What is Venetian Plaster?

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Venice and exploring its canals, piazzas and architecture, you’ll instantly recognise the iconic city’s old world beauty and charm. So it’s no surprise that even the plaster, developed by the Venetians, has as much elegance, depth and history as the rest of this northern Italian city. If you’re tempted to bring a slice of Italian history into your home, then this rendering technique is for you.


Traditional Venetian Plaster, or polished plaster, is a decorative finish made from lime putty and marble dust. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Rome, but the technique was popularised by Venetian artisans during the Renaissance. Typically applied to walls or ceilings, this plaster gives the illusion of depth and texture, creating a rock-hard, marble-like finish. It can be especially useful on surfaces where large slabs of marble cannot easily be installed, such as curved walls, or in renovations with smaller budgets with less hassle of changing wall structures.


Venetian plaster is applied by trowel in multiple thin layers from 1mm to 3mm in thickness and can be burnished to create a mid or high shine or left unburnished for a matte finish. Once the lime plaster is applied to a surface and exposed to carbon dioxide, it begins the process of returning to its original limestone state.


While Venetian Plaster was originally used for building purposes, today it is sought after for its unique decorative properties. Whether you’re looking for old world elegance, cutting edge contemporary or a building restoration, Venetian plaster is the complement to your interior design. In addition to its decorative properties, there are many benefits to using Venetian plaster in your project.



  • Multi-Purpose: It can be used internally and externally on walls, ceilings, floors and furniture and it is heat proof. 
  • Waterproof: It has waterproofing and antibacterial qualities which makes it desirable for wet areas.
  • Low Maintenance: Venetian plaster surfaces can be easily cleaned with a soft microfibre cloth.
  • Durable: Unlike other materials, Venetian plaster becomes harder and more durable over time. If properly cared for, the plaster shouldn’t mark or chip easily making it a great investment for your home. 
  • Bacteria Resistant: The high pH levels that occur in limestone act as a natural fungicide and help prevent mold and mildew.
  • Environmentally-Friendly: As a natural product, Venetian plaster won’t release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the same way as acrylic paints or sealers. Additionally, as the plaster returns to its original limestone state, it improves household air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide.
  • Reflectiveness: When polished to a high sheen, the plaster is good at reflecting light and can help a dark area.
  • Bespoke: Venetian plaster is incredibly versatile and can be crafted to suit your exact aesthetic. Choose a bold colour, a pearlescent or metallic finish, or a pared-back neutral. Venetian plaster can also be designed to mimic the look of natural stones, such as marble, travertine or limestone. 

Speak to us today about transforming your surfaces into handcrafted works of art. As purveyors of timeless elegance and classical art, we can’t wait to create your next feature wall or bold artwork.