One of the most desirable wall decorating project for a home is the application of venetian plaster techniques.

Even so, venetian plastering would not be considered as an easy do it yourself job to take on. Most top quality Italian plastered surfaces are done by professionals with a great deal of experience smearing mud around.

Furthermore, it takes time to do a quality venetian plastering, involving higher costs to complete than other projects and if you dislike what you have done or get tired of it you can't throw on a coat of paint to make your handy work go away.

If you would still like to try some venetian plaster techniques it does have it's advantages. Just naming a few include numbers of colors to choose from and different textures that one can try. Other positives include ease of repair and resistants to marks like finger prints and smudges.


Once you have decide on doing an application of venetian plaster be sure to buy yourself some drywall boards to practice on. Proper trowel angle, stroke length and variation of application are necessary to accomplish a good job.

Another thing you might want to do after practicing is to apply the venetian plaster to a feature wall or some other smaller projects to keep the cost down.
Remember to follow all product instructions when doing venetian plaster techniques along with adhering to any application advice you may receive from your local home improvement center regarding your specific venetian plastering project.


  • Plaster (add paint tint for color/s or buy pre-tinted)
  • 4" Plastering Knife (or steel trowel)
  • 100 and 400 Grit Sand Paper
  • Paint Tray/Roller/Cover
  • Paint Brush
  • Gloves
  • Drop Cloths
  • Painters Tape
  • Primer
  • Goggles (if doing the ceiling)
  • Dust Mask
  • Hawk (or pan for the plaster)


Prior to beginning venetian plaster techniques, be sure to dress yourself properly for the job at hand (goggles, mask, gloves, old clothes etc).

Remove any furniture from the room that you can (cover what you can’t) and place drop clothes (or old bed sheets)on the floors. Use painters tape and plastic to protect surfaces and items that you don't want coated in paint or plaster.

Clean, patch, level and sand or prime the walls as needed. Shinny, dirty, or bumpy surfaces will cause problems. Smooth, clean and dull walls are best.


Place some plaster onto your trowel. With the trowel held at a 15 to 30 degree angle (depending on the look you want) spread the plaster onto the wall. Since you practiced on a throw away piece of drywall you should have a good idea as to the amount of mud to use and the trowel angle that works best for you.

As you apply the plaster use different strokes, angles, and lengths while randomly spreading on the mud.

Having a little bit of wall color show threw the mud will also add to your plastering effect.

  1. Keep your trowel very clean, or you will end up with chunks of dried plaster in your work.

  2. After mudding your first coat it will need to dry (four or more hours).

  3. A second coat can be done once the first application of your venetian plaster techniques is dry. For the second coat angle your trowel a little more (60 to 90 degrees).

    Cover areas that where covered with the initial coat and fill in some of the sections that may not have been covered in the first coating. Be selective and vary your strokes and randomness of your applications.

  4. Remove any edge marks or ridges that may appear.

  5. Once you have let the second coat dry, you can if you wish, apply a third.

Let your project dry for at least twenty four hours, then to look after it, apply a protective seal over top (if needed). Inquire at your local home improvement center regarding what type of coating you may need use with the plaster you applied.


Some walls don’t have moisture concerns and receive little traffic. Walls of this type will not need a protective coating and can be burnished. Burnishing is a way to add a professional look to your venetian plaster project. With a 400 to 600 (grit) piece of sand paper and a circular motion lightly sand your dried walls.

Some pros will use a clean trowel rubbed across the plaster to give it a polished look. No matter what technique you use be sure to practice with the piece of drywall that you practiced your venetian plaster techniques on.

To remove dust that may occur while burnishing lightly use a damp cloth to wipe the dust away.


You can use a paint roller/tray/ and thick cover to apply the plaster, then use your trowel to knock it down. As with the above technique be sure to practice before doing this to your walls.

Also, remember not to roll on to much at one time and always work with wet plaster into wet plaster.


If you have an older steel trowel (or drywalling knife) for your venetian plaster techniques you may notice the trowel leaving black or rust markings on the plaster. To avoid this purchase a new trowel and keep it shinny and clean.

Steel trowels or taping knives can have very sharp corners. Some Professional Wall Finishers will dull the steel with sand paper so as not to leave sharp ridges or lines in their mud.

Most venetian plaster techniques require you to apply wet material onto wet material

An alternative you might want to try is to let the mud dry for a while then use a trowel to knock it down. By doing so the different drying times between applying the plaster and toweling it down will give you a variation of effects.

Venetian plaster comes in a number of pre-tinted colors and can be color matched to the shade that you want if needed. Some plaster compounds though will need pre-tinting or a protective top coat applied to them once dry.
BR>As you do venetian plaster techniques remember that the thinness or thickness of the plaster job is the key to the look your going for. With practice you should be able to find what works best for you. I myself find that the thinner I spread the plaster on the wall the more I like it.

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