Venetian plaster. Of all the words that come to mind to describe the final finish… sexy is what I keep coming back to. Venetian plaster creates a feel. You lean back against the wall. Your fingers casually come in contact and before you know it you know it you are caressing the wall.
No. Not caressing. That would be restrained. You are …..
Anyway. The feel of venetian plaster is smooth and cool yet velvety soft.
Interior Designer Sandy Hale of Nine Interiors brought us in to install venetian plaster for her client at the Ritz Carlton Residences in downtown Dallas. Venetian plaster is a finish older than Pompeii. At least the lime version is. The process for installing it begins with smooth walls; a number 5 finish. That new icing on a cake that’s being done these days doesn’t count. If you have texture, your walls will need to be skimmed and smoothed. If you are doing new construction, make it clear the wall prep needs to be a number 5 smooth finish. There’s no point in paying a mud crew to undo what they should have never done in the first place.
The venetian plaster is applied with a stainless steel pavon trowel. The first layer is skimmed on fairly quickly. Attention must be paid to the texture created with each stroke. Any undesirable shapes must be worked out before the plaster starts to set. The following day another coat is added. Depending on the desired finish the process can be 2-3 or more layers. You can also add different colors into the subsequent layers. For traditional one color venetian you burnish after the last coat has set up a bit. When you burnish at that sweet spot, when the plaster has set but it’s not dry, the marble dust polishes as you pull the trowel across. If you catch it too late and the plaster is dry or if you press to hard you can end up with carbon marks or other issues. It takes a very sensitive hand to do it correctly. And when it is done right, it’s… well… sexy!