Is VP (Venetian Plaster) what i want?


Old 04-04-07, 04:51 AM
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Question Is VP (Venetian Plaster) what i want?


I have several questions, I hope you guys can help.

We want to add kind of an old world look to our dining room, but when we stripped the wallpaper we found two more layers of wall paper that were painted over, and it is not coming off, there are a few loose spots I plan on ripping off and filling and priming, so my first question is can we plaster over the painted wallpaper?

My second question is: I have checked out the Behr VP, does the first layer go on one color and the second layer another color, or do the layers just give it the look of several colors?

My third question: I dont want a high gloss finish, so can I do a light sanding to give it lower gloss finish? Or do I have to sand it at all? Will the top coat be enough?

Thanks for all your help, I was very excited to find this group!

Last edited by memoryofaspyn; 04-04-07 at 06:14 AM. Reason: added more
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Old 05-10-07, 08:40 PM
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The layers go on the same color, some parts shine more then others giving it the look of different colors. If you don't want a high gloss, just sand with very, very fine sandpaper and then put on the top coat. I used my small hand sander for this. I don't know about the wallpaper, I didn't have that problem.
Old 09-06-07, 05:59 AM
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Question What is Venetian Plaster?

For the past couple of months, I've been a silent observer watching all that goes on in this forum. In private, I’ve laughed at some of the comments, cried at others and even sat there open mouthed scratching my head at all you good people offering good advice, bad advice, good information and just plain bad information online. So today, I decided it was my turn to talk so I joined this forum to discuss what little that I know about the product that’s called “Venetian Plaster”.

If anyone out there in this forum tells you they are an authority on this stuff, take your mouse and click out of that topic as fast as you can, because you’re just going to get a headache and probably some bad information. I’ve personally known people who have been involved with Venetian Plaster their entire life (80+ Years), from doing research and development to manufacturing and distribution, and they will tell you that they are still learning about lime everyday. Not one of these great men or women would call themselves an authority.

Basically Venetian Plaster is made from Lime: Calcium Oxide (CaO) is a white crystalline solid with a melting point of 2,572°C. Lime is made by heating limestone, coral, sea shells, or chalk, and which is mainly CaCO3. At some point the carbon dioxide, water and other impurities are burned out of these elements. Once this happens, it leaves a pure white stone called Lime. The production of calcium oxide from limestone is one of the oldest chemical transformations produced by man and predates recorded history. The oldest uses of lime, exploit its ability to react with carbon dioxide to regenerate calcium carbonate. When lime is mixed with water and sand, the result is mortar, which is used in construction to secure bricks, blocks, and stones together and it gradually hardens, cementing the bricks together. At room temperature, the reaction of lime with carbon dioxide is very slow. When lime is mixed with water, it will have a chemical reaction and reach a boiling point almost immediately, and the result is called “Grasso” (Lime “Fat”).

It wasn’t till post WWII that there was a drive to rebuild the old churches and historical landmarks that were bombed during the war, that modern Italian lime plasters came into life. Man started adding other minerals such as marble to give it the beauty that it has today. Of course it’s been improved upon to make it what it is today.

First… We need to understand that anything you buy by the quart or bucket from Home Depot or Lowe’s is NOT, and I repeat, NOT “Venetian Plaster”. You can paint white stripes on a black horse and call it a Zebra, but it’s still a horse.

Modern day “Authentic Venetian Plaster” is a generic term for about 15-20 different kind of lime plasters that are manufactured in Northern Italy. Some of these Italian companies experimented with attempting to make Venetian Plaster outside of Italy, like in China, Canada, Malaysia and Australia, but they found that the finished product was just not the same. This area of Italy for some reason has the best lime, close to the Dolomite Mountains just north and northwest of Venice. Why? God only knows, but I can tell you that Italian food taste better in Italy when you use authentic Italian food products from the region it was developed, than it does at the Olive Garden. (Sorry for you Olive Garden lovers)

One of the things about lime plasters that makes me love working with it is that you can polish it to make it look like marble or give it a dull or matt finish depending on the effect you want to achieve. Faux artist and painters are good at using household paints and glazes and other products to simulate the look of Venetian Plaster, but true Venetian Plaster is in a class of its own. Over time, Authentic Venetian Plaster will age gracefully and the best part will inhibit the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria common on most painted surfaces especially in humid climates or around wet areas of your home.

So, let it be known, that Venetian Plaster is a product used by artisans, and the effects are dramatic or subtle, depending on the applicator and type of plaster. One of the most natural effects of Venetian Plaster is its ability to go through a carbonating process as it ages over time, and will actually harden or attempt to go back to its original form “stone”. I’ve been in homes in Italy that the plaster was applied 20-30 years ago, and they look as good as or better than the day they were first applied, and the walls are as hard as stone.

Actually, some of the finest frescos in Europe were a form of Grassello or a very fine plaster that allows the artist to use natural color pigments to paint into the damp plaster. One of the natural traits of Marmorino and Grassello’s is it’s ability to be transparent which offers some very fine effects and depth to the works of some of the great fresco artist like Michelangelo.

So, next time someone on this forum says they just finished putting Venetian plaster in their powder room and it took them all afternoon…just smile and realizes that it was a faux effect made to look like plaster. Oh by the way, when Italian plaster is applied to the walls of a bathroom, after taking a hot steamy shower, you’ll find the mirrors will not fog as quick because the plaster will absorb the moisture in the room but not be evident on the surface of the plaster. The plaster will take on a different color or hue while it’s still in this damp stage. By the end of the day, this moisture miraculously evaporates off the surface till it returns back to it’s originally color and texture.

In closing, I wish all of you the best and hope that this little tad bit of information has been informative and hopefully will clear up so much of what’s been discussed on this forum of ideas.

Tony Fiocco
Sarasota, FL
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