March 16, 2015

Venetian Plaster Marmorino style

Part Two of the finishes I learned at Amy Howard at Home workshop is Venetian Plaster. See my previous post on decorative finishes.

What image comes to mind when you think of Venetian Plaster? 

 Is it this? Or the one below?

No, not Tuscany! Venice!!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marmorino stucco.
Marmorino Veneziano is a plaster or stucco decoration used on walls. It was used as far back as Roman times, but was made popular once more during the Renaissance 500 years ago in Venice.
It is made from crushed marble and lime putty, which can be tinted to give a wide range of colours. This can then be applied to make many textures, from polished marble to natural stone effects. Widely used in Italy, its appeal has spread through North America especially, but now worldwide. Because of the hours of workmanship, the pricing places it in the high-end market. However, many examples can be seen in public buildings, bars, restaurants, etc.
Its waterproofing and antibacterial qualities as well as visual effects have also made it very desirable for luxury bathrooms and other wet areas. Not confined to interior use, it can be seen on the exterior of many buildings to great effect.
Yes, you read correctly........for the luxury market, "high end".
 No longer, and should you opt to do so, these skills are within your reach with The Amy Howard at Home collection of Venetian Plasters and a touch of practice. As in all her products, this is made for the DIY'ers, the inexperienced, those willing to roll up a sleeve. Let's investigate further.
 With a composition of marble and limestone dust, water re-activates it.
Beware of the products readily found in Home Improvement centers, they are synthetic, acrylic, which will eventually begin to degrade. This is the real Renaissance formula. We learned the techniques of which we will teach in the shop.
 Left in a rough stage by not burnishing the finish, it maintains a heavily textured look. In this example gold gild was inserted here and there

 Burnishing (repeatedly rubbing with a trowel until it glows) brings forth an intense shine for walls and ceilings
 In a bathroom this product can replace tile, yes it is impervious to moisture, think Vencie.

 Which includes exterior walls, over brick, over outdated fireplace surrounds indoors or out.....
Other applications include creating your own contemporary art with Venetian plaster blended with a tint and spread on a wood frame with a Pavon styled trowel. I can say with confidence that I can recreate the art displayed above. And this artist wannabe is thrilled!
And or wallpaper.
A 24 x 24 square of burlap has tinted layers of Venetian Plaster troweled in vertical and horizontal motions. Here and there pigment powders are added to intensify the colors. Amy's intent is to float this piece in an acrylic frame. 
Like the effect? Create this on long strips of burlap or on rice paper as wall paper. 

And lastly, as table and counter tops,  replicating the look of marble, or any pattern you chose. As this product reverts to stone, the care and use is the same as marble. 
I wish I could put life on "hold" and play.

Come play with us! Classes forming shortly, email me for inclusion;

                                                             75 degrees in Illinois today!



  1. Debra this is an amazing technique I love the gold added to the other colors especially the blue shades! You ARE an artist!

    The Arts by Karena

  2. Debra,
    While the class sounds like fun I imagine I'd have to tackle a very small project, it appears to be labor intensive and with my short attention span I could see getting a wall half done and then quitting! :-) I do love the look of Venetian Plaster and have a friend or two that have hired it done, usually in a powder room (to hold costs down, no doubt).
    High eighties over the weekend, phew!

  3. How stunning! The depth, sheen (on the burnished surface) and patina must be incredible in person. I'd love a wall done in grayish-green and white. Very exciting to learn about this finish. Cheers

  4. That looks fascinating, and beautiful! I'm in California, too far for an in person class, but would love to read more about it online.

  5. It looks beautiful ...wish I could take a class...

  6. nooooo karen, this is easy!!!
    maybe i should do a tutorial. the only reason i would see myself stopping is due to boredom!

  7. I, too, would like more about this online, as too far for an in-person class. I'm particularly intrigued by the possibilities of using it as what looks almost like faux-marble in a bath. Would it be enough water resistant for the room to skip the tiling?

    1. yes dmm, skip the tile all together!
      where do you live, maybe there is a rep in your area?

  8. Hi Debra! You have got my attention! I was planning on taking this class with AHAH and am trying to move it up on the calendar, now! i told the hubs that I'd like to do the wall behind my sales counter. He said, do you see how many buckets that fellow has? He doesn't think this is my thing, but I may prove him wrong! I had Venetian plaster in my master and bath. I'm going to go burnish it now! Ha!!

  9. go for it barbara, you have the incentive :-)


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