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Portola Paints


A medium golden caramel brown with a hint of gray.
Standard Finish:

Digital swatches are a rough estimation of color - purchasing sample jars or sample chip sets are the best way to see actual colors.

Our paints and pigments consist of natural ingredients - there can be slight variation between batches


Product Information

Data Sheets available upon request via email

Portola’s Roman Clay is an eco-friendly plaster finish ideal for smooth interior walls. 

This decorative gypsum based plaster is made from natural ingredients, is zero VOC formulated, and lends a rustic originality to interior surfaces. Roman Clay is smooth to the touch with a modeling marble-like effect, comparable to Venetian plasters but with a more subtle, organic appeal at an affordable cost.

Portola Paints Roman Clay is applied using a metal or plastic putty knife/trowel which provides a versatile finish able to achieve a wide range of stone, stucco and marble-like effects, making it a perfect fit in both traditional and contemporary settings.

Achieve a natural, ultra low sheen finish by leaving the final coat unsanded or add a protective seal and slight sheen with Portola’s Roman Clay Topcoat.

Roman Clay is available in 65+ standard colors designed to showcase color palletes that are found in the beauty of nature.

**You may also want to consider our Portola Paints Lime Wash for a more subtle brush applied application if our Roman Clay is not suitable for your project.**

Roman Clay was designed for smooth interior drywall preferably level 5 for the best results. 

Our Roman Clay was NOT designed for exterior use or millwork. We recommend our acrylic / enamel series for these specific applications.

Our Roman Clay is sold by weight not volume.

These square footage estimates are based on the average to include both a base coat and final coat. 

  • 1 kilo (Approx. 20 - 25 sq ft)
  • 5 kilo (Approx. 100 - 125 sq ft)
  • 10 kilo  (Approx. 200 - 250 sq ft)
  • 20 kilo  (Approx. 400 - 500 sq ft)

Need assistance calculating your square footage? Click here

For new drywall surfaces:

  • We recommend prepping for a level 5 drywall surface then applying a stain blocking drywall primer with a ⅜ to ½ nap roller for the best application. 
  • You may also lightly sand the primer to remove some of the texture left from the roller.
  • We recommend you always wear the proper face masks when sanding.
  • It is always recommended to speak with your general contractor for the best practices in accomplishing the smoothest surface.

For previously painted walls:

  • If the surface has already been previously painted with a flat white finish it is typically fine to begin your Roman Clay application. However, the best practice is to prime the surface with a stain blocking primer to prevent any of the existing history of your walls from showing through. Oils and existing stains can show through if not properly prepped.


  • You may want to use our Ultra Flat Acrylic Paint in the same color as a base coat after you prime the surface for a much smoother and quicker application.

Step 1: Primer

  • Sanding the primer to get rid of nap roller texture can help with application

Step 2:  Base Coat of Roman Clay

Use a larger stainless steel putty knife/trowel unless the space is small

  • 8-10 inch metal or plastic knives for larger surfaces. 6 inch metal or plastic knives may be used for smaller surfaces.
  • Pull knife with material 3 to 4 ft strokes
  • Thinner material is pulled, faster it will dry and more quickly it can be recoated
  • Make sure it’s covered approximately 60-70% opaque
  • Let dry for 2-4 hours

Step 3: Lightly sand high or rough spots with 400 grit sandpaper

  • Wipe off excess residue with clean, dry or barely damp painters rag
  • Detail corners and edges

Step 4: Final Coat Process

This is where you will start to see more highlights and movement

  • Should take half the time of base coat
  • Put it and take it technique (thin coats show more movement)
  • Shorter strokes 
  • Pressure can affect the highlights/variation

Optional Step: Applying our Roman Clay Topcoat

  • Portola's Roman Clay Topcoat should be applied just like the Roman Clay finish using a putty knife/trowel applying the material in a thin/tight coat
  • If the finish has any high or rough spots you should sand it down with the same 400 grit sand paper before sealing it to avoid applying excess material. Not sanding before sealing the finish may result in milky or discolored areas.

Pro Tip: If the finish is applied in a high moisture area, multiple thin coats of the sealer may be applied for added protection.

Please Note: Portola's Roman Clay Topcoat does NOT waterproof the finish. A barely damp rag should be used to wipe down the sealed or unsealed finish to try to avoid permanent water marks from penetrating the finish.

Roman Clay should be stored in a cool area out of direct sunlight. 

For the best storage we recommend using a spatula to clean the sides and lid of the bucket to prevent material from drying up and falling into the material at the bottom.

For high traffic areas we recommend our Roman Clay Topcoat sealer. This sealer will protect from basic dirt and wear. It is not resistant to some oils or liquids - so it is not recommended for areas with constant direct contact with water, or where grease or harsh chemicals might come in contact (i.e. kitchen backsplash).

As long as the sealer (Roman Clay Topcoat) has been applied on top of the Roman Clay it is washable with light cleaning detergents. It is recommended to use a little mild dish soap in warm water with the soft side of a sponge to clean scuffs.

We would also recommend re-applying the sealer every year or so just to add an extra layer of protection if the Roman Clay is in high traffic areas.

For small scuffs that won't come out with soap and water you can use a very fine grit sandpaper on the area to remove it. If you do this you will want to apply a thin layer of the protective sealer on to the sanded area. You can consider buffing in the sealer with an old t-shirt or a painter's rag. 

If there is a deep gauge there may be a need to apply a thin coat of the color and a layer of the sealer once the color is repaired.

Store and keep out of reach of children. As with all paints it is important to protect yourself by wearing protective eye wear and masks during preparatory work such as scraping and sanding. During application, use protective eye wear as it can irritate the eyes.

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Do you need matching paint for the rest of the room? Below are perfect color matches in other finishes.

Matching paint for your room

The perfect color match for your ceilings, doors, trim & more!

**Photo for reference only

Rustica (RCM)
Rustica (RCM)

Roman Clay - key features

Roman Clay

Roman Clay is a paint/plaster hybrid material intended to be used on smooth interior walls. Roman Clay is applied in thin overlapping layers with a trowel or putty knife.

Applied with a putty knife or trowel, Roman Clay is a bit more time consuming to apply compared to traditional interior paints, but is very user friendly and very easily controlled. All the movement and dimension that you see in a finished product is visable during application.

Overlapping layers applied with a putty knife will create variation in color. Light colors will show less movement. Also, to avoid gray burnish marks you may want to use plastic putty knives.

Overlapping layers applied with a putty knife will create variation in color. Dark colors will show more movement. We recommend using flexible stainless steel knives for medium to dark colors.

Roman Clay Topcoat is a water based sealer that can be applied over any Roman Clay color to create a subtle sheen and a wipable surface. The Topcoat will darken the colors 10-20% depending on the shade. It is recommended for use in high traffic areas.

Learn about the differences between Lime Wash & Roman Clay! This informative video will help you choose the perfect finish for your space.

Which one will you choose?