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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Venetian Plaster

Okay people, I admit it, I'm crazy to do venetian plaster, but if you saw the two bathrooms that my niece just did, you would know why I've got to do this! Her venetian plaster is BEAUTIFUL!!!! So here we go, I decided documenting is a good thing just in case I get crazy again and decide to do the downstairs bathroom!


PREP. This is by far the hardest thing for me to do, because I really don't have a lot of patience. I just wanted to skip the whole thing and start my plaster! But I was good and taped off everything. Really I did! :)

My favorite tool! Its called 5-in-1. I use it mostly to open a can of paint or plaster and whenever something needs scraped! I did use it a few times while applying new coats of plaster or whenever I saw an uneven "ridge" during the 3rd coat of venetian plaster.
I'm using Behr Venetian Plaster (I had it tinted LAZIO, which is a beautiful blue/green though my turned out to be more blue.) The directions say to not worry if you don't cover all of the wall the first go around and to hold your 4" putty knife at a 10-15 degree angle when putting on the first coat. On the first coat, also known as the “float coat,” trowel on the plaster, keeping the trowel or spackle knife almost flat to the surface. This coat should be “floated” on with light pressure, applying the material at 1/16” or so. This is kind of a skip trowel type of application. Try to apply the plaster smoothly, avoiding leaving ridges and scratches behind. Keep your spackle knives or trowel clean to avoid dry grit from forming on them, which will scratch the plaster. Click HERE for he link to the Behr website on how to apply venetian plaster.

Use about this much plaster on your trowel.

I started at an inconspicuous place above the door so that if I do it wrong, then it won't be so noticeable! In this picture, It has already started to dry.

I used these 2 trowels to apply the plaster.

And here it is again. Notice it is partially dry. The directions say to let it dry 4 hours before applying the next coat.

I have read that it is best to finish one wall before going onto the next one. I thought all I was going to need was one gallon! Silly me. I do have very rough walls and after only 2 walls, I had already gone through a gallon of plaster! The directions on the can say it will cover 150 sq ft and should do 2 coats. My bathroom is roughly 175 sq ft. In hindsight, I should have sanded all of the walls first. This way you will not have to use so much plaster! You can buy a inexpensive SKIL sander at Lowes for only $29.99 and it works great for this and it is fast! Make sure it is the rectangle type so you can get into the corners. And I found that you really need 3 coats of plaster to make it look really good.

As I worked I tried to keep the lid on the can at all times. When that wasn't possible a moist rag covering the top of the can will work too.

Here it is with the 2nd coat of plaster. Because my walls were so rough, I had to hold the trowel at a 10 - 15 degree angle again to get move coverage.

I had to sand the walls after applying the first 2 coats of plaster. (Again, my mistake was that my walls were rough to begin with. If I would had sanded the walls first, then I don't think I would have had to do this step.)  The wall really needs to be fairly smooth!

Here it is with the 3rd coat of venetian plaster. This time I was able to hold trowel at a 60 - 90 degree angle. It went on fast and my walls are as smooth as glass!

After all of the walls got three coats of venetian plaster, I took off the blue tape around the ceiling (which was semi buried in plaster).At first I wasn't going to do the ceiling, but after seeing how bad it looked I had to do it! I used my power sander to take off the rough parts on the ceiling. Then I put on the first coat of venetian plaster.

2nd coat of venetian plaster on the ceiling :)

3rd coat of venetian plaster. Woohoo! TIP: Allow the second (or third) coat of Venetian plaster to dry 24 hours before burnishing the surface or applying a topcoat. VENETIAN PLASTER TOPCOAT is recommended over Venetian plaster surfaces in areas of high-moisture or high traffic. Do not burnish/polish if you are putting on a topcoat. I followed the directions on Behr's website to do the Venetian plaster and it says to burnish before applying a topcoat which is incorrect. I found out that the can clearly says not to burnish if applying a topcoat.

Now BURNISH BABY! (If you are not using in high moisture areas like bathrooms) Burnishing will give the plaster more depth. Make sure plaster has 24 hrs to dry before burnishing. Use your trowel to burnish. Burnish in all diirections and in a circular motion to get a good shine. Just be careful not to gouge the wall with the trowel.

When burnishing, hold your trowel like this.

VENETIAN PLASTER TOPCOAT Because I did venetian plaster in my bathroom, Behr recommends that you do not burnish and just apply a topcoat. It looks great! This is how much topcoat I put on the trowel. It only take minutes to cover all of your walls with a thin coat. It will bring out the depth of the plaster too. Now have at it! You WILL enjoy the results!


  1. Thanks for taking the time and sharing these this application method for the synthetic Venetian plaster. There is this website from some venetian plaster enthusiasts in New York City with some nice videos and sample photos of Authentic Venetian plaster. Here is the link Venetian Plaster NYC.

  2. You're welcome. I posted this article on venetian plaster to help all of the DIYers out there.

  3. I have a wall I used Behr Venetian plaster on and I now need to change the color. Can I plaster over it or do I have to paint it? What do I need to do to prep for either? please help.

    1. I only burnished it and did not do a top coat or wax. Thanks

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Yes, you can apply a different color over the venetian plaster. It will work fine.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I need this! It is a fully informative post about Venetian plastering services. I absolutely appreciate this post.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Venetian Plaster