What is Venetian Plaster Technique?

Blog |July 26th, 2016

For centuries, Venetian plaster or a lime-based plaster has adorned walls in a unique manner that is timeless in appeal. Since it provides a marble-like appearance to a wall, it is easy to understand why so many property owners turn to this decorative element for their homes. If you wish to transform your wall with this classic design element, follow our instruction on how to perform the Venetian plaster technique in your home.

Necessary Supplies and Tools

Venetian plaster comes in a lime-based plaster when your budget allows, or you can purchase a faux version of it that is less expensive. The faux version does not last as long, and it fails to produce the same timeless results as the lime-based version does in homes. For the purposes of these instructions, we will cover only the lime-based plaster. Along with purchasing this plaster in your preferred colour, you will also need the following supplies:

• A metal trowel
• One wide spatula
• Tarps and drop cloths
• 100-grit sandpaper
• A paint roller and extension handle with a medium nap pad, and a roller pan
• A fondo acrylic primer, as it comes in different formulas, in a colour that matches the limed-based plaster
• Beeswax for a topcoat

Prepare the Walls

Plug all the walls with wall putty and let dry. Then sand these areas lightly to produce a smooth finish. Dust the walls and apply the fondo primer according to the instructions on the container. Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding to the next stage. In addition, cover the floor to protect it.

Applying the Venetian Plaster

Use the wide spatula to access the plaster and utilise the metal trowel to apply the first layer of plaster. Work in small sections and strokes to achieve as thin of a layer as possible. Instead of moving in the same direction all the time, work in patterns or use random strokes. The trowel works best when you hold it at about a 25-degree angle. Wipe the trowel off periodically to prevent it from transferring dry flakes of plaster to the wall. Hang up tarps over the plaster to allow it to dry slowly to prevent cracks. It may take up to ten days for this layer to dry sufficiently to apply the next layer. You should hold the trowel at about a 40-degree to 50-degree angle to apply the second layer. Use both short and long overlapping strokes to achieve the ideal results. Dry this layer completely in the same manner as the first layer. A third coat may or may not be necessary depending upon the results you achieve with the second one.

Burnish the Surface and Apply a Topcoat of Beeswax

Once the final coat of plaster is dry completely, hold a clean trowel at a 30-degree angle and use circular motions to move gradually over all the plaster. The longer that you perform this action, the shinier the plaster will become. Apply beeswax as a topcoat for additional effects and protection.

Once you perform this Venetian plaster technique on your walls, come to Hopkins Plaster to purchase various plaster enhancements. We carry a full line of these enhancements that range from acanthus leaves to wall sconces with numerous items in between.

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