Help - In the middle of Venetian Plaster

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Old 02-15-07, 09:34 AM
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Help - In the middle of Venetian Plaster

I have been following instructions from a book on Venetian Plaster. I did two base coats of plaster to even out existing texture, then two coats of tinted Venetian Plaster. I started burnishing (not easy for a small person), and then noticed on the can of top coat that it says DO NOT BURNISH BEFORE OR AFTER TOP COAT. The book told me to burnish then top coat. What do I do? And, is there a secret to burnishing to make it easier?
 
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Old 02-15-07, 03:23 PM
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Sandy--you don't provide much information. First--what type of plaster did you use to even out the wall? Venetian? What book are you looking at? Generally, Venetian Plaster (synthetic or lime based) is way too expensive to use to skim out a wall--joint compound is fine. After skimming, you would need to seal it before proceeding to your VP.

You also don't identify what type of top coat and what type of vp? Some synthetic vps are easier to burnish when they are partially dry, and the longer you wait the harder they are. What are you burnishing with? Whatever you burnish with it isn't ever "easy"--which is part of the reason that the VP coverings are an expensive wall coating.

Top coating will eliminate the need to burnish. Burnishing seals the vp, so you don't have to top coat. Either/Or, but you don't need both. However, I've never had a problem when I decided I didn't want to burnish anymore and resorted to a top coat--theoretically, if you burnished too much to a high gloss shine, you could have adhesion problems.
 
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Old 02-15-07, 05:00 PM
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Venetian Plaster

Thanks for your reply. I put the first two coats of regular joint compound to smooth the surface. I then used Behr (Home Depot) Venetian Plaster (already tinted) in two coats as directed. I began burnishing and I can see the beauty of the raised areas shining. However, it doesn't seem to shine all the areas. I did use a fine grade of steel wool on my practice board and it shined beautifully. However, it took quite a while to just to a six inch square board.

So I take it, by your reply, that I can top coat after burnishing. My topcoat (also from Home Depot) seems very milky. When I put it on my practice board it left a film and dulled the color. Have you had that problem?
 
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Old 02-15-07, 05:04 PM
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I forgot

I forgot to say that after I skimmed, I did put a coat of Primer before I started the Venetian Plaster.

I'm burnishing with a metal spatula. The book is Italian Plaster Techniques by Maureen Soens.
 
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Old 02-15-07, 07:08 PM
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Behr isn't Italian Plaster, but you can get a nice look with it. You can't get the lows to shine like you can the peaks. The burnishing seals the plaster, and its the heat and pressure from burnishing that give you the burnishing. Obviously, your trowel will burnish the highs better than the lows.

I've never used the Behr plaster, but have used the Lowes, and gotten great results. If you read the Behr, I think it says to burnish when its partially set-up, not to wait until its hard. I don't know about the Behr topcoat. There are several waxes that are used often for plaster. If you use a traditional wax though, you would have to strip it before you repainted or did anything to the treatment. There are several water based waxes that work, and which can be buffed, or there are poly topcoats that work too. Ben Moore makes Stay Clear, which I've used on acrylic vp with success--but I'd do another sample before doing this.

Does the Behr say you have to top coat? If not, and you don't mind burnishing you might try that. Another option is to get very fine/high grade sandpaper (from auto supply store) or a polishing cloth (Rockler has those, and the sandpaper). After burnishing its pretty well sealed (for instance, my 5 year old slung turkey gravy on the wall on T.giving--charming--and it wiped off and didn't spot) so the top coat may not be necessary.
 
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Old 02-16-07, 06:53 AM
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I feel your pain. I did a venetian plaster CEILING in my old office. The burnishing part worked pretty well, but due to the angle (and being a little person like you) I simply did not have the strength to do it all. There is no easy technique that I found. I only burnished the top venetian plaster coat. Then I used the Behr top coat glaze stuff but I added a twist - silver. That wound up highlighting all the little bumps and valleys in an interesting way, but I admit it would have never been mistaken for something old or Italian. Regardless, everyone thought that ceiling was really cool. So I guess my point is if you are unhappy with the burnishing results, you may try an interesting twist that draws attention away from it. If you are doing a beige or brown, adding a tiny bit of gold to the top coat might be a cool addition :-)
 
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Old 01-02-08, 05:40 AM
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I don't know how many of you agree with me, but it's so easy to mess up the thing when you're starting a new 'science' only by following a book.

Some few weeks ago I was considering to do venetian plaster works at home, but before doing anything by myself, I hired a company (www.venetianplasternewyork.com) and payed A LOT OF attention while they were working.

After that 'lesson', I was able to continue with my own plaster works.
 
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