How to prepare walls for decorative plastering

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This publication continues the series of articles on decorative plasters. It will be useful for novice decorators – from it you will learn about the basic principles of working with this material and get acquainted with the basic tools, and professional finishers will give some useful tips.

In the article “Decorative plaster – a way to make an interior special” we talked about the advantages and properties of decorative plasters in interiors. If our story inspired you to decorate the whole room or some part of it, and you want to try to do it yourself, we will tell you about all the nuances that must be taken into account in order to achieve the result of wall decoration close to the ideal.

Pro tips for aspiring decorators

The use of decorative plaster in the interior is somewhat reminiscent of art, which requires creativity, special scrupulousness in work and skill that comes with experience. Not everyone can skillfully apply such material, because this is a delicate work that needs to be treated very carefully and delicately. Therefore, if a creative person lives in you, after the recommendations of professional Venetians, you can try to master this art form and make unique repairs in your home:

  1. Before you start, the skills of a putty putter are especially useful. It would be nice to have the trowel confident enough to try different plastering techniques. But if you do not know how to work with a spatula and are firmly decided to use plaster at home, try using thin-layer materials, for example, Sahara, Persia, Crystal Finish, which can be applied with both a spatula and a brush..
  2. If you have never seen how Venetians decorate walls before, it is better to enroll in special courses, where you can fill your hand under the supervision of a specialist, so that later you can significantly save on decorating large areas in the premises..
  3. In any case, before starting the process, it is necessary to make one, or rather several samples, so that you can understand how to form a drawing and see the preliminary result of your work. To do this, use sheets of drywall. The cost of the materials used is quite high, and in this matter it is better to listen to popular wisdom: measure seven times, cut one off, so as not to transfer the plaster in vain.
  4. If you are just starting to practice in the field of interior decoration, do not apply decorative plaster on large areas, use arches, small drywall structures, columns, etc. for this. Small defects are not so noticeable on them, while it will be difficult on a large area hide the heterogeneity of the pattern. In addition, individual interior elements, decorated in an unusual way with the help of decorative plasters, stand out against the general background and look very impressive..

We prepare the tool necessary for applying plaster

It is strongly discouraged to use poor quality tools for applying decorative plaster, as they directly affect the result of the work performed. For example, cheap spatulas can leave unsightly stains on the surface to be decorated and damage expensive material. Plaster manufacturers recommend using special professional tools for application. If the price for them seems high, we assure you that it will be much cheaper than buying new material instead of spoiled.

Different decorative materials require the selection of certain tools. Therefore, we will analyze what and when to use.


The most delicate material is considered to be Venetian plaster, which requires a high level of skill to apply. In addition, it requires the use of a special spatula or a plastic board with rounded edges no more than 20 cm in size. It should be perfectly flat and smooth, and the rounded edges will help to apply the material without scratches and irregularities. With spatulas that were used after applying other types of plasters, Venetian must not be applied, only new tools are suitable for it.

Trowel for Venetian plaster

For a set of material from a bucket, you can use the cheapest, hard, narrow (up to 5 cm wide) and long spatula.

A steel, perfectly flat spatula with rounded edges is useful for glossing Venetian and other types of decorative materials.

OIKOS stainless steel spatulas

For plasters such as Grotto, Marmorino, Travertine, special spatulas for decorative plasters are used, or those that remained after the application of the Venetian.

Plastic planks

These tools help shape the drawing. For example, when decorating walls with Marseilles wax, a special plastic board is used, which on one side is sharpened in a special way and resembles a triangle. It helps to apply the material in hard to reach places, corners and near the baseboard.


Cheap brushes of dubious quality are not suitable for plasters. You don’t want to see loose fibers or bristles on the wall along with the patterns. Therefore, it is advisable to use a tool from trusted manufacturers, which is convenient to work with. They are sold in specialized stores with wall decoration products..

Sponges, soft cloths

These products are necessary for polishing decorated surfaces. Use a soft, soft-touch fabric. The work can be facilitated by a grinder, on which a special felt wheel is put on. The speed of the machine must not exceed 600 rpm. Of course, the grinder cannot be used for these purposes, because high speed will damage and spoil the work that has already been done..


They are made of special plastic, which has a certain degree of rigidity in order to be able to create uniform drawings, patterns and even whole artistic compositions and plots using decorative plaster. In specialized stores, you can find a wide variety of stencils that will help make your renovation unique..

Stencil decorative plastering


When preparing walls for plastering, you will definitely need a standard roller with a bath. This makes it easier to apply primer..

