What is Venetian plastering? Tips from painting pros

Venetian plaster is a hot topic amongst homeowners and home builders this year, but what is venetian plastering exactly? 

We’re here to help break down Venetian plastering into what it is, and where it came from. We will also discuss what it’s made from, its pricing, and how it can add layers of depth to your home and interior design. 

Venetian plastering a highly versatile material that can really add character to your walls and interior décor as a whole. It can even be used to patch old brick, stone or woodwork. It provides the benefits of both plaster and stone surfaces such as marble, but how exactly? The following article will help to explain what Venetian plastering is, and how it’s used. 

What is Venetian plastering?

Venetian plastering is a decorative wall finish technique that is frequently used in many modern, luxury and contemporary homes. 

It allows multiple patterns and textures to be incorporated into a feature wall, adding depth and layers of beauty to your walls. Venetian plastering is also known as polished plaster, polished render and Italian plaster. 

Essentially, it is a thin layer of slaked lime plaster that is combined with other materials such as marble and quartz. This helps to create a more complex combination of materials. 

Pigments can also be added to alter the colour of the plaster, and will outlast a traditional paint job without fading. This means that the walls don’t need to be painted as often. Once the plaster is completely made up, it can be applied in numerous ways using a steel trowel. Combining different strokes of the trowel across many different layers can allow the painter to create intricate and unique details on the walls of the home. 

It is also a highly durable option due to the compounds that make up the plaster itself. It can withstand more general wear and tear than a traditional plaster wall, is known for its durability. In addition to this, Venetian plaster still provides the benefit of a marble like appearance without the cost of using such a material. 

Historic use 

Use of Venetian plaster actually dates back to the 1st century AD, where the roman empire would use it as a way of imitating natural stone surfaces inside their buildings. Skilled workers would blend lime plaster with marble dust and pigments, before applying it to the wall with a trowel. Short overlapping strokes are used to create multiple thin layers. This is essentially the exact same process that many painters and plasterers use to this day. 

It was also used for many walls throughout ancient Greece and Egypt. During the 15th century, Marmorino plaster was first created to strongly represent a marble appearance. This occurred within the Italian resonance and was therefore featured throughout Venice on the exterior walls of many buildings there. It was used to make the plaster light and watertight. 

In the 1900’s, one Italian architect began to combine glue and resin to create Venetian plaster that looked spectacular and was easy to apply. Venetian plaster has since become popular in more modern times, creating more depth for interior designers. Many techniques are used throughout traditional, contemporary and luxury homes across the world. 

Aesthetic appeal 

There are many different types of Venetian plaster available on the market. Each type of plaster provides its own style and feel, adding character to the walls within your home. Each wall can be customised to create different effects and textures. They can be crafted to look like marble, limestone and other types of stone. 

One popular type of Venetian plaster is Travertino, which uses sand particles to create a gritty, rougher looking surface. Travertino fits many decorative room styles and looks great indoors and outdoors. 

Another popular Venetian plaster finish is Marmorino, which features a light coat of plaster containing smaller sand particles. Marmorino can be designed to feature a smooth outer layer and visual patterns throughout the wall. Marmorino also comes in matte, semi-gloss and gloss, making it highly customisable and easy to match the style of a room. 

Interior with Chair

Is Venetian plaster expensive?

With such a high-quality decorative wall finish, it’s no surprise that the process can cost slightly more than a traditional plastering job. This is due to the process and time required, as well as more expensive materials. 

A Venetian plaster project first requires the walls to be primed and sanded. Then the entire area surrounding the wall must be protected by cover sheets. Following this, the many layers of plaster need to be applied using a trowel. Once the plaster has been applied, it must be dried and polished. Finally, a protective finishing coat must be applied to the walls. Lime based plasters can be expensive, ranging from around $300 – $350 for 15 litres. A special primer designed for lime-based plaster must also be applied to bond the two materials together. This helps to prevent the lime from degrading your walls. 

Eco-friendly benefits of Venetian plaster

The familiar lingering smell of paint on a freshly plastered wall is a reminder of the chemicals that are used to mix the paint. However, if you choose to decorate your walls with coloured Venetian plaster, it will leave no chemical odors due to the natural ingredients that go into making it. 

Natural ingredients ensure that all Venetian plasters are free of toxins and environmentally friendly. It is also breathable, meaning that it allows moisture to escape via the surface. This makes the walls highly resistant to mold and mildew, protecting you and your family. If you’re looking for a more sustainable way to decorate your walls, consider what Venetian plaster could do for your home, as well as the environment! 

If you’re planning on redecorating your walls and you’re seeking some professional advice and assistance, contact our team of experienced painters at SG Coatings. 

Both our residential and commercial painting services are highly regarded, providing our customers with quality paint jobs for both interior and exterior walls. With years of experience and extensive knowledge of the trade, we can guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with the job. If you would like to book a free design consultation and/or free quote for a house painter on the Mornington Peninsula, Bayside Melbourne or the surrounding suburbs, please contact us today.