As of late, I have been quite taken with the work of famed designer, John Saladino. Saladino’s signature look is mixing the old with new. He is fond of the look he calls “modern ruin.” Saladino was the first to use scratch coat plaster for interiors in the early sixties.
You may be curious, as was I, what is scratch coat plaster. Prior to the invention of dry wall, plaster was used to finish walls. The plaster application usually consisted of three steps: the scratch coat, followed by the brown coat and ended with the finish coat.
The first “scratch” coat is embedded onto a metal lath and serves as the base coat. The scratch coat gets its name from the fact that it is physically scratched with horizontal marks. Saladino believes that the scratch coat is a textured finish that really gives a space an earthy feel. He also believes that the scratch coat plaster makes spaces feel permanent and attached to the earth.
I really like the ancient look of scratch coat plaster, however, I am no sure I could live with it in my home. OK, perhaps I could manage to live with it in my very own Italian villa. What are your thoughts? Could you live with scratch coat plaster everyday?