A Venetian plaster finish is a highly durable faux finish that can resemble marble. While many different faux finish techniques take a lot of time and practice to perfect, Venetian plaster finish is an actual plaster that you apply to a wall. There are no fancy tricks involved, but the end results will look like real marble and add a luxurious but quaint charm to your home.
Before you can do any Venetian finishing, thoroughly clean the walls. Wipe down every inch of the surface with warm water and soap. If your walls have a high glossy finish, sand them lightly with the find grit sandpaper. Your goal is to dull the finish.
After sanding the wall, vacuum the dust and rewash the wall. Do not soak the surface, but use a moist towel or sponge to wipe it down until clean.
Holding the trowel at a 20- to 30-degree angle, apply the first coat of Venetian plaster. Start with a small amount of plaster in one spot, and then spread it around in a wide, circular motion. Use a small amount of plaster to make a very thin coat. Cover the entire wall with a thin coating.
Every few minutes, wipe the trowel of any dried pieces of plaster. This could cause scratching in the wall as you swipe the trowel with each new pass.
Allow the first coast of plaster to dry for at least 4 hours. Look for the plaster to lighten as a sign that it is thoroughly dry.
This time holding the trowel at a 90-degree angle, apply a second coast of Venetian plaster finish. Instead of the big sweeping movements as with the first coat, keep the movements of the trowel to smaller circles.
Fill in any missed areas, and push harder with the trowel for a smoother finish.
Allow this coat to dry for only an hour. If you let it sit any longer than that, the finish will be harder to polish.
Burnish with a trowel. Push hard and rub the plaster in tight small-to-medium circles. The harder you push on the trowel, the more of a gloss you will get on the finish. Keep an even pressure, though. Do not press too hard on one side and not on the others.
Wipe down the entire wall after you have finished burnishing the second coat. Use a moist cloth to get rid of any dust or other particles.
Apply a protective top coat with the trowel. Spread out evenly in a thin coating. Keeping even pressure on the trowel, press hard for a nice smooth finish.
If you want to have a deep glossy finish, then burnish it as you did before. Wipe down with dry cloth and enjoy your new Venetian plaster finish.