The art of Venitian plastering dates back to the mid-1500’s. The origins of the term can be traced back to America, where it was used to explain the wide diversity of techniques and materials used in its creation.
Today, the skills used in the creation of Venetian plaster are much sought after and they are a dying art form in many areas of the painting and decorating industry.
It is a finishing technique that is created by combining thin layers of plaster applied to a surface with a spatula or trowel and then burnished. This in turn creates a smooth surface that emits the illusion of depth and texture. It creates a beautiful finish that ranges from a glossy marble styling to a warm and worn look.
The primary ingredient used in the creation of the surfaces is surprisingly not plaster, but gypsum, sand and Slaked Lime, produced from calcium carbonate that is mined and heated. Lime is alkaline in nature and is not only breathable but anti-mould.
After priming the wall, the plasterer has to mix the plaster thoroughly. Once the technique and colour combination have been resolved, the plaster is thinly spread across the surface using long and short random strokes. Once applied, the plaster is left to dry for four hours before applying a second coat.
Once the second coat has been stroked on, with all voids and recessed areas filled, the plasterer must allow for another 24 hours to pass before top coating or burnishing can begin.
The Venetian plaster topcoat gives a satin sheen and is washable. The plasterer needs to hold the trowel at an angle of 60-90% and use long and short overlapping stroked, giving a milky appearance when dry – again, another 24 hours is needed once this has been applied.
The surface should be burnished within seven days. By using a 400 or 600 grit sandpaper, the surface has to be rubbed in a circular motion until the desired look is obtained. Finally, the surface has to be wiped with a damp cloth to remove any plaster dust. To get a more polished look, the plasterer may use the flat side of a clean steel trowel.
When applied correctly, Venetian plastering can add a touch of unique luxury to any home or workplace, and will stand out as an eye-catching ornamental feature in any room. Please view our gallery for examples of Venetian Plastering.