Venetian Plaster on a budget

Old 07-18-03, 04:32 PM
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Talking Venetian Plaster on a budget

This is the way I went about doing a Venetian Plaster. If you have done any searching on the cost of materials, or how much it is for a pro to do this, then you already know it is quite expensive. Just the Venetian Plaster material alone is $50-$100 per gallon and then you have to use some really expensive wax stuff over it. I figured out a way to obtain similar results for far less.

I started with nasty paneling on our living room walls. Tests revealed that primer or no primer had no effect on the sticking ability of the compound. So we broke the "prime always" rule, but we did test, so I will give myself bonus points. Next was what medium to use. We also did some tests with real McCoy Plaster of Paris winning. Other muds, joint compounds, spackle, etc. were too thick, expensive, etc.

Plaster of Paris was chosen because...well after all, it IS Plaster and nothing but. So for purists, it is very close to the real thing. It is also cheap. We used 11 50lb bags on our room at a cost of about $70 total. The room is roughly 13'X30'. The downside to POP is the work time. It says on the bag 15-30 minutes, but in practice, if what you can easily work with isn't up and on the wall within 5 minutes, forget it. We ended up mixing it soupier than the instructions called for. This extended the "open time" to a whopping 7 minutes and it worked much easier on the wall.

Once the wall was finished, it came time for the painting. We chose Valspar American Traditions Flat Interior in Bankok Red. The photos aren't a true representation of the color as our camera, lighting, and your moniter will change all of this, but you get the idea. We painted with a big, honking 1/2" roller and trim brush. As you can imagine, several hours of follow up touch ups in the hills and valleys is necessary too. Every day I find a new white spot, but as with any painting, you do have errors that generally only the painter knows about.

Painting with a flat paint created a surprise. The finish is actually shiny! Due to the killer paint and the hard plaster, it somehow came out as a satin finish or maybe a touch shinier than that. I hate to think what would have happend had I used gloss paint.

Our total expenditure was right around $100 for Plaster of Paris and paint. Hope this gives someone the courage to do it. As my husband said during the POP install, "It's kind of like being a drunk plasterer, it takes zero skill."

Old 07-25-03, 07:57 PM
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Very nice work, and I might try that.
Old 09-02-04, 06:32 PM
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plaster job

was wondering how the plaster of paris/venetian is holding up. would you do anything differently now? the pics look great.. did you apply the paint while it was still damp? was wondering if that is what made it glossy.

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