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IMPORTANT: Do this on at least a 2 square foot sample board before committing to the real thing. It's easy once you figured it out.
Veneziano can be applied soft and subtle for an elegant larger scale application, or it can applied with a polished marble sheen. Check out other possibilities of applications in artistic techniques videos and text.
Our plasters dry much lighter then when wet. Don't be surprised when opening the bucket.
REMEMBER: IT'S A 2 COAT APPLICATION. APPLY THE 1ST COAT, LET IT COMPLETELY DRY, THEN DO THE 2ND. EACH COAT TAKES AT LEAST 1 DAY TO DRY.
1. Trowel on a thin buttery coat of plaster. Let it completely dry. It might take overnight.
2. On your dried plaster coat, apply thinner compressed strokes of plaster. Again you can make it very subtle, or polish it for more drama. Apply thin, compressed, scraped coats of product, burnishing (polishing with the edge of your trowel) the plaster as it dries. OR you can apply slightly creamier coats and not burnishing it at all. Burnish it only when the plaster is at a clay like consistancy-not sticky and not totally dry. Let each area set up a little before you apply another thin layer and burnish it.
3. When the second coat is totally dry, you can unmask, leave it alone, or you can wax it or seal it. For the unburnished less dramatic method, we recommend sanding it with a worn fine sanding sponge or something similar, then wiping the excess dust off with a damp rag. This will slightly sand it, feathering out any unwanted microtexture, and this will help accent the wall with giving more color variation. You can sand out corners and other troubled areas with a a sanding sponge, 600 grit sand paper or #0000 steel wool.
4. For the really polished and smooth version, we recommend applying three coats, very thinly , only burnishing the last coat as you plaster the wall. Always let coats completely dry before the next.
Getting the plaster off the hawk is easy is easy after about 20 minutes of practice. First scoop a bit of plaster from the bucket onto the hawk. There are special tools for that that in the drywall or concrete section of a hardware store. Or you can use a spatula knife or whatever works.
The first time the hawk is used, it will react a little with the aluminum of the hawk. It will feel very slippery for a few minutes then stay on with no problems.
Sometimes plaster will be thinner than usual. Sometimes almost soupy. Deeper colors have more tint. In fact up to 3-4 quarts of tint per 5 gallon bucket. When we mix it, it can take some time to settle or thicken for easier use. If the plaster is soupy, put on very small amounts on the hawk. Like this it will air dry a little and be easier to work with. Take only small slivers of the plaster with your trowel. This will take longer, but it will be less messy. Another trick is to have a small paint roller and roll on small sections and trowel them out. You can make it look identical to a normal trowel method.
Finally getting the plaster on the hawk. Don't scrape it off the hawk. Cream it off the top compressing the plaster a little at the same time. You can take little or lots of the hawk depending on what you're plastering. Don't scoop the plaster from the hawk. This is what most beginners do. Just compress it and skim it from the top not scraping the metal of the hawk. New trowels will be slippery at first with the plaster. After a few minutes the plaster will stick better to the metal of the trowel, like the hawk. It's like 'priming the metal'.
If you're going for a more subtle look without much variation and polish, spread the first coat about 1/32 to 1/8" of an inch thick over on the wall. Work top to bottom. Trowel it like butter. Always trowel at an angle. Never lay it flat. Whatever texture you end up with on the first coat will determine much of final variation of color on your finished product. If you want texture and more interest, give the first coat a little texture here and there. As it starts to dry, you can go back and mess with it a little- adding here, taking away there. As it dries, it will tend to tear a little on your trowel. Spraying water on the plaster will help with this issue. Your second coat will will act differently from your first.
Use smaller tools or even cut pieces of plastic to get into tight areas. The best way is adding water to a little plaster and making a thick slurry. You can then brush on the slurry to areas, like tight door jams, pipes, wires, covers, etc.
If you want the wall to be polished like marble, apply your first coat about 1/32" on an inch thick. Make it as flat as you can. Flatten out more textured areas as it dries spraying with water the areas you flatten out. For a perfect smooth polished wall do three coats of plaster. Do the second coat like you did your first. You'll notice that this time you'll be able to he wall compress flatter layers into your first coat. Don't try burnishing it here. You'll see that the wall will become very smooth and flat allowing for very thin last coat, which for convenience sake we'll call the...
For the more subtle elegant look, apply the plaster top to bottom at about a 1/32" of an inch. You'll have areas where you scraped it on, and areas slightly thicker. Don't apply it like joint compound. It's not a texture mud. You can apply it in layers, allowing each layer to set up a little, like clay, before you apply more on top. You can scrape on some layers and leave others a little creamier. You can also leave some of the first coat exposed here and there. The layering technique will give you more depth and variation, even if it's subtle one. As it starts to dry, you can compress the plaster with the edge of your clean trowel holding it at an angle. This is burnishing. Do this lightly once or twice. The more you do this the more dramatic and polished your wall will become. So don't over do it if your going for a quiet classic look.
For the high polished burnished look, apply very thin compressed layers as you last coat. When you first do this, the layers will dry withing seconds. If you apply another paper thin layer over that area, you'll have more open time, letting the plaster dry slower. Continue layering super thin layers of plaster on top of one another. You need very little material on your trowel as you do this. Burnish as you go. Compress it with the egde of your trowel at an angle. You'll start seeing a high polish right away. This is were your trowel has to be perfectly smooth and clean, otherwise you'll have scratches. Keep adding thin layers. Each layer will add more variation and depth of color when burnished. Burnished areas will be darker than the unburnished areas. If you get scratches as you go, apply slightly thicker plaster layers on the scratch, let it set up, then apply another layer over that, then burnish. Again, make sure your trowel is perfectly smooth. You can come back when the wall is mostly dry, and give it a last burnish for that extra pop.
As you will learn on your sample, if your over burnish it when it's still a little tacky or wet, it can crack or tear. If you keep burnishing with too much force, it can also tear. Make sure you apply plaster wet on wet so you don't get lines where you stopped. Do the whole wall at once. If it's a large area, mist water on the areas where you stopped, without letting it streak down the walls. That way you have more time to work with.