Mastering Venetian plaster
Venetian plaster, a beautiful and durable texture that mimics natural stone, is believed to date back to fourth-century Rome. Creating it is a skill that takes years to master; however, there’s room for artistic licence. Modern tools and materials put the technique within the grasp of a DIYer.
Venetian plaster is a great choice for a kitchen splashback. It may seem difficult to clean. But when the texture is burnished and sealed, cleaning it is no more difficult than cleaning grouted tile.
This was my first try at a plaster wall, and I’m not even very good at finishing plasterboard. But with a little practice, I felt confident enough to tackle it. After you read this, I hope you will too!
250mm taping knife
75mm taping knife
150mm taping knife
230mm paint roller
Basic hand tools
Venetian plaster trowel
About the Expert
Drew Beninati owns and operates the PlasterCenter in the US. He has been a plaster contractor for 40 years and has run his training centre for 20 years. Learn more at plastercenter.com.
Step 1: Remove cabinets
The kitchen wall we chose to plaster had a few cabinets we planned to replace with open shelving, so our first step was to tear them out. If you’re plastering a wall that holds cabinets you plan to keep, you can plaster right up to them.
Step 2: Repair wall damage
It’s best to start a plastering job with a smooth wall. Removing the cabinets damaged our plasterboard in some areas.
While we were removing the glass tile splashback, chipping it away a tile at a time, we decided it was safer and easier to remove the splashback as a unit by cutting out the plasterboard it was attached to. Then we patched in the new plasterboard, smoothed it out with a few coats of joint compound and repaired all the dents with surfacing compound.