stucco veneziano part two

I’ve finished the plastering and the blue color is beautiful against the brick wall (see part 1 for an inexpensive DIY venetian plaster recipe). The complementary color makes the brick pop. The final step is the coating that you put over the plaster. When you see photos of venetian plaster walls, you often see walls that are very shiny – Vegas looking. I don’t like that look. I apply a top coat to my plaster using one very simple ingredient – Ivory soap. I’ve never tried this with any other brand of soap. I’ve not felt the need to experiment because it works so perfectly. The Ivory soap does not change the color of the plaster and it lasts. I have venetian plaster walls in my home that are twelve years old and the soap finish looks like it was put on yesterday. Here is how to do it yourself:

Soak a bar or two of Ivory soap overnight.

Put the soap with some of the water into a food processor and blend it (adding water if needed) until it is the consistency of whipped cream.

The whipped soap should be thick and not runny or watery. Apply it with a small spatula as if it were a wax.

The soap coating brings out the luster of the plaster and the layers of color.

When it drys, it gives the plaster a silky matte finish. A beautiful luster.

14 thoughts on “stucco veneziano part two

  1. It looks beautiful! The surface of the wall is very “touchable” too, a soft and smooth finish… very pleasing.

  2. Yay! That’s truly a simple and innovative way to make the plaster look better and last longer. Adds so much beauty. Good job! 🙂


  3. Ileana, do you think this would provide a bit of luster or shine if applied over a regular matte finish latex paint on a wall?

    • Hi Jo Ellen, thanks for reading. Yours is a good question and to tell you the truth, I really don’t know as I’ve never tried that. I think it would be worth giving it a try on a small spot on the wall. The worse that could happen is that it doesn’t work and you have to paint over that spot. If you do try it, I would be very curious to know how it turns out, please write me and let me know.

    • Hello Kristina, thank you for reading. I had this plaster with the soap coating in a bathroom for more than 15 years with no problems. The soap coating dries and never “melts” or runs. You might want to check out the comments in my Stucco Veneziano Part One as some readers have addressed how well the plaster holds up in humid environments.

  4. You really saved my bacon with this post! I can’t thank you enough. I am plastering the little straw bale house I built and really struggling with the finish. I tried the Ivory soap treatment and absolutely love how it brings out the colors on my wall, seals the surface so there is absolutely no dusting and has a wonderful luster to it. Thanks again. A bunch!!!

  5. I plastered my bathroom using your “recipie” and it came out fantastic. It’s been on for about three years now and it looks brand new. Thank you very much

  6. Hi! I know I’m way late to the party, but I thought I’d send along my good wishes, thanks and congratulations. You are a DIY guru. I must admit, I love being able to take other people’s techniques, tips and tricks, and improve my own.

    In case you both receive this, and feel inclined to answer, could you impart some wisdom on adding a few splashes, streaks or smears of other colours? (Canadian) Would one make up the base colour and one or more accent colours to apply in the same process, or would the accents be added later?

    Thank you so much! (For this blog, if nothing else!)

    ~ Jim

    • Hi Jim, thanks so much for reading and your kind words. I’ve added some streaks of colors at times by mixing up a smaller batch of colored plasters smearing it on top of the base color and if the streaks are darker than the base color, I go back and top it with more base color so that it doesn’t look splotchy. Maybe practice on a board to get your technique down. You have to work fast so that plaster doesn’t dry up on you. Good luck!

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