Painting Venetian Plaster – a “how to” guide

Updated May 9, 2024 | Posted Apr 30, 2021 | Professional insight, Miscellaneous, Product Advice | 0 comments

Venetian plaster is becoming more and more popular, with many different styles and colours available. The issue is, venetian plaster is pre-finished, so if it becomes damaged for whatever reason, you often end up having to plaster whole walls again.

This can cost a fortune and is not always practical. Painting your venetian plaster walls is a much more cost-effective way of doing things and can look stunning. You’ll certainly get them looking like new again. Not just that, but you can even change the colour if you’d prefer something different.


Preparing Venetian Plaster for Painting


The first thing you need to do is check over the area you intend to paint. Dust can easily be removed with a duster, but any other dirt may need something a little stronger. Decorators tend to use a diluted sugar soap solution as a cleaning agent, followed by clean water to remove residue.

One thing you should check for on Venetian Plaster is wax. Sometimes, to polish and seal the plaster, an installer will apply a coat of wax. You should be able to tell just by touching the surface, but if you’re in any doubt, try scratching it with your finger nail. Any wax needs to be removed with methylated spirit and a clean cloth. Work on a small area at a time.

Once clean, you can fix any damage with a general interior filler. If you think there is any movement in your wall or ceiling, then you may be better opting for a flexible filler.

The Best Paint for Venetian Plaster


What you must remember is Venetian plaster contains lime, which is alkali. Normal vinyl or polymer-based emulsion simply won’t stand up to it. There are a couple of solutions! You should really contact the manufacturer of the Venetian plaster to see which products they recommend, but the paint I stand by is called MATHYS Paracem Deco Ultra Clean Extra Matt. This is a specialist emulsion paint designed to withstand alkali and allow the surface of your wall to breathe.

You’ll find it easy to apply, opacity and spread rates are good and the overall finish is fantastic. It is also available in white, black or any British Standard colour. You can buy this product online by clicking here, or from Rawlings Paints.


A Recent Project


I thought I’d take you through a job I completed recently using the Ultra Clean Matt, just so you can see the impact you can have by painting Venetian plaster. The pictures below are of  a bar area with two different types of Venetian plaster on the walls. The plaster wasn’t too bad to be fair, but there was a couple of small repairs to do and to be honest, the whole lot had started to look a little bit tired.

The grey plaster is textured and over the years it had become dirty. My clients had tried everything to get it clean, but nothing worked. This is why they opted to have it painted.

So, the grey needed to be painted, however the smoother white plaster was fine. The first thing I did was take mask white stuff off using Kip masking tape. This helped me to achieve nice crisp lines. Any good quality masking tape would have done the job.

I then did the repairs using normal Easi-Fill and gave all the grey plaster a dust off. After that, it was simply a case of applying two full coats of Ultra Clean Matt in the specified colour. I diluted the paint slightly to make it easier to apply to the textured wall. One drawback of painting a textured surface is the possibility of picture framing. I always find cutting in with a brush, then rolling over with a mini-roller helps reduce this issue.

The job looked fantastic, it was inexpensive, and my client was chuffed to bits. We were in and out in two days, but this included painting the ceiling and all the wooden trim work.

I have included a few photos taken with my phone, however they don’t do it justice.

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Updated May 9, 2024 | Posted Apr 30, 2021 | 0 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.


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