’s wooden trowel you should work slowly to bring the surface to maximum smoothness level.

At this point many prefer to leave the wall as it is, means natural semi-gloss shape, while more are often used to pass, after the wall is well well dry, two or three coats of flatting transparent.

concrete wall

Let’s say that the effect of the flatting paint on the concrete is,’without any doubt, very interesting and amazing because the paint is partially absorbed creating a very pleasant shades. This way of doing makes any wall different from any other and.. unrepeatable!

Of course until now we have here spoken of walls, because if we intend use this technique for a floor (which is possible of course) it will be necessary carefully calibrate the thickness of the parge and the possible use of an iron net, depending on the resistance’s requirements. In addition, in case of  large areas it will be more appropriate to consider performing in defined portions of limited size in order to avoid problems of cracks. But more about this item will be treated in another article specifically on concrete floors.

The advantage of cement spatula techniques is also that it is by sure much easy for using in houses restructuring as it’s not necessary to remove old coatings and it can even put directly over existing tiles saving time and money.



João Mateus
Jan 5, 2016 at 3:03 PM

I am starting the renovation of a bathroom and I want the walls to look as the ones on the picture. I searched already for several solutions, like microciment, and they are too expensive and the final look is not totally satisfactory for me.

I am wondering if I can this technique described here over drywall?

Mar 17, 2016 at 12:55 PM

It looks great! Can you give a little more detailed information – which concrete you used for this gorgeous shower, mixed with which sand in what ratio? I would like to do this over existing tile in my shower. Does it hold up? Does it have to be sealed? If so, what do you recommend?

Apr 26, 2016 at 7:01 AM

I think it is a slush mix design. Cement and water only, or VERY fine sand, but I guess the sand will fool around with the cement color. Who knows? it does not seem the author is willing to disclose the mix design…


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