First of all what is Venetian Plaster right? Simply put it is paint mixed with a bit of plaster you trowel or brush onto your walls to get a great effect. You can achieve color variations with just one color. You can change a room in a few hours from drab-by cheap, which was my dining room to shabby chic in next to no time.
I was a little skeptical of this idea of Venetian Plaster but I thought I would check it out and see if I liked it or not. I have to admit it took some time and some effort, it is different than plain old painting but all in all I really like the out come.
You can see my photo of my wall on the right side they turned out great. I used one color and because of the technique there is a wonderful color variation from light to dark brown. The small ridges you leave behind when you apply the plaster turn darker when you burnish the walls in the end. It is a very fascinating way to really make a dramatic change to any room. The room looks so much more elegant and sophisticated. I change the whole look of this room in one day and I love it. I will definitely be doing other rooms in my house soon.
First things first lets talk about tools, this is the most noticeable difference for me in painting with a roller or applying Venetian Plaster. The tools you use remind me of when I have done touch ups with plaster on my walls. You can use different techniques as well as tools to apply your Venetian Plaster this is what will determine the look of your walls as well as color variations. You can be a beginner like me or they even have schools to teach you about Venetian Plaster techniques so you can become a pro.
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There are different tools that will make your walls look very different. First there is a set of venetian plaster steel spatulas that I bought to use because it was the look I wanted with two different layers use each large and medium size of the steel spatula. One is large the next is medium then the last is very small. Each steel spatula makes a different pattern and helps to get into areas the larger can not fit.. Next there is a paint large brush technique although I have not used this tool for my walls as of yet I plan to do my very large living room with this technique I am very excited about that project. Differently still is using a roller for your base coat by in which the Venetian Plaster is applied for the first coat with a roller. Then you move on to a different larger trowel.
First a few quick tips:
- I like to pour a small amount of plaster in a plaster pan or holder. This will save you the head ache of running to your paint can as you work. Make sure the container is large enough for your steel spatulas to fit into easily you work.
- I also put my lid back onto the can as Venetian Plaster will dry out quickly.
- You may want to lay down some plastic or a drop cloth as Venetian Plaster can be very messy.
- Make sure you prep by taping off your windows and any cabinets or trim.
Here is how to apply Venetian Plaster using steel spatulas.
1. Using the largest steel spatula begin to apply your Venetian plaster to your wall. Hold your steel spatula close to the wall at a 15 to 30 degree angle as if you want to scrape off most of the plaster. In the first layer you just want to use big X patterns to cover most of the wall color underneath. You will not need to cover all the wall color unless as in my case you really do not care much for the fist color of the walls. Using a small amount in your X motion making sure your wall looks random. It looks better if there is no continuous pattern like lines that keep going in the same direction that is why an X motion is best so it will appear random. Try to smooth out the Venetian Plaster as thinly as you can. Once the whole wall is covered allow this dry fully. I left mine dry for a few hours you can clearly see the color difference when it is dry.
2. Next you are going to use the medium sized steel spatula, if you want even more texture, if not you can continue to use the large one it is completely your choice. Hold the steel spatula at a 90 degree angle, add another thin layer of plaster to the wall this time to fill in the areas that need smoothed out or more color filled in. Smooth out the plaster as you go just as before but this time try to fill in any gaps. Use your X motion once again. Let it dry completely once again.
3. Now is the third coat this is up to you based on how your walls look to you. I stopped with two coats because it was the look I wanted at that point already. If you want a third coat hold your spatula at a 90 degree angle once again. Fill in the spots with your X motion. Once again allow it to dry completely.
4. Last is the finish, depending on how shinny you may want your Venetian Plaster to be it is up to you when the look is what you want it to be. Here are a few ways to finish your walls. Burnishing, is simply polishing in a circular motion on your walls with either your steel spatula, very fine sand paper like 600 grit, you can even use your hand to burnish. Some people like to use a bristly brush for burnishing. It is up to you what you use and how much you burnish your walls they will become shiner the more you burnish. Use a circular motion until you start to see a shiny finish continue all over your walls until completed. If using a spatula hold the spatula almost flat against the wall and rub in circular motions. You should begin to see the plaster start to shine continue until you have reached the shine finish you desire. If you want a higher polish or sheen then you simply burnish the walls more.
5. Now you can seal your walls with a wax paste or a liquid sealer. once you are done applying with a trowel or cloth you can burnish your walls to shine them with your trowel or very light sand paper. If you do apply a top coat be aware of the fact it will darken your color slightly. Now you can enjoy your beautiful walls. I did not seal the walls in the photos and it has been 6 moths since I finished them & they still look beautiful. I hope you try this and I hope you love it as much as I do.
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