Is Venetian plaster passe?

zagyzebraOctober 25, 2011

I have a 1931 home that suffered a fire and extensive smoke damage, so I must redo it all.

The artist/painter who did the walls for me 17 years ago recently wrote me:

"I'd like to do the entire interior walls and ceilings in Venetian Plaster. It's a gorgeous look, and can be done in any colors. The effects can be subtle, or even look like marble. Venetian plaster is actually made with marble dust, so when it's troweled on the layers are ultra thin, and slightly translucent. When built up, they can create a marbleized look. The final step is to burnish it. The surface becomes like a mirror depending on how much the burnisher wants. Really beautiful, and classy."

Even though some of the walls will be restored to their original lathe and plaster, I'm wondering if the Venetian Plaster effect he describes above wouldn't be sort of Mediterranean 1990s. I'm not sure I want a marbleized look, let alone something shiny or translucent.

I would love to do a dramatic wall color, like a dark gray, except two of my rooms are huge, with vast natural wood ceilings, and dark gray wouldn't work in such an atmosphere. I think I have to keep it lighter with more contrast.

If I could decorate a room right now, I'd go for something bold and dramatic, like gray walls with orange geometrically patterned wingback chairs and rustic wood mixed with silver, metal and white accents. Average homes with normal size rooms actually offer a decorator more flexibility than my home, which has rotunda-like ceilings, turrets, etc.

Please advise, what do you think of Venetian plaster? And also, any bold wall color suggestions for large rooms with natural wood ceilings?

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lazy_gardens

Ask the artist to provide samples. It can look marvelously luminous and "deep" or it can look like a cheap Las Vegas toilet seat cover.

I did a large vaulted room in chocolate brown and it looked great.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:19PM
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InteriorStylist

Done well, Venetian plaster is stunning & never out of style. The texture adds so much drama to a room. I would absolutely consider it, especially with your architecture. I would also request sample boards...with your architecture, I would only be concerned about it looking "cathedral-like", but having said that...

I would consider a gold/copper/brown combo for the walls & turquoise as your bold color for furniture/silk draperies to counter the cathedral effect. But...I would also need to see the room itself to REALLY advise. Any pics??? You can also browse houzz.com for venetain plaster pics, one of which is linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Venetian plaster

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 2:01PM
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zagyzebra

Interior Stylist - Wow. That is some picture you sent over from Houz. Thank you for weighing in. I can't figure out how to include a picture of the master bedroom with a rotunda ceiling, I've never done this before. Someone might have to give me directions for attaching pictures to a message posted here in the forums. I have an amazing living room with gothic windows and doors (also wood vaulted ceiling). I'm thinking of layers of pearly white just slightly luminescent with extremely subtle color variations for that room. If I had a way to email you, I'd send you pix fo sure!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 9:46PM
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