Plaster Faux Finish with Joint Compound?

I am trying to get a venetian plaster look in my house. I wanted to try to use drywall mud to create the texture with deeper / thicker results and I am not sure now how to paint it. Does one have to use the plaster in a can to achieve this look or can I paint over the drywall finish with a product that leaves the darker colors behind and the lighter tones to the surface? ~Rob Paulin

The above picture is of the Old World Plaster Finish that I did a few years ago.

This is my favorite and most popular finish as a professional. I believe this is what you are trying to achieve with the lighter tones on the surface and the darker tone in the recessed areas.

I prefer NOT to use drywall mud for this finish because you will need to prime it before painting. You also run the risk of moisture getting into it when you start painting, and glazing.

Behr actually makes a texture paint that comes in 2 gallon buckets in both smooth and sand finishes. This can be applied to the wall with either a roller or a trowel. Here are the steps that you will need to follow in order to achieve this finish.

1. Apply Plaster – apply to the wall with a 6″ putty knife, pat the wet plaster with a trowel, and knock down with your 6″ putty knife. This is what gives the plaster pattern & texture.

2. Sand - this step is optional depending on how smooth you want your plaster. I like to spot sand areas where you can see lines left from the trowel. Be sure to wipe away the dust that is left from sanding, with a rag.

3. Paint – you can use any color (light to medium tone). I use 2 coats of latex paint. There is no need to prime with this plaster. Let it dry overnight.

4. Mix Glaze & Paint – This is the fun part. You will need a dark color. Don’t be afraid to pick a dark color, because you will be mixing it – 1 part paint to 3 parts glaze. You will also be washing it off with water, so the glaze will lighten up a lot.

5. Apply Glaze – Use a chip brush and apply in random strokes in a 2 -3 ft section.

6. Wash Glaze In – Have a bucket of water ready, dip a big kitchen sponge into the water, ring out until damp and then wash the glaze into the wall.

7. Wash Glaze Off – Wash out your sponge, ring out the water, and then gently wash off the surface of the wall. The light base color will show through leaving the darker glaze color in the recessed areas of the plaster finish.

I hope this helps. Please keep us posted on how it goes. ~ Dawn

Venetian Plaster Othello

4 Piece Set Plaster Trowel Set

Best Look Faux Finish Glaze

Woolie  Lambwool Faux Appl Tool

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  1. Wade says

    You say ” Behr actually makes a texture paint that comes in 2 gallon buckets in both smooth and sand finishes “, so which one should I use?

    Then in the instructions, step 1 you say “APPLY PLASTER – ….” Are you actually talking about the 2 gallons of BEHR Texctured paint or a plaster that I can’t find any mention of elsewhere in this article? Thanks Wade

  2. THAT Painter Lady says

    Hello Wade, Yes, Behr makes a texture paint. The texture you choose (smooth or sand) is totally up to you. In the above finish, Dawn uses the smooth finished texture paint, which she also refers to as “plaster”.

  3. THAT Painter Lady says

    Hi Kim!
    I’m sorry but I don’t know what color was used on the walls. That was written by a guest faux finisher and she never mentioned a color. It looks a lot like a terracotta color to me but … the color may look different on my monitor than on your monitor. I wish I could give you a better answer. Sorry.


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