Have you seen stucco walls that seem to shimmer or that glow like marble? Chances are you're looking at walls finished in Venetian plaster. Italian builders have been using this finishing technique for centuries to give buildings that subtle glimmer. Discover if Venetian plaster is the right decorative wall finish for your project.
What is Venetian Plaster?
The wall finish is also known as polished plaster or Italian plaster. The material originated as a natural clay plaster mixed with Italian limestone and marble aggregate. New materials labeled Venetian plaster are composed of acrylic polymers mixed with clay and gypsum. Both materials are still in use.
What is the Effect of Venetian Plaster?
The finished effect of Venetian plaster depends on the application process. At the very least, the walls offer a reflective finish that warms the light in the room. Plastering contractors can apply the finish to resemble granite or marble by compressing the plaster as it dries. Either way, the limestone beautifies as it ages, just like natural stone walls do.
Where Can Venetian Plaster be Applied?
Venetian plaster is typically applied to interior walls. Bathroom, foyer and kitchen designs benefit from the application of plaster that resembles marble or granite. For instance, the technique is very flattering for sink backsplashes or even shower stalls. However, the material is durable, so plastering contractors can apply it to any outdoor surface as well.
What are the Benefits of Venetian Plaster?
Traditional Venetian plaster is natural. According to Home Garden TV, natural clay plaster is environmentally friendly. It doesn't off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Synthetic plaster is easier to apply and typically non-toxic as well. Venetian plaster also offers a variety of finishes, depending on the application process.
Speaking of the application process…
Can You Apply Venetian Plaster Yourself?
Yes, it is possible to apply a Venetian plaster finish to your own walls. However, keep in mind the finished result depends completely on the application. Apply a base coat of paint similar to the chosen color of Venetian plaster. After that, it's a matter of applying the plaster first with a paint roller and then with a bent trowel. The final step is using first 400-grit then 600-grit sandpaper to polish the surface.
If that sounds complicated, let plastering contractors, like those at Old World Plastering, do the dirty work – literally. They're also the ones with the tools and expertise to bring your Venetian plaster to a high gloss or satin sheen, depending on the desired result.
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