Categories: Civil Engineering

7 Varieties of Building Finishes

Buildings are linear concrete structures which give us roofs over our heads. But with the help of building finishes these rectangular blocks, turn into something more than just roofs and walls. They become beautiful like a piece of art. Building finishes breathing life into bricks and mortars by drastically beautifying their appearance and making them humane.

But is the construction sector investing tons of money in building finishes just for improving the appearances of buildings? Not really, they are spending on finishes because of the structural benefits they offer. Building finishes make building structures stronger and prevent damage caused by weather conditions like rain water, frost, and heat.

Now that it has been established that building finishes are extremely important for the construction sector, let us understand more about its varieties.

There are 7 Different Varieties of Building Finishes. Each serves a different purpose and each has a different set of properties.

1. Plaster

Plasters are made from cement mortar, lime mortar, and composite mortar. A film of plaster is applied on walls to make them even and smooth. This acts as a base coat for painting and white washing purposes. It also protects the walls from atmospheric turbulences and keeps them strong and sturdy.


Mortar joints in brick and stone masonry work are often uneven. They give a bad appearance and can potentially cause penetration of water. Pointing is a finishing technique which is used to even out the joints. In this process masonry joints are raked to a depth of 15mm and then are filled evenly.


Painting is the kind of finishing which is done over a variety of subjects such as metal, wood, ceiling, walls etc. Painting prevents corrosion and weathering that occurs over a period of usage and adds beauty to the appearances of the subjects.

4. Varnishing

Varnish is the coating of liquid applied over wooden substances. It adds a shine to the substance and makes it look attractive. It also delays damages and corrosions that happen to the surfaces of wooden articles.

5. Distemper

Distempers are a kind of paint which is applied over walls to make their surface colorful and attractive. They are water paints which comprise of powdered chalk, glue (binder) and fast color pigments. Distempers are usually used for painting the walls outside the building, as they are useful in preventing damages caused by weather.

6. White wash

White wash is a kind of white paint applied on the walls of a building. Usually, three coats of white wash are enough to make the surface of a wall white and clean. White wash contains a mix of fat slaked lime and water. This mix when screened through a coarse cloth and boiled gum and rice are added to it, it becomes ready for use.

7. Colour wash

Today most people prefer coloured walls to white walls. When a colour pigment is added to white wash it is called colour wash. Everything in the colour wash is same except a colour is added to make the walls colourful.

Reference: Link 1


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