Venetian Plaster Decorative Technique

The Venetian Plaster Decorative Technique | How To

Whether you’re decorating your home, you have become bored with the way it looks, or you simply want to add a pop of something special, there are lots of different things you could do to make your home look unique and classy. An interesting technique that you could do on your own, especially if you have an artistic hand, is apply Venetian plaster to your walls.

Venetian plaster, according to Architectural Digest, is a technique that goes all the way back to Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, but is now making its comeback in both homes and businesses. It’s a stylish way to upgrade any space and give your walls some depth and texture.

You can choose to plaster your walls in any color, but the most common colors on the market today are earthy tones and white. The Luxe Walls website describes Venetian plaster as a material that contains limestone and perhaps other natural materials, and is then applied using a trowel that allows the application to have definition and movement.

If this is a technique that appeals to you, read on to find out what you need, how much it costs, extra tips that you need to know before you begin, and finally, how to apply Venetian plaster.

Video Guide: Classical Venetian Plaster Application How To | Step By Step

Venetian Plaster Tools and Costs

Applying Venetian plaster does not require too many tools. You will need to go to the store and purchase a sander, nap roller, paint tray, sandpaper, trowel, mud pan, the Venetian plaster, plaster mix, and latex paint. You will also then need water, according to the DIY Network website.

You could, instead of using a trowel, use spatulas for applying the Venetian plaster; some experts actually prefer spatulas over trowels. When choosing colors for the Venetian plaster, you could choose more than one, such as one darker color and one lighter color, but it is not recommended to use more than two as this could throw off the look or be more difficult for you.

The cost of installing Venetian plaster ultimately depends on how much of your space you want to apply it to and where you live. If you want to decorate all the walls of your home or business with Venetian plaster, it could cost you thousands of dollars to do so. But, generally, a square foot of Venetian plaster can cost approximately $15, give or take several dollars, according to SF Gate, so you can estimate the cost based on how many square feet the space you intend to plaster is.

The rest of the materials necessary for this project are low-cost and can be found in any home improvement store.

Tips For Technique

There are a few things that you need to know before you begin applying Venetian plaster. First, understand that unlike paint, Venetian plaster actually dries lighter- even about halfway lighter than it looks, as Home Guides warns.

So, once you decide upon which color you want, make sure that you test out the color on a different surface to see if it’s exactly how you’d like it.

Be aware, too, that Venetian plaster is not your average painting job. It’s highly recommended to test out your Venetian plaster decorative technique on a different surface, such as a canvas, before you go on to paint your walls. You don’t want to run into trouble while painting the walls of your living room.

The 5 Best Venetian Plaster Paints

Bestseller No. 4
Modern Masters VP200-GAL Venetian Plaster Ultra Deep Tint Base, 1-Gallon
  • The unique chemistry allows for an unlimited palette of colors utilizing any paint manufacturers' color system
Bestseller No. 5
Modern Masters VP300-32 Venetian Plaster Satin Topcoat, 32-Ounce by Modern Masters
  • Venetian Plaster Top Coat;Trowel applied clear protective sealer;Intended for use in high traffic areas;For use with Modern Masters Venetian Plaster

How To Apply Venetian Plaster

Now you are ready to transform the walls of your home. Make sure first that you cover the floors with either protective film or rags. This will make sure that paint will not ruin your floor. Also, remove the covers for outlets so that your paint job won’t mess them up. Use painter’s tape to tape the ceiling and walls surrounding the one you want to paint so that no paint or plaster gets on them.

Then, you’re going to want to dust the walls, because any dust that remains will affect the quality of the plaster job. You can wash the wall, too, using water and dish soap, and one soapy sponge and one wet one. Make sure that you let the wall completely dry before you start painting.

Now, you are going to want to use a paint roller to apply stain-blocking latex primer. Once this dries, apply a base coat of latex. The drying process is generally around three hours, and you will want to make sure that it is completely dry before you begin to apply the Venetian plaster to the walls.

Now it’s time for you to take your spatula or trowel and apply the Venetian plaster. Since you’re the artist, it’s ultimately up to you how thin or thick you want to paint. But, overall, make sure that you work in small areas at a time so that you can look back and check your work, and so that it will be easier to fix anything that you don’t like. Start applying the plaster in ‘V’ or ‘X’ motions. Some people like to make their first strokes thinner and their final ones thicker.

If you decided to use more than one color for Venetian plaster, make sure that you apply the lighter color to one half of the section you’re working on, and the darker color to the other section. Apply the darker one before the lighter color dries. You can allow for some of the base to show through your work- it’s up to you- or you can fill in those gaps with the darker color.

Finally, use the sandpaper you purchased to sand down any plaster build-up which will affect the overall look of the wall. Dampen a cloth and wipe any dust from the plaster off of the walls. This will only temporarily darken the color, but when the water dries, the color of the walls will return to normal.

If you want to, you can apply varnish to the Venetian plaster, but this is not a mandatory step.

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