Venetian Plaster: An Everything-You-Need-to-Know Guide

News   /   May 7th, 2018
Venetian plaster

Looking to add that special something to your wall finish? Look no further than Venetian plaster! This centuries-old finishing technique dates back to ancient Rome. Today, it is experiencing a modern renaissance in homes, adding a polished finish to your walls with the illusion of depth and texture.

Venetian plaster, by any other name

If you haven’t heard of Venetian plaster, you may have heard of polished plaster which is the broader category of decorative wall finishes that includes Venetian plaster. These plasters are lime-based and contain marble powder. Several layers of plaster are applied and are then finished with a special trowel that gives the surface the appearance of marble, travertine, or limestone. The plaster can be applied to a wall or ceiling. The plaster itself is called lime plaster since – you guessed it – it’s made of lime.

Venetian plaster corner wall

Why might I choose Venetian plaster?

There are a variety of custom finishes to choose from when planning your project. Here are a few advantages of using Venetian plaster:

Flexibility. On surfaces where you’d like to use marble but can’t, such as curved walls, columns, or corbels, Venetian plaster is a flexible alternative. It can be applied to virtually any surface and finished according to your preferences.

Affordability. Venetian plaster is much more affordable than marble and results in essentially the same look. This is great if budget is a concern or if you have a large area to cover. Venetian plaster is only slightly pricier than regular paint, and we’d say the beauty is well worth the price!

Adaptability. Since marble is a natural material, you’re limited to the colors found in nature. Venetian plaster, however, can be tinted or colored to match an existing room or building’s color palette. You’ll probably want to stick with natural colors, like beige, white, tan, and gray, but you can tint them to the exact level of warmth/coldness you need to match the other tones in the room.

Aesthetics. The trend for natural and earth tones keeps growing. Venetian plaster is a great way to give your surfaces an earthy feeling and subtly convey a natural vibe.

Durability. Venetian plaster stands the test of time and does not need to be refinished often. If you get a scratch or scrape in the wall, you can usually repair just the affected area; you rarely have to refinish the entire wall. In most respects, a surface finished in Venetian plaster is about the same level of maintenance as a painted surface. It’s also naturally resistant to mold and mildew.

Where can I use Venetian plaster?

Venetian plaster living room

For residential projects, the sky (or rather, the ceiling) is the limit! Venetian plaster works well in foyers, dining rooms, hallways, and living rooms – anywhere you’d like that extra touch of elegance. And thanks to the fact it’s moisture-resistant, it can also be used in kitchens and bathrooms.

Venetian plaster finishing for commercial propertiesFor commercial projects, such as churches, historical buildings, and government buildings, pretty much any surface can be covered in Venetian plaster.

Can I apply Venetian plaster myself?

Probably not. In order to get the right depth, texture, and smooth finish, you should rely on a professional. A painter or custom wall finisher with experience in Venetian plaster will have all the tools necessary to get the job done right. Between the multiple layers that need to be applied (one to four) and the special polishing process to finish it, it’s best to leave this to the experienced professionals. You’ll also need to be sure you’re starting with a pristine surface, so you’ll need to fill in cracks or holes and prime the surface perfectly.

If you’re considering Venetian plaster for your next project, Fritsch Custom Finishes can help! In fact, Venetian plaster is one of our specialties. We’re actually one of the few companies in Central Illinois that has experience with it! Give us a call at (217) 546-6784 or email us at and let us know how we can help turn your inspiration into reality.


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