Painting Venetian Plaster – a “how to” guide

Painting Venetian plaster

By Mike Cupit

Venetian plaster is growing in popularity with many different styles and colors. The problem is that Venetian plaster is pre-made. If it is damaged for any reason, you will often have to plaster entire walls again.

This can cost a fortune and is not always practical. Painting your Venetian plaster walls is a much cheaper method and can look stunning. You will definitely make them look new again. In addition, you can change the color if you prefer something different.

The color

What to note is that Venetian plaster of paris often contains lime, which is alkaline. Regular vinyl or polymer based paints just won’t hold up. There are different solutions! You really should check with the Venetian patch maker to see which products they recommend, but the color I stand by is called MATHYS Paracem Deco Ultra Clean Extra Matt. This is a special emulsion paint designed to withstand alkali and let the surface of your wall breathe.

It’s easy to apply, opacity and spread rates are good, and the overall finish is fantastic. It is also available in white, black or any standard UK color. You can purchase this product online or from the Paint Shack on 01 276 582321.

A current project

I thought I’d walk you through a job I recently completed using the Ultra Clean Matt so you can see the effects painting Venetian plaster of paris can have. The pictures below show a bar area with two different types of Venetian plaster on the walls. The plaster wasn’t bad, to be fair, but there were a few small repairs to be done and to be honest, the whole lot had started to look a little tired.

The gray needed painting, but the smoother white plaster was fine. The first thing I did was take off mask white stuff with frog tape. This helped me get nice, clean lines.

I then carried out the repairs with normal Easi-Fill and dusted off all the gray plaster. Then only two full coats of Ultra Clean Matt had to be applied in the specified color. I thinned the paint down slightly to make it easier to apply to the textured wall.

The job looked fantastic, it was cheap, and my client was torn to pieces. We were in and out in two days, but that included painting the ceiling and all the wood paneling work.

I’ve included a few photos that were taken with my phone, but they don’t do it justice.

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