25 August 2009

Tadelakt: "Hard as Stone and Soft as Silk"

The first time I saw tadelakt was in St. Tropez, France, several years ago. I was immediately transfixed by the pearlescent, translucent, hand-rubbed-all-the-way-to-glossy, impervious-to-water finish. I had never seen anything like it before, and rarely have since. I had stumbled upon one of the oldest and most treasured plaster finishes in the world. The art of tadelakt is 4,000 years old, and comes from Morocco.

Designers in France are using it today for its silky texture and indescribable patina, which are unmatched by any other plaster finish available. It is absolutely stunning.

Tadelakt functions extremely well in wet areas and can form a seamless, monolithic finish to back splashes, countertops and sinks in kitchen, bathroom, shower and powder room areas. Made from natural hydraulic lime, quartz and marble powder, tadelakt is white in color and can be pigmented using natural earth pigments.

The tadelakt process is deceptively simple. A natural powder paste is applied to the surface, then polished with a smooth stone. This is repeated seven times. Finally, the surface is sealed by rubbing with a black olive oil soap.

To fully appreciate it's allure, it is said that you have to caress it. I couldn't agree more!

Satiny Coral Tadelakt Finish on
Integrated Shelves in
French Kitchen

A Parisian Salle de Bain Finished in
Black and Taupe Tadelakt

Tadelakt Taupe Walls in
Parisian Salle de Bain

Tadelakt Taupe Walls in
Parisian Water Closet

Charcoal Grey Integral Tadelakt Bathtub in
Parisian Bathroom

Tadelakt Red Shower Walls in
Chic Provencal Salle de Bain

Tadelakt Red Sculptural Bowl in
Provence, France

Creme Tadelakt Walls in Parisian Salle de Bain

Gorgeous Tadelakt
Parisian Salle de Bain

Beautiful Tadelakt Red and Gold Backsplash and
Integral Sink in Provence, France

Tadelakt Grey Countertops and
Shelves in Parisian Kitchen

Tadelakt Backsplash, Countertop and Integral Sink in
Provence, France

Tadelakt plaster finish would be gorgeous and luxurious in our American homes. I can see it working beautifully in chic Napa and Sonoma wine country homes.

If you have seen tadelakt installed here, I would love to see pictures!


Photos Courtesy of Traditions du Maroc
and Maroc Design in
Paris and Avignon, France


for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic
Chic Provence Interior Design


  1. I like this finish- very interesting and beautiful. Kit, I figured out how to link your blog from my post yesterday, maybe you'll have some new visitors stop by.

  2. Hey Denny! Thanks for listing me on your blog, and thanks for the comments.

    This tadelakt would be so gorgeous, my friends from Morocco say it's used everywhere there. It is very inexpensive materials, but very labor-intensive. The results bear that out.

    Looking forward to seeing your next post too!

  3. I agree. It's a clean material that is inexpensive, and look amazing as well.


  4. Thanks for stopping by Nicolette!

    One of my Moroccan friends tells me that Tadelakt is also cool in the summer and warm in the winter. How green and friendly is that!

    all the best


  5. What a beautiful finish - thanks for writing about Tadelakt!

  6. Oooh Anrosh, send some photos! I'd love to see. Where do you live? Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  7. I love your post on Tadelakt, its really taking off in north america. I recently have been using Tadelakt for fireplace applications. I will make a video of the processand share it with you.

  8. Hi Darrell thanks for posting! where are you doing your work? I'd love to see the video, and look forward to it. I love the tadelakt finish and am so happy to hear you are using it.

  9. A bump for this thread and a thank-you for linking to my site ! Made me feel warm and fuzzy that people are actually interested, and looking at my work :P

    Threads like this can only benefit applicators across North America by creating awareness....
    and even moreso help less experienced applicators like Darrell Morrison above ^ by giving them a place they can point designers to, for a real life stamp of approval from a designer and the design community in general,of the gorgeous Tadelkat Lime Plaster.

    Great Looking blog Kit ! Keep up the good work

    Vancouver BC.

  10. Thanks, Steve. I'd love to chat with you. email me if you get the chance!

  11. Nice photos.
    My favorit is the Easy Tadelakt, because they have every thing you need and they only sale the best and real Tadelakt. This is what i know after all, because im working now 20 years with Tadelakt. You can take a look to them here http://www.easytadelakt.com/en/

  12. ive just started doing this now, amazing

  13. this is truly fantastic material. The clay properties are what I want, especially its waterproof characteristic. I want a sink made from the Tadelakt. It just came across my mind - is Tadelakt used on the exterior of buildings? And how it reacts to sub zero temperatures? Greets! Janusz

  14. Lovely material, however, it helps to take a professional course & tone your skills before attempting to apply it. We have been in the plastering/stucco industry for decades & have had to fix many a tadelakt project. Plaster on. europlastering@aol.com


I would love to hear what you think! merci!


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