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How to Apply Venetian Plaster

How to Apply Venetian Plaster Correctly for Evenly Painted Walls

The timeless, regal beauty of a Venetian plaster simply mesmerizes visitors when they see the supreme interior of your house. Read the following article to learn the art of applying it.
DecorDezine Staff
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
It doesn't really need an artist's hands to apply Venetian plaster, what it really needs is to understand the right technique of it. In order to master the art of its application, one must take a tiny step at a time. At first you should try its application on any small piece of wall or a practice board, this will help you to enhance your skills and understand the types of burnish and even the luster of the plaster. This experimentation will allow you to choose the perfect color combination that you want for your walls.

Preparation
A drywall preparation is a must. First clean the wall with 100 or 400-grit sandpaper by removing the excess dust, remnants of oil, colors, wallpapers, grease or any form of moisture. Next, apply a light coat of a water-based drywall primer. It is important to maintain equal surface tension throughout the wall. This makes the application of the Venetian stucco, exceptionally easy. The next important thing to do is to collect all the application tools for it. First and foremost, the thing that you will need is a flexible trowel and an application spatula. You must mix the plaster with a mixing rod thoroughly.

First Coat
  • Put the plaster on the right hand side of the trowel.
  • Unlike Marmorino, some Venetian plaster types may require a roller or a liquid brush for the first coat itself.
  • Make random but swift strokes.
  • Apply a thin and uniform basic coat all over the wall.
  • Most importantly, use only one side of the trowel at a time, this will avoid the drying of the paste.
  • Let the base coat dry completely before you apply the second coat. This may take 5 to 12 hours.
Second Coat
  • Use 100-grit sandpaper to remove excess dried plaster.
  • Now starting from any one corner of the room, repeat the application procedure.
  • Use steady and long overlapping strokes holding the trowel in a 600-900 angle.
  • Apply a thin coat and avoid scratches.
  • The second coat requires a clean trowel, so use warm water to clean it.
  • Make sure that all the missing parts and voids are covered in this second layer.
  • Let this coat dry off for a day or as per the instructions on the mixture label.
Topcoat
  • Once the second coat is dry, do a faint sanding with circular motions of the 600-grit sandpaper.
  • Before the final step of burnishing, scrap off all the plaster dust from the surface.
  • Use a small trowel to give a more fussy look and larger plastering knives for less amounts of the encaustic pattern.
  • Start working on the 3 to 4 square foot surface areas.
  • Connect each of these segmented patches in your desired direction.
Burnishing
Once you are done with the topcoat, you can skip this last step if you wish to. But if you prefer this finishing, all you need is a fixed pattern in your head, a stainless steel trowel or spatula, a steel blade, 600-grit sandpaper, and a cotton or cheesecloth rag.
  • For the encaustic patterns, place the trowel gently on the desired surface and quickly remove it.
  • This will give the cross-hatching effect.
  • To give the final effects, skip the trowel at about a 100 angle.
  • Use a steel float or a rounded trowel by making continuous method.
  • Move it in an 'S' motion for the large encaustic patterns.
  • When the wall is completely dry, sand the surface lightly.
  • This will help you to blend the plaster layers helping the underlying layers to come on the surface.
  • Wipe the surface with the cotton rag. To give an additional luster by polishing the surface with the blade, in a horizontal direction.
Remember to dry off the surface completely before you begin the actual burnishing process. Venetian plaster takes a good shape even in the two basic coats, and there is no limit as such to how many coats one should apply. The topcoats are essential in moist regions, on the exterior walls and on the bathroom and kitchen walls as well. To make the wall panels more glossy and shiny, and to protect them from the moisture, apply some wax for plaster. The wax for the plaster must only be applied when it has settled on the wall surface for a week or two.
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