Venetian Plaster Has Run Its Course

The faux finish called Venetian plaster, popluar in the early 2000’s, has run its course, I’m happy to say.

When done well, it can look good. But too often, it’s poorly done, or applied in an inappropriate situation.

For instance, today I looked at a 1970’s townhouse that had heavily trowled plaster all over every room. Way too much! And way too poorly done. It was thick, irregular, globby, and just unattractive. Of course, SOMEone loved it, at some point in time.

But come on, folks. If you have a large house that’s built to look like it is sitting in Tuscany, with a red tile roof and lots of wood and iron accents, Venetian plaster might be a good choice – assuming you hire a skilled artisan to do the work.

But please…not in a Victorian four square, or a Craftsman bungalow, or a ’60’s ranch style house, or 1970’s townhouse with classic traditional elements.

Back to that townhome I looked at today…The new owner had inherited a mess. Because the finish is so thick, you generally cannot go over it – it has to be removed. This means using putty knives to literally scrape the stuff off the walls. Very labor intensive, very expensive, very messy, and it leaves the walls in horrible shape. In this case, the walls would have to be retaped, patched, and skim floated, then sanded smooth. MAJOR work.

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