What is a Venetian plaster

Venetian plaster

Effect coatings: Venetian plaster (Stucco veneziano)

Venetian plaster (Stucco Veneziano, "liquid marble") is a spatula technique (lime pressing technique) that has been known for centuries, with which walls can be designed very artistically and individually. Italian master plasterers developed this noble plastering or spatula technique in the 15th century; Among other things, it should serve to impressively highlight stucco profiles on walls and ceilings. Venetian plaster is not only decorative, but also very durable: If it is applied and processed correctly, the wall coating can last longer than the building.

Material for Venetian plaster

The original Venetian plaster consists of lime and finely ground marble (marble powder). This base can be mixed with color pigments and thus tinted, dyed through or marbled in all colors. The finished filler has a smooth and creamy consistency and can therefore be applied very thinly.

For do-it-yourselfers, there are complete sets for Stucco Veneziano in specialist shops or hardware stores, which contain all the necessary materials (often including tools). In the case of tintable systems, however, the color must be purchased or mixed separately in the desired shade. DIY store putty creams for Venetian plaster (or walls with a stucco-Veneziano look) usually consist of acrylic polymers and fillers such as plaster of paris and / or clay. Synthetic Venetian plasters are plastic decorative plasters that - unlike traditional Venetian plasters - are more closely related to color than to stone. They can therefore also produce very nice results, but over time they will fade and "tire".

Note: If you want authentic Stucco Veneziano in your home, hire a professional (plasterer or painter) who has mastered this technically very demanding technique. The Venetian spatula technique with the original materials is not suitable for inexperienced users, and even the synthetic hardware store solution is a difficult task.

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Execution of the Venetian plaster

At Stucco Veneziano we work in several shifts. Many professionals use special spatulas and trowels, e.g. B. a special trowel (smoothing trowel) with a fine serrated edge. The filler is poured onto the smoothing trowel in portions with the trowel or triangular trowel and quickly applied to the wall with its jagged side. The prongs let through exactly the right amount of plaster in order to apply an even amount (e.g. in wide arcs). With the smooth edge of the trowel, the filler can then be smoothed quickly without pressure.

After applying the first structure filler, the layer can also be structured with a soft brush. The later character of the surface depends heavily on whether it is brushed horizontally, from top to bottom, in arcs, in long or short strokes or simply criss-cross. Then the first colored layer can be applied. The first layer of putty cream should not be completely dry.

In order to create the varied, warm and lively surfaces for which Stucco Veneziano is so famous and popular, the layers of filler are sanded very lightly and dusted before the next layer is applied. The color layer is then applied with higher pressure and smoothed.

The material is then compacted and polished with a clean, smooth trowel. This gives it a silky, marble-like shimmer. The Venetian plaster can almost be brought to a high gloss by more compacting and polishing. The shimmer or gloss effect can be enhanced by a final treatment with wax or oil. For this purpose z. B. beeswax, "Venetian soap" or special products based on linseed oil are used.

Note: The necessary high working speed is one of the reasons why the Venetian spatula technique is not for beginners. The filler sets very quickly, and if you don't have a routine, you inevitably need too much time and will not achieve a nice result.

Subfloor for Venetian plaster

As with other sophisticated filling techniques, a smooth, evenly absorbent and mineral substrate is ideal for Stucco Veneziano. A primer ensures that the filler layers pull in and pull in evenly. However, the primer should match the material. It is therefore advisable to buy a product that is suitable for the corresponding filling technique instead of the cheapest deep primer. Here, too, it is better to get advice from a specialist - or the plasterer will do the priming at the same time.

What does Stucco Veneziano cost from a professional?

No question about it: Venetian plaster is not the cheapest wall coating. If you have it carried out by a professional, you have to reckon with 15 to 20 euros per square meter - with 4 recommended layers this makes up to 80 euros / m2. Professional post-processing with wax costs a further 5 to 15 euros per square meter, depending on the type of wax; in addition, there are the costs for preparatory work and, if necessary, for special orders and special effects, e.g. B. marble or stone effect.

On the other hand, a professionally made Venetian plaster can last a very, very long time and remain as beautiful as it was on the first day. It doesn't have to be renewed or repainted at regular intervals like normal wall paint or wallpaper - unless you want the wall to look different. The investment is therefore particularly worthwhile for renovators or builders who intend to live in their apartment or house for a long time and / or later bequeath the property to their children.

Two rumors about Venetian plaster - and the facts


1. "Venetian plaster is a pure decorative plaster."

As explained above, this only applies to synthetic decorative plasters in the Venetian style. Authentic Venetian plaster is an extremely robust and durable wall coating that can also last for centuries outdoors - there are many such walls to be admired in Venice. The natural stucco Veneziano, based on lime and marble, hardly tires over time, but instead returns to its original state, i.e., to a certain extent, turns back to stone.

2. "Venetian plaster is not suitable for damp rooms."

In fact, like the original Venetian plaster, lime plasters are even very suitable for damp rooms and surfaces that get wet. Correctly executed lime plasters are mold-resistant, enable the exchange of water vapor and can absorb and release moisture very well. Therefore, they are also considered to be particularly healthy and beneficial for a good indoor climate.

Note: In Venice in particular, it was (and is) important that the plaster is not sensitive to moisture, because the buildings in the lagoon city with its many canals and watercourses are at high risk of moisture. In Morocco, a similar lime plaster called “tadelakt” is traditionally used for the walls of bathrooms and even steam rooms.

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Tags:Painter, painting, plaster