Decorating & Design

December 9, 2008

Venetian Plaster

Q. I would like to know what Venetian plaster is and where I can buy it.

— Laurie-Ann Nisbet

A. Venetian plaster is an old-world Italian finish achieved through the layering of pigmented plaster. This finish is usually applied to walls with a trowel instead of roller or brush, which gives it a lovely uneven texture. You can choose a matte or burnished high polish finish, and some companies and artists add organic materials like sand to achieve rich stone effects.

Applying a real plaster finish to your walls in layers is quite a task and some people take courses to learn how to do it. Most people hire professional tradespeople for this application. But other choices are available as some paint companies have come out with do-it-yourself plaster-like finishes that are similar to real plaster. Behr has a Venetian plaster product that is a heavy-bodied water-based paint specially pigmented to create a highly burnishable surface. This unique decorative finish gives you the look and feel of old world plastered walls. This paint is available in many beautiful colours, so whether you are looking for a warm, rustic look or a rich Tuscan finish, just be patient and follow the directions included with the product.