Venetian plaster originated in ancient Rome in the 16th century and since then, it has been used throughout the world. It is a decorative painting technique used to produce an affected stuccoed surface. Venetian plaster was named after the city of Venice in northern Italy, where it was used to apply finishing touches in the palaces during the 15th century.
Also known as Stucco Veneziano, it was originally made up of natural aged limestone derivates and ground marble dust, which gave stucco finishes. According to the application, its finish varies from granular to glossy to a smooth texture. It is easy to use and can be applied on all flat surfaces including ceilings.
History of Venetian Plaster
The history of Venetian plaster starts about 5000 years ago, in the areas of Mesopotamia i.e. modern Iraq, parts of eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, Kuwait, and southwest Iran. Eventually, it became popular in areas like southern Europe, notably ancient Rome and Greece.
According to the historical and archaeological evidence, the common baked clay was eventually replaced with plaster, grouted with lime. Gradually, it became a standard ingredient in formal and residential architecture. Initially, plaster was used for utilitarian purposes, but eventually it developed and was used for decorative purposes.
To begin the technique, the wall should be carefully prepped and one should have the right tools like japan scrapers and stainless steel trowels. This often requires a skim coat of drywall compound and repeated sanding till the wall is smooth and without any defects, else it will sabotage the final look of the treatment.
Once the wall is ready, apply a fine coat of flat paint to the surface and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Starting with the upper corner of the wall, apply a small quantity of plaster to the end of the scraper. Moving in a crisscross manner, first apply the plaster with one stroke and then cross that stroke.
Since the plaster dries rapidly, spread quickly and make sure there are no thick lines of plaster. Once the wall is completed, sand it with a thousand grit sandpaper. After that, apply another coat of Venetian plaster in a similar manner and repeat the procedure once more, making a total of three passes over the wall with the plaster.
Now burnish the wall by strongly pressing the trowel into the wall in a circular motion. After completing the burnishing, apply a coat of sealer with the help of the scraper to protect the finish. Once it is sealed, burnish it one more time. If done properly, one can see their reflection in the wall.