Faux Venetian Plaster Technique Part 2

The faux finish technique that I am about to detail was described by my client as being Tuscan. As I said earlier , he is from France and has traveled in Europe extensively, so in all likelihood he has really seen a Tuscan style wall finish. So fine, if he calls it Tuscan, then Tuscan it is. Truth be told, since this decorative wall treatment or faux venetian plaster technique is rather easy to do and pretty foolproof, I have also labeled it a Pompeii finish. Whatever label sells this faux finish is fine with me.

So here is the step by step procedure for this faux finish. The products necessary are listed in the previous post.

1) Thin Sandstone with water. Mix 1 part Sandstone to 2 parts water. Your Sandstone mix should be a watery slurry. You will want to mix enough so that you can roll on a very quick coat. This first coat is just to give the wall some tooth. So don’t spend too much time worrying about roller marks or even coverage. Roll on this thinned Sandstone and allow to dry fully.

2) Now to your base coat. Mix 1 part Sandstone to 1 part premixed joint compound. Create 3 separate batches and tint each one a different color. I tinted my batches in the following way, batch 1 was tinted to a pale orange color. Batch 2 was tinted a slightly darker red/orange color. The third batch was tinted medium toned terracotta color.

You will have to create smaller batches of tinted mix to determine the colors that work best for you because different joint compound will take color differently and you may want to alter the final outcome anyway. This faux finish recipe is more about the technique than the actual colors.

3) Quickly and haphazardly trowel on all three colors of the tinted faux plaster onto the surface. Create random patches of all three colors all over. Try to keep the lightest color batch as your predominate color. You can blend these a little but what you want are distinct colors on your wall. Don’t worry about what it looks like, you will be covering up nearly 90 % of this anyway so just throw it up there quickly. Allow to dry overnight.

Again, this is supposed to be a distressed aged plaster look. You really can’t go wrong so don’t over think it or spend too much time on the steps so far. You should be able to do this practically with your eyes closed.

4) Once this color coat of faux plaster has dried, you can sand or knock down any unusual high points. Mix a large batch of 1 part Sandstone and 1 part joint compound. This batch will cover most of your wall so mix enough. Tint this batch with just a small amount of Raw Sienna tint. The color you are aiming for is like a butter milk color, a pale creamy yellow color. Trowel this faux venetian plaster mix over 90 % of the surface leaving behind exposed areas of colored plaster.

This step is very similar to the cat face technique done with other plasters but here you sort of want to be a little more deliberate as to where you place the cat faces. You don’t want to create them uniformly across your wall. This is where a little artistic foresight is useful. Make it look chipped plaster. Imagine the areas where the plaster would actually chip from the wall after a couple hundred years of wear.

5) The final step of decorative faux finish technique is to create a couple of tinted glazes that will be used to give the wall it’s final appearance. I used Faux Glaze by Faux Effects but any glaze medium will work. I also used Stain and Seal from faux Effects to give my glazes color but again, and water based stain would work.

I used stains as my tinting medium because I wanted the glaze to be translucent. I find that universal tints give a glaze an opaque quality that I didn’t like.

My first glaze was a mix of 8 parts glaze medium to 1 part Antique Mahogany stain.
The second glaze was mix was 8 parts glaze medium to 1 part Antique Cherry stain.

And again, these were my color selections, you could change the stain colors but keep them similar to the color tones I used.

With a couple of large high density foam sponges, available at Home Depot, and a couple buckets of water I began washing the walls with both colors. Try to blend the colors somewhat and avoid having large areas where you only use one color of glaze. The pale butter milk looking plaster will take the reddish colors nicely and and leave you with a surface that almost glistens.

Here a couple images of the work in progress. I plan on trying this same technique with more muted colors next time. The finish does look like a hand crafted Italian plaster that has aged and chipped and discolored. A faux venetian plaster technique with lots of color options.

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