Embossed rollers can be used to create patterns from thin-layer plasters. They are a base made of metal or hard plastic with a textured surface made of soft material. With their help, you can create a variety of unusual effects on the walls..

Embossed rollers

We buy materials for wall decoration

Depending on the volume and your preferences, this list can be short or quite impressive due to the presence of additional decorative elements. In your work, you will need:

  • Wall preparation primer.
  • Actually, decorative plaster.
  • Dyes and pigments for plasters and waxes to give the desired shade.
  • Wall finishing waxes.
  • Water-based varnishes (there are 2 types: silky matte and glossy).
  • Glitters for varnishes, if you want walls to have a unique shine.
  • Special granules for additional decorative effect.

Preparatory work

So, after you have purchased everything you need in the work, you can proceed directly to decorating the walls. But before applying decorative plaster, you need to devote a little more time to preparatory work. Of course, walls or ceilings should be free of wallpaper, paint traces and residues of other decorative coatings. If the surface is curved, it is necessary to use a rough putty, and then finishing and level the plane.

It will take 2-3 days to completely dry the putty layers, depending on the indoor microclimate. Please note, not always, when the top layer seems to you ready for further work, you can continue the decorating process. The inner layer may still be damp, in which case the topcoat cannot be applied, since all subsequent work will go down the drain and the plaster will move away from the wall.

In the next step, take a fine-grained sandpaper and sand the walls. The surface must be flat and smooth. Of course, structural plaster can be applied to walls with small irregularities (minor scratches, for example), but when using thin-layer materials, it is better to sand them more thoroughly. After that, take a soft cloth and remove the dust from the walls..

Before proceeding to the next step, use masking tape and mark the edges of your future creation. Now you can start priming, which will ensure a stronger adhesion of the plaster to the surface and its reliable fixation. It is better not to buy a regular primer for painting, because it affects the strength of the coating. In addition, it can leave yellow spots on the decorated surface..

Depending on the chosen topcoat, it is recommended to purchase different types of soil:

  • For thick-layer plasters (Travertine, Marmorino, Grotto, etc.), a stable, water-based primer based on quartz sand is used.
  • For Venetian, Illusion, Crystal Finish, the Italian soil “Isoedil” or “Ceresit Super” is purchased.
  • Under the Sahara or Persia, we apply a water-based mixture based on fine quartz sand.

The primer is applied in 1 layer and remains to dry for a day, despite the fact that the packaging indicates a period of 3 hours.

Methods for applying plaster

There are a lot of ways to apply decorative plasters. This makes it possible to obtain different textures on the surface. Even using one material, you can achieve different effects, it all depends on your skill and imagination. We will look at the main stages of work with some types of plasters, so that you have an idea of ​​how to use such materials..

Important! Always make a sample on a separate drywall sheet before using decorative finishes on a prepared surface. This will help you determine the color, learn how to form a drawing and feel the material itself..

Scheme of work with Venetian plasters

Venetian is applied in 3 layers:

  1. We prime the walls with decorative material using a roller with a very thin layer.
  2. We show all our imagination and form a drawing with special movements of the spatula.
  3. Apply a very thin layer of the 3rd layer, which we gloss with a spatula (rub so that it starts to shine).

Venetian plaster application

Venetian plaster: application technology

After that, cover the walls with Venetian wax with a soft cloth and polish the surface..

Scheme of work with Marseilles wax

Apply an even thin layer of material to the prepared surface with a spatula and, without waiting for the mixture to dry, we immediately begin to form patterns with a special plastic spatula. The movements should be chaotic and fast, because the material dries quickly, but you must try to adhere to the same movements so that the drawing on the wall comes out uniform.

Decorative plaster Marseille wax

After the plaster is completely dry, we take the wax, which we tint at our own will with the help of colors and glaze with a sponge (paint the surface with wax). If desired, the walls are additionally coated with varnish so that they shine beautifully in the rays of light.

The scheme of work with a decorative coating Travertine

This material is applied in 1 layer. We apply a thin layer of material with a spatula, then scratch the stripes with its side side as you want. After that, we gloss it over with a spatula and cover it with colored varnish..

Plaster Travertine

The scheme of work with decorative coating Grotto

When working with this plaster, you can use two colors for painting. The work is carried out in 3 stages:

  1. Before applying the first layer, we tint in the chosen color and apply quickly so that it does not have time to dry.
  2. We tint the mixture for the second layer in a different color and stamp the spots with a spatula or a spatula (special wide brush) in a special way. As soon as they dry out a little, lightly level with a spatula.
  3. Gloss the surface with a spatula until it shines.

Decorative plaster Grotto

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