Whenever there is an interior décor discussion with among friends or industry experts, the words Venetian plastering always come up.
So what is Venetian plastering? Venetian plastering also referred to as marble plastering by some, is a decorative technique or style used in interior and exterior décor to give walls and ceilings a polished and stunning finish.
It is a traditional decorative technique that was used centuries ago. The technique has survived, and today, it is used majorly to complement the interior finishing of homes and commercial buildings. Now that you are familiar with what Venetian plastering is, let’s take a look at its use, and benefits in modern décor.
What Is Venetian Plastering?
Have you had the pleasure of watching documentaries about Italy’s famous city, Venice? It has an old feel and extraordinary building designs. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that one of the most popular wall and surface finishing designs came from the city. The usage of the same technique can also be traced to ancient Greece and Egypt.
Venetian plastering or Italian plastering is the process of decorating surfaces, walls, and ceilings with a marble-like finish that gives them a luxurious and polished look. Venetian plaster gives walls and surfaces a natural look.
What Is Venetian Plaster Made Of?
What materials are used to make Venetian plaster, and what gives it that marble-like polish look? The stunning marble look comes from the marble dust that Venetian plaster is made of.
Venetian plaster is a blend of lime plaster, fine marble dust, water, and pigments such as oils and natural waxes to give it desired colours. Now let’s look at how to apply the plaster to our walls and surfaces at home.
What Is The Process Of Applying Venetian Plaster?
First, you will need to collect the materials and tools below;
- Venetian plaster
- Bucket of water
- Dusk mask
- Mud pan
Venetian plaster may be a centuries-old technique; however, it can be done at home. Since this is a DIY process, your priority should be on safety first. We’ll wear protective gear- gloves, eye goggles, and overall. You will also have to cover the floor with papers or drop-cloth to prevent damage.
Before you start applying Venetian plaster, start by preparing the surface. You should smoothen the wall and remove any existing wallpapers. In the case of cracks and holes, you will need to fill them in. Venetian plaster will be applied using the three coat process. Some manuals give more or less coat application depending on the desired finishing.
Take out the required plaster and place it in a pan. To apply the first coat, you may use a trowel or a spatula. Spread the plaster evenly and smooth.
Pro tip: Apply in long and swift motions to make it as smooth as possible. It is also important that you apply the base coat as thin as possible.
Apply the plaster and ensure that all open spaces have been filled. After applying, give it at least an hour to dry.
Once the surface is dry, you can start to apply a second layer of plaster. However, before you start, remove any excess plaster that is making it rough and uneven. You can then repeat the process in step one and apply the second coat.
Pro tip: Use a clean trowel or spatula. If not, keep out a bucket of warm water to clean the spatula. This reduces the chances of creating scratches on the surface.
Again, let the coat dry before applying the third coat.
You can apply the final Venetian plaster by firmly pressing our spatula to give our surface a smooth finish. The final coat is where you design the surface to your liking.
Allow for the surface to dry and check for any scratches. Once you have the desired effect, you may burnish the surface by gently brushing off any chunks of plaster left in short circular motions to smooth it.
Use a clean sponge to remove plaster dust.
Pro tip: To give the surface the required sheen, use a small spatula to apply a thin layer of wax. You should allow the surface to dry completely by giving it a week.
Types Of Venetian Plaster Finishes
The icing on the cake of the Venetian plaster application, is the addition of an exquisite finish. There are a variety of finishes that you can apply as desired, and some include;
This type of finish, as the name suggests, gives surfaces a natural concrete look. It is mostly suitable for commercial spaces.
The Tonachino is a natural mould and bacteria-resistant finish. This is because of the water-resistant material used to make it. It has a soft velvet and sandy looking finish that is suitable for both interior and exterior décor.
This type of Venetian plaster finish uses wax to give is a luxurious and beautiful design. It has a glass-like glow that brings a bright and colourful ambiance to a room.
Lastly, there is the marmorino that has three categories;
Marmorino fine – it has similarities to the polish finish; however, it has a glossy mineral look. Marmorino natural – this category has a natural marble-like finish and compliments classic environments. And lastly, Marmorino Carrara – has an antic and historical feel to it while bringing colour and smoothness at the same time.
Where Can You Use Venetian Plaster In Your Home?
There are several areas where Venetian plaster can be used to add that bit of beauty to a home. The living room, for starters, is a great place to start. The kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom are also other areas where Italian plaster will bring a timeless elegance. Venetian plaster can also do some good to corridors and bring the life out of them.
Benefits Of Using Venetian Plaster In Your Home
- Using Venetian plaster instead of other finishes has various benefits barring the classy and elegant look it gives surfaces.
- It regulates humidity. This is made possible because Venetian plaster allows moisture to move through, and it cools surfaces making a room less hot and humid.
- Its alkaline nature prevents mould from growing on its surfaces. This is credited to the lime that is used to make it.
- Unlike paint that leaves a lingering smell, Venetian plaster is odourless because it’s made from natural products. This also makes the plaster toxic-free and eco-friendly. We can't stress this enough, especially with people fighting climate change and trying to preserve the environment.
- Another benefit is that it's low maintenance. Venetian plaster doesn’t need a lot of attention but just a simple wipe, and it will appear as new.
- Lastly, Venetian plaster is durable.
Venetian Plaster Maintenance & Care
Venetian plaster is noted for its durability and low maintenance. However, to preserve its elegance and make it even more durable, you have to clean it regularly.
Cleaning and maintaining a Venetian plaster depends on the characteristics of the surface. It can either be washable or not depending on the finishing that was applied. For surfaces burnished with wax and polish, they are waterproof, and therefore we can use water and neutral cleaning products.
Tip: Avoid usage of alcohol-based cleaning agents that can scar the surface. Do not leave surfaces wet even though they are waterproof.
On the other hand, if the surface doesn’t have a wax finish, you cannot use water to clean it. Here, you may use a non-abrasive cloth like cotton cloth to wipe gently in circular motions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Venetian Plaster Expensive?
Venetian plaster prices differ with the type of finish and characteristic. For instance, you can get a litre of Venetian Stucco charcoal wax at R94 and five litres of Venetian Stucco Antique BL BC at R1,039.
Can You Paint Venetian Plaster?
Indeed you can paint over Venetian plaster. However, it does require professional and prep work.
Does Venetian Plaster Crack?
Although it takes longer, Venetian plaster does crack. Cracks can be caused by poor mixture, stress, and expansion. However, they can be repaired because plastering is done in layers.
How Long Does Venetian Plaster Last?
Venetian plaster lasts decades and even centuries, mostly when used on interiors.
Is Venetian Plaster Good For Bathrooms?
Yes. However, not all Venetian plaster is for the bathrooms. Venetian polished plaster that is waterproof is suitable for the bathrooms.
The idea that Venetian plaster creates an illusion of real texture and design makes it even more elegant and stylish. Its versatility presents a variety of options when decorating surfaces. Even though you can do the plastering yourself, it is advisable to get a professional.