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Lusterstone - unforgiving

 
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Kay



Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 370
Location: Puyallup, Washington (near Tacoma/Seattle)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:58 pm    Post subject: Lusterstone - unforgiving Reply with quote

I just spent an hour reading LS posts here and didn't run into this problem. I have used this product for a few years and am deciding it doesn't like me when I do a one-color finish.

Here's the deal: On a small or narrow wall I'm fine. On a large wall, when I trowel back into the slightly wet edge to continue a section it goes all skritchy and looks like flames or something ragged (trowel-drag). Lap lines, too, if it's dry. The more I try to fix it, the worse it gets. I do the finish in 'continents' so that the lap lines aren't regular, but I have to at least get into the edge when I'm troweling the next piece on a large wall, and then it sort of looks like I hit it with sand paper.

I have tried spraying the wall with a bit of water - no luck. I do thin the LS slightly but haven't tried putting glaze in it to see if that helps. Or maybe just glaze the edges? Sounds like a bad idea... Let it completely dry before getting back into the next section?

Am using one color on this job (Mocha Chocolate - yummy!) and not going for a burnish at all, just a suede-y troweled look.

I'm not on the job right now and didn't take the camera today, so sorry I don't have pics. This is certainly not the first time I have had this problem. I have tried to go back and patch (because the lit on this stuff says it's so forgiving - yeah, right) and the patch always looks worse and I end up doing the whole wall over. Which doesn't really help because I just get the same problems in different areas. Poop!

Can anyone take a guess without pics at what might help? Maybe I should just try Lustersuede when I want this look. Question

Thanks!

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Kay
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surfaces



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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Location: Lenexa, Kansas

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kay post a picture when you can so I can see what you are talking about. What are you applying the Lusterstone over? I usually go over an eggshell finish. A flat finish base can suck the moisture out of the product.

You can add Aquacreme, Faux Creme Clear, or So-Slow if you need to increase open time. 1/2 a cup per gallon is usually enough. Water will have the opposite effect: as it evaporates it tightens the LS.

Holding the blade almost flat to the wall, rather then higher, can sometimes reduce chatter when blending a wet edge into a drier one.

Another thing to try is buttering the LS on your trowel and smacking the surface in connected areas for a high/low coat. Knock back the tips. When that layer is dry, do a tight trowel filling in that coat for a smooth finish.

It's hard to guess what the issue(s) is without seeing it or you in action but maybe these ideas will help.

Rebecca

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katzuke



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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Location: Romeo, Michigan
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you roll on a scratch coat of the LS first, or do you start right out troweling on the existing base coat? I always roll on a thin layer of LS as my first coat to get that "toothy" layer. Luster Suede is good for this layer because it's cheaper than Lusterstone. Others like to thin lusterstone with a little H2O for this layer. Either works.

I don't have problems with lap lines but I have had it "lift" if it's not set enough when I trowel back into it....
Do you have a floor fan that you can use to "force" it to dry/set quicker?
Also, how many layers of LS do you apply? My thought is that your first troweled layer may be a little heavy. I typically do 3 total with the last layer being pulled really tight.

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Eli Lucero



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will light a candle for you! Crying or Very sad Confused
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Kay



Joined: 16 Oct 2007
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Location: Puyallup, Washington (near Tacoma/Seattle)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

omg Eli, LOL!!!!!!!!! One of the posts I read was your job from hell on steroids. I know that started with LS and we had a similar problem on this job. The walls are irregular and have been patched (we didn't know this until we got in there). So we did go with a fairly heavy coat on the second layer. And NO burnishing.

Rebecca, the base is Setcoat, so I think I'm OK there. If I get a chance to take a pic it will be a while because we're through in there for about two weeks while some subs do other stuff. What I'll try to do is get the problem to manifest on a sample board and photo that. I do think adding something to keep the edge really wet might help. And Kathleen's suggestion of getting the edge to dry quicker might do the trick, too.

I usually roll a coat first but didn't this time. It doesn't seem to make any difference for this particular issue. We generally do three layers.

What I think I need to do is make samples that are more pitted and back-filled so that I have more 'interest' in the finish and the edges don't show so much.

Thanks guys. I'll recreate the problem and post a pic.

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Eli Lucero



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok some time has passed since my Ls nightmare. And I have plenty of time to study, read, ask, and evaluate the products limitations. And more importantly my lack of knowledge of the products capabilities and properties.
Repeatedly, on this and on M+ I have read similar accounts of what Kay and I have encountered with Luster Stone. Kay's entitlement to this thread "unforgiving" is a pretty close correct label for Luster Stone.
Now before you pull out the swords, I LOVE THE WAY LUSTER STONE LOOKS.
That being said, it is a product that does require a PERFECT surface, a PERFECT application strategy, precission mechanical pressure, and PRECISE timing, and is TOOL specific and sometimes requires a heck of an OVER-GLAZE to hide the products reaction to any condition not addressed by the applicator. Pretty much "unforgiving".
I believe that the applicator is screwed if they do not have a STRONG working knowledge of this products requirements for a successful look.
And I would add that I noticed that some of substrate issues could be worked over with buttering over slight wall imperfections but at 75 bucks a pale plus that can add up real quick!
Now I sense some may be reaching for their swords again, let me explain why I even bother to mention all this.
As friends here it is important that we help each other it is our forum!
And I would like for my friends to know that I agree with Kay that Luster Stone CAN be unforgiving if you do not have the correct skill set, training, and product knowledge. Hopefully a future faux forum reader will avoid a Luster Stone beat down by approaching a Luster Stone job with plenty of training experience and knowledge.

