Marble-looking Wall

Venetian stucco is a decorative plaster that allows you to achieve the effect of a wall finished as if it was covered with polished marble.

Stucco is a decorative mass known since ancient times, used in finishing works. Plasterboard made of stucco can be coloured, and it is always polished to obtain a glossy effect. All this aims to achieve a marbling effect – walls finished with stucco look as if they were clad with polished marble slabs. The decorative coating is smooth. It can have a different degree of gloss – from a light mat to a high shine. The other degree of light reflection causes a pattern to appear on the wall. If we add pigment to the mass, the effect of irregular colouring will be enhanced.

Italian wall decorations. Decorative Travertine

1. What is Venetian stucco

Venetian stucco is gypsum, limestone or gypsum-lime mass filled with marble dust or fine-grained aggregate. We will also find groups without entirety. They are intended for interior wall finishing. After waxing, they can be used in humid rooms.

Together with the mass, you buy a primer and a dye or dyes, which allows you to create colourful compositions. Wax is used to protect and shine the wall. When planning such a finish, you should buy a set of products from one manufacturer because they are matched.

Venetian stucco is a generic term for a variety of goods. Plasters with the natural binder are superior and more expensive. Under this name, there are also structural paints with an acrylic binder, which are not as noble, durable or resistant as gypsum or lime masses.

2. Properties of Venetian stucco

The Venetian stucco coating on the wall is:

  • decorative,
  • permanent,
  • resistant to damage,
  • even and smooth,
  • vapour-permeable,
  • mineral,
  • alkaline,
  • resistant to fungi and moulds,
  • resistant to dirt,
  • easy to clean.

3. Tools needed

Simple tools are used to make stucco decorations – a steel trowel (often called a Venetian trowel) and a steel spatula to apply the mass on the trowel. When finishing the surface, you will also need sandpaper with a fine grain – gradation above 300-400. The substrate is primed with a roller or a large brush.

4. Substrate for Venetian stucco

Stucco can be placed on newly built walls, as well as previously otherwise finished. Old coatings must be removed. Walls previously painted with coloured paint are best washed off and painted with white primer paint. The substrate should be dry, clean, even and smooth.

5. Stages of laying Venetian stucco

The following steps when laying Venetian stucco are:

  • priming,
  • application of a quartz primer (depending on the system),
  • the first layer of plaster,
  • the second layer of plaster,
  • smoothing,
  • applying wax and polishing.

6. Preparation of the mass

Venetian stucco is purchased in the form of a ready-made mass, which must be thoroughly mixed with a slow-running mixer. Ready to use, it is in the form of a thick paste. The natural stucco is white. If we want to add pigment, it must be done immediately in the mass we will be using. This way, we will avoid the hassle of having different shades on the wall.

To get the effect of multicoloured or coloured veining like in marble, you need to calculate the mass required and colour them appropriately.

7. Execution of Venetian stucco

The process of obtaining this decorative effect is a multi-stage process. Intervals between subsequent works of laying Venetian stucco should last several hours – always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations of the system we use.

  • Ground

A layer of soil is spread over a clean surface. This is best done with a roller or a large brush, evenly from the bottom to the top of the wall. We stopped work for 2-4 hours to let the ground dry.

  • Two layers of stucco

All layers of Venetian stucco are applied in the same way. A small mass is put on the trowel with a spatula and spread over the wall with quick movements. The directions and length of the trowel movement are free – the pattern on the wall depends on them. The mass streaks can be, for example, long and semicircular or short and run in different directions. The principle of laying Venetian stucco is that you have to distribute the entire mass evenly. Thicker strands with debris should not form on the wall. The next piece of plaster is applied so that it slightly overlaps the previously covered one. By so doing, the entire wall is covered and allowed to dry for 6-8 hours.

For some structural paints, manufacturers recommend three layers of Venetian stucco to obtain the desired thickness of the finished coating.

  • Smoothing the stucco on the wall

The applied Venetian stucco should now be brightened. For this purpose, the entire surface should be polished evenly with a Venetian trowel. It is recommended to sand its edges with fantastic sandpaper to make them perfectly smooth. During smoothing, the scoop is guided in different directions with sliding movements, slightly pressing down. After the trowel has passed through, stucco fragments of varying gloss levels appear on the wall, depending on the direction it was applied.

  • Waxing and polishing of stucco

Finally, the dried plaster is covered with a protective wax layer, which increases the gloss effect after polishing. A wall finished with stucco should be smooth as a mirror and shine locally in different directions and with varying intensity. Waxing and polishing are similar to smoothing. The movements are sweeping, long so that great streaks of the finished surface are created. A steel trowel or a soft cloth can be used for polishing.

8. Venetian stucco price

For laying Venetian stucco, you have to pay from 250 to 320 PLN / m 2 (materials and labour), depending on the product and location. If we take matters into our own hands, you can save a lot on work, which has increased significantly in recent years. Making the stucco is not very complicated. First of all, you need to distribute the mass properly so that it is smooth.