How to Apply Venetian Plaster

Lead Image for How to Apply Venetian Plaster
  • 8-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-4,000
What You'll Need
Large bucket of warm water
Several towels
Sandpaper, 600-grit
Steel trowel

Applying Venetian plaster to your walls can be a needlessly complicated and time-consuming undertaking if you don't have the proper set of instructions at your disposal. Fortunately, with the help of this handy guide, you'll be able to apply Venetian plaster in your home with relative ease and minimal frustration. So if plaster application has been a prominent feature on your "to-do" list, simply read on.

Prep Your Wall

Before you begin applying the plaster, you must first make sure that your wall is properly primed. If you intend to use a shaded plaster, it is recommended that you tint your primer with a similar color. This will help prevent problems later on in the application process by impeding the formation of white marks.

Apply the First Layer of Plaster

Now that you've successfully completed the prep work, it's safe to start applying your plaster. With the aid of your steel trowel, begin applying thin layers of Venetian plaster to your wall. When performing this step, take care to hold the steel trowel at a ninety-degree angle. Also, it is important not to attempt to cover too much wall space at once—apply the plaster to one small portion of wall space at a time and make sure the layers are as thin as possible. As you apply the plaster, take care to periodically clean the steel trowel using your bucket of warm water, thus helping to ensure that no unsightly marks are left once the plaster dries. Once you've finished applying the first coat of plaster, allow the wall to have at least four hours of drying time before proceeding with the next step.

Sand the Freshly Plaster Wall

After the initial coat has had ample time to fully dry, use your sandpaper to gently sand the newly plastered wall. This will make it easier to apply the next coat and get rid of any meddlesome air bubbles that may have formed during the application process.

Apply the Second Layer of Plaster

Now that your wall is nice and smooth, it is safe to begin applying your second coat of Venetian plaster. In much the same fashion as the initial coat, apply your second coat to one small portion of wall space at a time in a slow, careful fashion. Don't worry if you left any space un-plastered the first time around, as you'll be able to cover it with the second coat. This is generally the final coat you'll need to apply, but if you think the wall requires additional coats, feel free to add them. Just be sure to allow ample drying time and sand the plastered areas between applications.

Apply the Finishing Touches

After your final coat is dry, use a steel trowel to burnish the freshly plastered wall, then use a dampened cloth to wipe away any residue. After a quick sanding, you're all done.