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surfaces



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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Location: Lenexa, Kansas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Eli-no sword-I promise. You actually bring up a good point. We have people come into the studio with a product they are struggling with and have them demo for us on a board. Most of the time it is a simple change in technique that makes all the difference. It doesn't mean that the artists is unskilled just that no one ever showed them an easier way.

All polished plasters, LS, Venetian, Stucco Lux, that are applied over uneven walls in a smooth application will mirror through flaws. It does raise the question about using an expensive product to fill the wall verses using a less expensive one that can be used for multiple coats and build.

I use Venetian plaster a lot as a base and over trowel the more costly LS for effect.

If I want a smoother coat with any plaster, I find working in smaller connected areas with less product allows me to go faster and work wet-into-wet.

I've watched Eli's videos and I know it helps people actually see the motion of the application. If I can figure it out, maybe we should trowel some LS on video. It would be more useful then still pictures.

Rebecca

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Kay



Joined: 16 Oct 2007
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Location: Puyallup, Washington (near Tacoma/Seattle)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eli, I appreciate your comments, and I had sort of an epiphany last night.

I was at a house where I had done a LS finish a few years ago looking at a kitchen job and I looked at the LS finish. (Martha, if you're reading this, it was Merlot!) It is perfect. (Sound of my arm breaking as I pat myself on the back.) But I realized two things: 1) I skimmed the wall myself before applying the LS so I knew exactly what I had. 2) I troweled tight coats that dry faster on the edges and so didn't have the messy trowel drag marks.

The room I was doing yesterday had VERY imperfect walls with lots of patched places (behind oil-primed wallpaper - impossible to see until we got the LS on) and I was trying to float out spots with dark LS (Mocha Chocolate) so the product was thicker in those areas. That's when I get the trowel-drag problem, when I go back into those areas that are dry on top only. I do think that the fix for this is to do what I think Jodi suggested in a post where Ryan was asking about lap lines on a big wall (wish my search had turned that one up before I posted this one). She recommended troweling out to a very thin feather layer at the edges. I think this works because then the edge is dry and you can trowel a bit back into it without ill effects.

I'm going to go back and do another coat on this room and see what happens. When I get in there I'll try to remember to take a pic to post on this thread of the trowel-drag marks for future reference.

Thanks for helping me work through this!

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Kay



Joined: 16 Oct 2007
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Location: Puyallup, Washington (near Tacoma/Seattle)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rebecca, you beat me to the last post, and I think it would be GREAT to see you in action on a video!

The class I took 'way-back-when with LS sample was helpful, but you really only get the full effect of the experience (and issues) on a job. And all jobs are slightly different...

Samples are too small to get a feel for what happens when you're 14 feet up troweling down a wall, as Ryan (Dream) has discussed in a post in March of this year ('proper application of LS?'). I am definitely going to try troweling smaller, connected areas with less product. In my haste, I was hoping that trying to cover larger areas would solve my problems when it probably is the other way around!

Thanks again for being so generous with your time.

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surfaces



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen on the sample issue. A wall (cabinet, floor...) is always another matter. We rarely get a "perfect" situation on a surface-certainly not as smooth (or small) as a sample board! But you are trying different things and eliminating possible causes and solutions. Part of a finishers success is their ability to problem solve. Let us know what happens.

Rebecca

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Linda Marsteller



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject: LS Reply with quote

I always trowel wet to dry no matter what. And I never roll on the first coat.
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Eli Lucero



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I think back on doing the video sample board of LS it was a breeze.
Of course I had a perfect brand new flawless sample board and it was small enough to butter it up (no fear of taking a loan to pay for material) lol.
Just those two things made me believe that it was as forgiving as other plasters. What A sucker! lol
Ya, I would SO LOVE to see someone else do a video clip on Ls.
If I may, .....borrow someones flip camera, keep it under 10minutes, and use youtube. Thats the fastest way to share video!
thanks for mentioning that you have watched a video or two of mine, it blows me away that my accumulative views for 8 months is past 52,000
And get this one of my marbling videos is at 14 or 15ooo views.
To me thats insane!

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surfaces



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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Location: Lenexa, Kansas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You get a pretty good picture on your videos using a flip phone. Thanks for the advice.

We will select a bad wall-I have plenty in my own home and a dark color like the chocolates-and see what happens. It may not get done fast enough to help Kay on this project. It sounds like people have lots of different ways of making LS work for them. It will be interesting to hear what works for Kay's situation.

Rebecca

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Fauxnista



Joined: 05 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hale to Eli the Plaster King.....

I've watched your videos as well.......And your always helpful on anything plaster related!

Kay - Thanks for this thread....I've not played with LS yet...so it's nice to see the pit falls before I get started.

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Eli Lucero



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
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Location: Mesa Arizona
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No lol not a flip....PHONE A FLIP video camera they are super cheap
and very user friendly for quick web stuff. All self contained plugs directly into the computer no wires etc etc. Has it own software already loaded on the camera that starts up when you plug it in! Oh and the best part they cost about $60 bucks!
And thank you very much Pamela!

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Kay



Joined: 16 Oct 2007
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Location: Puyallup, Washington (near Tacoma/Seattle)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eli - Some of those are repeat viewers, like me! I usually go back to make sure I got everything you did. And thanks for the reminder that other plasters are maybe a little friendlier than LS Laughing

Rebecca, good luck with the FLIP. I thought it was a phone, too. Embarassed

btw, the client is happy with the way the finish turned out. It's just me. My motto is 'be picky so your clients don't have to be!' I'll post the next chapter here.

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gary lord



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i usually roll on a scratch coat of LS. then apply a texture trowel coat. To avoid the edge issue for the skim coat I use a damp terry rag to fade out the edges into the dry wall. Vise versa i skim back into itself and use a damp terry to transitional back as well. I never see any laps this way.
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Kay



Joined: 16 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Gary. I've never heard of that and I'll try it!
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