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How To Apply Venetian Plaster, The Right Way.

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Have you ever wondered how to create this stunning, mirror-like effect?

What material is suitable for these amazing marble-looking walls?

Which products to buy?

In this article, I will take you through the process, step-by-step application of Venetian plaster in the authentic, traditional way, and which tools to use.


Venetian plaster is a wall and ceiling finish consisting of lime putty mixed with marble dust, applied with a spatula or trowel in thin, multiple layers, which are then burnished to create a smooth surface with the illusion of depth and texture. Venetian Plaster techniques include Marmorino.

When applied correctly, Venetian plaster can be used to create a highly polished, rock-hard, marble-like finish. Venetian plaster is especially useful on surfaces where marble panels could not be installed easily, and on surfaces that would be too expensive to have carved from real marble such as columns, corbels, and curved walls.

So, let's get started!


The absolute necessities - A clean bucket, stainless steel trowel, stainless steel spatula, electric orbital sander, covering plastic, masking tape, knife, a microfibre cloth, drill with mixer, and of course the Venetian Plaster.


Good prep is an absolute MUST! This process is often overlooked, but to achieve the best result you definitely need to be thorough in your prep! The video above takes on a step-by-step process of prepare your surface before applying Venetian Plaster, professionally.

Step 1; thoroughly lay down plastic roll sheets on the floor, then fix it with masking tape to avoid the plastic sheet moving.

Step 2; apply masking tape on skirting boards, electric switches, ceiling cornices, door frames, windows, or anything that must be protected from dust, there will be a lot of dust.

Step3; apply paintable white silicon on gaps, i.e. on windows, ceiling cornices.

Step 4; sand the substrate with an orbital sander. The grit of the sanding paper depends on the roughness of the substrate, the rougher the surface, the coarser the sandpaper.

(In this case, I used 320 grit as the support was already relatively smooth)

Step5; apply quartz primer!


Pro Tip: Before starting, you can sharpen the edges of your trowel by simply rubbing sandpaper (320 grit above).

Apply the Venetian plaster in a circular motion with your spatula. Do not apply the plaster simply with vertically or horizontally trowel strokes, as the "design" of the trowel movement will appear even after the last coat. Also, make sure you spread the plaster evenly; otherwise, it will create issues in the following passages.


Wait at least 7/8 hours. Ideally, let it dry overnight.

Then apply the second coat of Venetian plaster. The same principle applies, always in a circular motion. Best if not following the exact trowel pattern created by the first coat. By doing so, you will create a more depth effect.


When completely dry. Again, this will depend on the outside temperature. But in most cases, at least 7/8 hours will be enough.

Apply the third coat of Venetian plaster, as you did with the first and second coats.

Constantly creating a new pattern with the trowel, so to create further depth.

Then, wait for a few minutes. When the Venetian starts to dry a bit, start compressing with the edge of the trowel. You need to go back and compress time and time again on the same spot as it requires multiple compressing.

N.B.The burnishing gives the polished effect provided by the Venetian plaster with the trowel, NOT BY THE WAX. In addition, during the burnishing process, the marble dust contained in the Venetian plaster will shine through the surface, resulting in a mirror-like effect.


Now we are getting close to the end.

At this stage, the wall should look like a mirror already. The reason to apply Cera Wax is to protect the delicate Venetian plaster against liquid splashes or hand marks.

I applied the wax here because this wall is right beside the living room table so that the wax will protect the plaster from food or liquid spills.


If you still unsure on how to properly execute the job, you need and advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We work in all Byron Bay and Gold Coast area!

Phone: 0451 969 427


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