Venetian plaster (also known as ‘polished’) is a fine Italian wall and ceiling finish - perfect for a luxury decorative design for both home and commercial properties. Despite being a somewhat famous technique amongst décor lovers, we’ve put together 5 fun facts you may not already know...


1. Venetian plaster is an ancient technique

The use of Venetian Plaster in Italian construction and plasterwork dates as far back as Ancient Rome. In fact, you can still see examples of early Venetian plaster on walls and ceiling decorations in Ancient Roman remains today. Furthermore, the technique for making the plasterwork has stayed very much the same which leads us to our next point...


2. Venetian plaster is very technical

Comprised of plaster mixed with marble dust, Venetian plaster is often applied with a spatula or trowel to build thin, multiple layers. The plaster is then polished to create a smooth surface with the illusion of depth and texture. Whilst years ago, Venetian plastering was very expensive to create for this reason, the materials and advances in technology have meant that it has become more common and affordable for domestic properties.


3. It has anti-flammable properties

Not only does plaster provide a great source of isolation for building walls, but Venetian plasterwork also provides security to constructions because of its anti-flammable properties. It is believed that, even since ancient times, people were aware of this fantastic quality and used plaster on all their buildings in the hopes of fire proofing their homes. It was common practice to paint over it to add more personality and feel to their habitat. The plaster itself is so resilient that the original plastering on the walls of the ancient city of Pompeii in Naples can still be seen today.


4. It was (and still is) used to create statues

In Roman times, plastering was a form of art that characterised the most beautiful and important buildings in the Empire. Today, we can still witness some of the oldest plastering ceilings and admire their fantastic symmetrical figures created for over 2000 years ago. One of the oldest pieces in existence can be found in the British Museum in London.

Venetian plaster is an easy material to manipulate and so it is widely used when shaping forms and patterns to decorate plain surfaces. Most popular plaster decorations today, however, are ceiling roses, cornices, corbels and various other mouldings.


5. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was the first to write about Venetian plaster

Plaster has always been an important part of Italian architecture and has been well documented throughout the years. One of the first to write about Venetian plaster was Marcus Vitruvius Pollio – a Roman author, architect, civil engineer and military engineer who lived during the 1st century BC. Most famously known for his multi-volume work entitled De architectura, Pollio is argued to be one the greatest Roman architects in history.

If you’d like to learn more Venetian plasterwork or any of the services offered by Fine Art Plasterwork, give us a call on 020 8679 2533 or visit our contact page. Our Streatham showroom is also open for you to view a full range of our centre roses, cornice, corbels, columns and plaster arches.