An Italian home has a style all its own, from the architectural features outside to the wall treatments inside. Bring a bit of Italy into your home with the Venetian plaster technique.
What is the Venetian Plaster Technique?
This interior finish came into popularity during the 1550s in Venice, hence the name. It involves multiple layers of plaster applied with a trowel to create a three-dimensional effect. The final layer gets burnished to create a lustrous look.
Venetian plaster evokes an old-world feel perfect for a romantic bedroom or distinctive dining room. It requires more labor than a traditional paint job, and therefore costs more to apply, so most homeowners use it selectively as opposed to throughout the house.
Behr Venetian Plaster Products
Behr's Premium Plus With Style Venetian Plaster is a heavy-bodied, water-based product. You must prep thoroughly by removing loose paint, washing away any dirt, grease, and mildew before applying Behr Enamel Undercoater Primer & Sealer.
You then apply a first coat using a straight-edged steel trowel. After it has dried for at least four hours, you apply a second coat. After it has dried for 24 hours, you then sand the surface, remove dust with a damp cloth, and rub with the flat side of the steel trowel to burnish. A final coat of Behr Venetian Plaster Topcoat finishes the job, drying to a satin sheen.
While all of the above sounds easy, the technique involved to apply the plaster is not. For example, you must hold the trowel at a 15-to-30-degree angle for the first coat and at a 60-to-90-degree angle for the second. Getting the Venetian plaster to look attractive and not simply a big mess requires practice and patience. Most homeowners assign this type of painting project to a professional, as doing so results in the greatest satisfaction with the finished product. In fact, Behr actually recommends an intermediate DIY or professional level of experience in its instructions for applying Premium Plus With Style Venetian Plaster.
Sherwin-Williams Venetian Plaster Products
Sherwin-Williams offers a Faux Impressions line of products that allow you to create a high polish finish such as Venetian plaster as well as smooth and textured finishes.
Faux Impressions Venetian Plaster simulates the classical architectural style of the Renaissance era during which the finish became so popular. The paint company suggests it for an upscale library or accent wall in a gourmet kitchen. It estimates 24 hours of work over three to four days for 400 square feet of wall space, plus additional paint products to create the effect.
Faux Impressions Latex Glaze creates a soft, earthy texture that would fit into a rustic décor style. Sherwin-Williams recommends it for a great room or dining room. It takes much less time to apply than the Venetian plaster, coming in at an estimated work time of six hours over one to two days for 400 square feet of wall space, plus the glaze requires additional paint products to create the effect.
Faux Impressions Dimensional Basecoat and Faux Impressions Latex Glaze combine, along with other products, to reproduce the aged, weathered walls of yesteryear. The company suggests it for a foyer or bathroom. It also takes less time to apply than the Venetian plaster, with an estimated work time of eight hours over two to three days for 400 square feet of wall space.
Painting projects in general require an experienced DIYer or professional painter. These more advanced techniques really do need an expert touch for best results. They may look forgiving because of the lack of uniformity involved, but achieving that look requires knowledge, skill and specific experience.