Venetian Plaster Samples | Best practices

May 6, 2012

You’ve picked the perfect paint color for your walls and it looks great but how about a decorative finish? Your wall color does not need to be one dimensional and Venetian plaster is a great way to give your walls a great look mimicking marble or stone.

Venetian plaster consists of marble dust mixed with plaster then it is applied with a spatula or trowel in thin, multiple layers. Then the layers are polished for a smooth surface. With this finish, the more layers you apply, the more depth you achieve. Venetian Plaster can also be left un-polished for a matte finish and stone-like look.

This decorative finish also has a few different styles: marmorino, scagliola, and sgraffito. Marmorino finishes can include marble flour, slaked lime and fine sand to create distressed stone-like finishes. Scagliola is more commonly used to resemble stucco and Sgraffito involves scratching the surface to expose the colors underneath.

Any one of these styles can be used in a multitude of ways to create unique looks inside and out since Venetian plaster can be tinted and treated in a variety of ways. The technique makes a marble or stone look more accessible for a contemporary building or remodeling project.

Venetian plaster is a decorative finish originally installed on plaster walls and ceilings. Venetian plaster finish is: plaster mixed with marble dust, skimmed or applied with a spatula or trowel by very thin, multiple coats (like a layer cake). The coating is then burnished to create a smooth surface. The finished work has incredible depth. Venetian plaster techniques include marmorino, scagliola, and sgraffito. A Venetian plaster finish can be installed with a lower sheen finish if the surface is left un-burnished., Venetian plaster has a matte finish that is rough and stone-like to the touch. Un-burnished Venetian plaster is also very brittle and damages rather easily; although more modern material suppliers have product with improved elasticity.
When applied correctly, Venetian plaster can be used to ‘create’ a highly polished, rock-hard, marble-like finish. Venetian plaster is especially useful on surfaces where marble panels could not be installed easily, and on surfaces that would be too expensive to have carved from real marble such as columns, corbels and curved walls.
Venetian plaster can be tinted, or colored using natural or synthetic colorants. The ability to tint Venetian plaster is especially helpful when a specific color of “marble” is desired, or when a color that does not exist naturally is wanted.





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