Here is a neat little technique I used in a flat when I lived in Barcelona. It involves a slightly distressed venetian plaster application over which I created a drop shadow stenciled effect using glazes and different colored venetian plaster.
This stencil technique will work with any brand of venetian plaster that you choose to work with. You can of course change the colorway as well to suit your needs.
Begin this decorative finish by applying the venetian plaster primer base as usual. For my finish, I tinted the venetian plaster to an earthy lime green kind of color. My first layer of tinted venetian plaster was applied in a skip trowel fashion and covered about 90 % of my surface.
Once this first coat has dried, I applied a second coat of the same venetian plaster material, again using a skip trowel technique making sure to fill in any areas I had left open during my first pass. What you should have is a slightly distressed venetian plaster finish with some open areas. Allow this second layer to dry fully.
Here’s a trick you won’t see people do with venetian plaster often. Over the lime green plaster I applied a slightly thinned down coat of untinted plaster. I pushed this untinted plaster very hard into the green plaster. This produced a somewhat translucent and diffused looking finish.
I then mixed up a glaze using the same color as the earthy lime green venetian plaster or at least as close as i could get. This glaze was brushed on and blended and softened over the surface. In some areas I went a little heavier with the glaze creating some areas that became more vibrant. I allowed this glaze to dry fully which can take at least 24 hours.
I choose a stencil that had leaves and swirled around. I thought it was appropriate for the green background, you of course can select any stencil that works with your theme. To stencil the leaves, I created a brownish color of thinned down paint and made sure to all of the stencil elements were given a good amount of color.
Once the brown stenciling has dried, you will replace the stencil directly over your elements. Now carefully, shift your stencil up and to the right about 1/8 of an inch in both directions. Check all your elements to be sure the stencil has shifted properly all over. Secure the stencil with tape so it doesn’t move on you.
Create a venetian plaster mix that has been tinted to a beige kind of color. Skip trowel this plaster over the stencil elements. Don’t go for 100 % coverage. This decorative finish will look better as a distressed finish anyway.
Once that plaster has dried, give the entire surface a second glaze application of the green glaze used earlier. Once this is dry you may want to sand the stenciled venetian plaster elements to further distress thid decorative finish.