How To Create A Venetian Plaster Wall Treatment

If you want to create an old world look on your walls, with a look similar to Venetian plaster, a great product to use is called Lusterstone.  I used this on the walls in my mom’s master bathroom, and the result was beautiful.  As the name would suggest, the finish has a slight “luster”, or shimmer, to it.

Although the application of Lusterstone is not difficult as far as skill level, the process is very labor-intensive. However, the finished walls are so stunning that it’s worth all the hard work.  Lusterstone comes in a variety of colors, and is similar in consistency to slightly watered-down joint compound. It is applied to the walls with a trowel, and although it can be applied to textured walls, application is easier on smooth walls with no texture.

Here’s how I created this wall treatment.  (Please note: There are many different techniques for using Lusterstone. This is the technique that I use, and have found works the best for me. However, as you use the product, you may determine that another method works best for you.)

 

Tools & Materials:

  • Lusterstone in your choice of color
  • Latex paint in a color to match the Lusterstone, in an eggshell or satin finish
  • Paint brush (I like to use a 2.5 inch sash brush)
  • Paint roller
  • Italian trowel
  • Sandpaper, 220 grit
  • Drywall mud pan
  • Drop cloth

 

Instructions:

  • Using the paint roller, paint the wall with one coat of latex paint. Use the brush to cut in around corners, ceiling, and baseboards.>
  • Using an Italian trowel, begin applying the Lusterstone in medium strokes (about 12 inches long). Do not apply thick layers. You should still be able to see the paint layer in some places.
  • Let the plaster dry completely, and sand with a fine grit sandpaper to remove any ridges.
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 at least two more times. The more layers you have, the better the finished wall will look.
  • Using a mixture of Lusterstone and water (about 30% water), apply a VERY thin coat using the Italian trowel. This coat needs to be SUPER thin, and may even look like you’re not applying a coat at all. However, you should be able to see a difference in the sheen of the wall with this coat, as the “luster” will begin to show. Be certain to not leave any ridges.
  • Let dry completely. Repeat at least one more time with a watered down Lusterstone coat. This can be repeated until you’ve reached the desired effect, and again, the more coats you apply, the better it will look. These super thin, watered down layers are what will give your walls that gorgeous “luster”.

 

Helpful Hints:

  • This is a very labor-intensive wall treatment. Be sure to set aside enough time to complete it. It took me five days to complete the treatment in the bathroom shown above.>
  • Be VERY CAREFUL with the trowel. When it’s new, the edges are very sharp, and can easily injure you. However, as you begin applying the Lusterstone, the repeated movement of the trowel over the wall actually SHARPENS THE EDGE of the trowel, and it can become sharp like a knife. Handle with extreme caution, and KEEP THE TROWEL OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN!!!
  • Patience is key with this wall treatment. Do not get discouraged after the first coat, or even the second, as they may look terrible. However, as you add layers, the beauty of the Lusterstone will appear.
  • Do not try to get the walls “perfect”. Just as with any Venetian plaster-type treatment, the imperfections add to the character of the wall treatment.

 

Variation:

For more variation in your final wall color, you can layer two or more different colors of Lusterstone.

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Comments

  1. Julie B. says

    I think I’m going to use this! We’re redoing our three bathrooms and I have shamelessly ripped off elements of your beautiful bathroom posted above for our master bath. I am going to take the plunge and put Lusterstone on the walls.

    I did a metallic treatment on one of my son’s bedrooms, and I didn’t think it was worth the effort. I live in Washington State, and the builders put “orange peel” texture on the walls out here. I think the metallic effect was really muted by the bumpy walls. Because of that, I think I’m going to go ahead and sand off most of the texturing before I use the lusterstone.

    Do you know if Faux Effects has a swatch card they can send out?

  2. Kristi @ Addicted2Decorating says

    Julie, I’m so glad you’re going to take the plunge! I certainly don’t envy you, though. All of that sanding is going to be quite a headache! I’m sure it’ll be beautiful, though.

    I once started a wall treatment that turned out disappointing like the other one you did. When I finished the wall, I couldn’t even see any difference! Such a frustration for all of that work to be wasted. It was certainly a learning experience, though.

    Regarding the swatch card, I do know that one exists. I used to have a couple of them, and somehow lost them both. I’m pretty certain that Faux Effects would have those.

    Have fun! And let me know how it turns out! If you go to the Lusterstone instructional page, there’s a form where you can submit a photo. I look forward to seeing it!

    Kristi

  3. Julie B. says

    I found a product from Faux Effects called Texturefil that sounds like it might be able to fix my Orange Peel Problem.

    It might be awhile for the picture — my contractor is talking about having all three bathrooms done before Christmas as he’s booked with some jobs currently. We’re doing them in stages as I’m not too keen on being reduced to a porta potty in the backyard.

  4. Anonymous says

    I remember you from RMS! My name on there was(is) ArtieBen, and I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this blog! What a great site you have going here. I have my own at niagaranovice.blogspot.com, I hope you can stop by and check it out sometime. Good to catch you again.

  5. Julie B. says

    OK, I’m doing it now! And it looks pretty bad two coats in! Re-reading your “it won’t look good until many coats later” directions. ;-)

  6. Kristi @ Addicted2Decorating says

    Julie, keep with it! It’ll be gorgeous. I remember being at the stage where you are now, and thinking I had made a horrible mistake, but I’m so glad I stuck with it.

    Be sure to send photos of your finished wall treatment! I’d love to see it.

  7. Julie B. says

    Oh, definitely for the pictures. I hope I’ll want to share the finished results. ;-) I’m putting three coats of undiluted Lusterstone, and am planning on three coats of diluted. Do you remember how many coats you put down on this bathroom?

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