Venetian stucco: all about this wall decoration technique.

Venetian stucco is one of the most popular decorative techniques for walls and ceilings. A painting technique that dates back to the Renaissance period and that allows to renovate the rooms in your home in a simple and quick way, adding an unique and elegant touch to them.

The decorative finish achieved with Venetian stucco perfectly simulates that of marble, an exclusive texture that adds elegance to walls and ceilings. But what exactly does Venetian stucco, also known as wall stucco, consist of?

In this article we will answer the main questions about it : what is it ? its main advantages, where can it be applied and the step-by-step instructions for applying Venetian stucco or wall stucco.

pared con estuco veneciano en salon
Living room in which the wall has been covered with Venetian stucco in ochre.

What is Venetian stucco?

Venetian stucco is a decorative coating that originated in Venice Italy in the 15th century. It is a decorative technique for ceilings and especially for walls, hence it is also called wall stucco, whose finish and texture resemble polished marble.

It is a finish and decorative coating for walls and ceilings, both interior and exterior. It composes of lime, powdered marble, plaster and natural pigments.

Venetian stucco is available in numerous colours. Its versatility, which stands out for the resistance on walls and ceilings is beyond aesthetics. An aesthetic characterised by a smooth texture and a velvety shine.

Main characteristics of Venetian stucco

As mentioned previously, the Venetian stucco technique came from Venice, exactlly from the Renaissance period, when moulding and carving were the leading roles to obtain unique ornamentation.

Here are the main characteristics that make Venetian stucco or wall stucco one of the dominant decorative coatings 6 centuries after its origin.

• Venetian stucco´s humidity resistance and breathability

Two advantages that make Venetian stucco or wall stucco a coating that prevents accumulated and condensed damp, reinforces and waterproofs walls and ceilings and also facilitates natural breathability.

• Venetian stucco uses natural materials

The components that make up Venetian stucco are natural. They are non-toxic and have anti-mould and anti-bacterial properties.

• Venetian stucco is very easy to clean

Venetian stucco is very easy to maintain, an added value in the choice of this wall and ceiling covering. A wet cloth is all you need to clean it.

• Venetian stucco´s high durability

Venetian stucco is a decorative coating that has great durability, so if you choose this technique to cover walls or ceilings, you will have a coating in perfect condition for a long time.

• Venetian stucco´s high decorative value

Venetian stucco is proof that simplicity is not antagonistic to elegance. In fact, Venetian stucco represents elegance, sophistication, excellence and even luxury, few other decorative coatings can achieve.

Venetian stucco main bedroom wall
Colourful bedroom with Venetian stucco on the main wall.

Where can Venetian stucco be used?

Although Venetian stucco can be used outdoors, it is most commonly used to decorate interior spaces. The rooms in which this technique is most usually be seen are hallways, living rooms and bathrooms. Although it is possible to cover all the walls, we recommend using Venetian stucco on a single wall so that it highlights the visual impact. Another tip is that the wall on which you decide to apply Venetian stucco or wall stucco should be a darker colour than the rest of the walls.

Deciding to use Venetian stucco on the bedroom walls is not a bad idea, although it is less likely to be found in bedrooms, this decorative technique is also very visually attracted. In this case lighter tones are dominate . Colours such as white, beige or grey stand out and give a new style to the main wall of bedroom so that it beams a magnificent style.

Venetian stucco is also often applied to ceilings, especially in rooms with high ceilings. Using this technique not only enhances the height of the room, but also creates a visual "nearness" to the floor, resulting in a cosy yet amazing room.

Ground floor with Venetian stucco walls
Large ground floor of a house where Venetian stucco has been used to decorate the walls.

How to apply Venetian stucco on walls

Now that you have known exactly what Venetian stucco is, where it can be used and what the most important characteristics are, you are probably wondering how to apply it on walls and ceilings.

In this section we explain the step-by-step process of applying Venetian stucco or wall stucco. Take note!

1. Make sure the walls are in good condition before applying Venetian stucco

Check that the walls are in good condition: free of dust and without any irregularities, cracks or imperfections. In other words, completely smooth.

2. Mix the Venetian stucco with the chosen dye

The next step is to mix the stucco paste with the chosen dye in a bucket and stir until the desired texture and colour is achieved, or you can buy a stucco paint, a ready-to-use paste already pigmented and ready to decorate the wall.

3. Apply first coat of Venetian stucco

Now it is time to start decorating the wall or ceiling with Venetian stucco. Apply the first coat of Venetian stucco evenly with a trowel so that the surface is as smooth as possible.

When the wall is completely covered, leave to dry for at least 6 hours. After the time, use a spatula or sandpaper to smooth the surface and remove any remaining burrs.

4. Apply a second coat of Venetian stucco

Apply a second coat of Venetian stucco to the wall or ceiling following the same process as in the previous step. In this case, let it dry for 24 hours and use a cloth to wipe off the dust.

5. Apply the third coat of Venetian stucco

Apply the third and final coat of Venetian stucco. Unlike the previous two coats, do it in an irregular manner and purposely leave points of the wall or ceiling unfilled. Allow to dry for about 30 minutes.

6. Polishing to achieve the marble effect

The last step consists of applying a layer of wax to polish the wall or ceiling on which the Venetian stucco decorative technique has been used. This wax leads to the marble effect that is the main characteristic of Venetian stucco.

A wax that not only gives the surface a shine, but also protects the Venetian stucco. The method of use of the wax is to apply it in a circular motion.

 Pared frontal baño con estuco veneciano
Cuarto de baño con estuco veneciano en la pared frontal.

Microcement, the best substitute for Venetian stucco for walls

What if we told you that there is another decorative coating that offers the same finish as Venetian stucco but is cheaper and has more advantages? This is the case of microcement, a decorative stucco capable of providing the same texture as Venetian stucco and is also equally resistant to environmental humidity, impermeable to running water if a sealant is used and very durable.

In addition, microcement allows walls and ceilings to be renovated quickly and without the need for building work or debris. Not to mention that it is resistant to sunlight (it can therefore be used outdoors), is cheaper and resists abrasion, wear and tear and friction. And best of all, as it is a coating that is compatible with practically all types of materials (tiles, ceramics, cement, plaster, plasterboard...), it can be applied in many more rooms, and considerably expanding the range of possibilities.

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