What is a structure in civil engineering

Diverse structures on surfaces

Susanne Rietzler, ETICS Product Manager at Baumit, Bad Hindelang

The possibilities of structuring and thus designing plaster are unlimited through the use of otherwise inconspicuous tools or everyday objects. Often the most interesting patterns and surfaces emerge from this. But the use of well-known structural techniques is also often not considered; many of them have already been forgotten. An open look into old urban areas and listed buildings can expand your own wealth of ideas and shows how the different structures affect the entire room or the facade surface.

Design of surfaces

Not only light and colors can change a room, but also differently structured wall surfaces. Even small partial changes, which can often be created with the products already used on site, are visually enhancing and interesting. In this way, furnishing advice, but also the design of a facade, can be given an appealing structure that either supports or equalizes the structural attributes. Countless books describe color effects and their properties, but the surfaces are rarely discussed. Often it is not taken into account that the roughness of a plaster makes the color appear darker and more intense.

Areas can be structured and designed through structural differences. A particularly beautiful effect is created when different color nuances result from the shadow effect alone, even with one color tone. (Image 1 and 2, Bramschkontor Dresden) In addition to another color shade, sub-areas can also be designed with a different structure, which emphasizes the separation of the surfaces. (Photo 3: Kita Worms)


A structural technique that is easy to create and can also be used on surfaces is the so-called broom pull, which can often be seen on historical facade surfaces.

The plaster is applied in an even layer thickness. Here it is to be tested in advance whether the material to be used can also be structured well. Important prerequisites here are good stability and that the plaster remains open for a relatively long time. The structure is created immediately afterwards. This can be done with different tools, e.g. B. a cleaning comb. After the surface has dried, it is painted or glazed according to the customer's wishes (Fig. 4: brush technique).

A living trend that is growing significantly is natural surfaces, so you can experience a piece of nature even in a city apartment. To continue this trend on the walls, it is much more individual to create a plastering technique than to choose off-the-shelf wallpaper.

The following technique shows an example of how a wooden surface can be imitated indoors with plaster. (Photo 5: wooden surface)

The plaster must be applied in an even layer thickness; it is structured immediately after application. The tip of a spoon or a similar tool is used here. The plaster is processed horizontally or vertically with short movements and light pressure. In order to produce the structure, it is necessary that the individual grooves overlap and that the processing direction changes again and again.

After the surface has dried, the bumps are lightly sanded, then a glaze coat in the chosen color can be applied. To increase the effect, the fresh glaze is gently removed from the surface with a damp sponge.

Another option for the exciting structuring of surfaces is to lay a film on freshly applied fillers or fine-grain plaster layers. If it is pressed on with a trowel and then carefully peeled off, small craters are created. If, on the other hand, it is only applied and then removed again, the cleaning tips are pulled up and a completely different picture emerges. This surface can be painted or glazed in one or more colors in order to additionally reinforce the exciting surface appearance. (Image 6: foil technology)

Inside and outside

In the interior there are almost no limits to the design options. Any surface structure can be created here, taking into account the compatibility of the substrate. The coating outdoors, especially on a thermal insulation composite system, is more limited in terms of products, layer thicknesses and surface structures. Nevertheless, there is also a great deal of creative freedom here, which can be expanded further and further through skill and ingenuity.⇥ ■

Baumit GmbH, Bad Hindelang


Susanne Rietzler, ETICS Product Manager at Baumit, Bad Hindelang