DIY

How to Create a Concrete Look with Venetian Plaster

I love the look of concrete and it’s a great way to add an industrial or modern vibe to a room. However, adding a solid concrete wall or fireplace after the fact is usually not an option. But there is a way to achieve a really nice concrete look using Venetian plaster.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how I created a concrete look on one of the fireplaces in my sister-in-law’s house using Venetian plaster.

Use the Best Plaster

Before starting a plaster project, it’s important that you use the best product possible to ensure you get the best results.

Last year when I was planning out plaster range hood, I discovered FirmoLux. It’s an authentic plaster made from lime, marble, and other minerals and natural elements. You can order it online from VenetianPlaster.it and even get it tinted to match popular paint colors from Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Farrow & Ball.

We were so happy with the results of our plaster hood, that it was a no-brainer to use it again for this fireplace.

Tools and Materials

Here’s everything I used for this project:

Step 1: Apply Anchor Primer

Since this application was over exiting drywall, I used Anchor Primer to help the plaster stick to the surface. Before applying the primer, I taped off all of the edges to create a clean line between the fireplace and walls.

I used a smooth roller to apply an even coat over the entire area and let it dry overnight.

Step 2: Apply First Coat of Plaster

I decided to work on one side of the fireplace at a time. I started with the far left side. I loaded my hawk with a generous amount of the Cement Gray plaster and started in the upper right corner.

I applied a thin coat of plaster by holding the trowel at about a 15-degree angle. Then I increased the angle to about 30 degrees to spread the plaster with varying lengths of strokes. I repeated this until I had an even coat on the side I was working on. Then I did the same for the other two sides.

The wet plaster will be much darker than the actual color. So don’t panic thinking that you order the wrong color or they tinted it incorrectly. As it dries, it will get lighter.

I let the first coat dry overnight.

Step 3: Apply Second Coat

The next day, I applied the second coat of Venetian plaster.

The purpose of the second coat is to add texture and shade variation.

I added the second coat just like the first, but to add texture I used a skipping motion on the second pass. This leaves subtle voids in the plaster and gives it texture.

Concrete naturally has some shade variation. So as I applied the second coat of Cement Gray, I added in some Pure White by putting a little on my trowel and working it in different areas to lighten up the color.

Step 4: Burnish the Plaster

After the second coat had completely dried, I burnished the surface. I did this with a clean trowel held at a 30-degree angle. I went over the entire hood in circular motions giving the plaster a polished finish in areas.

Step 5: Clean the Surface

The last and final step is to clean any dust off of the surface. I did this by wiping the entire fireplace with a damp cloth.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Valentine

    Hello,

    Love the look. I’m about to try this DIY myself and I was hoping you could share with me how much material you’ve needed for this project.

    Thank you in advance,
    Valentine

    November 24, 2020 at 7:08 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Valentine. Thanks! We used about 3 gallons on this fireplace.

      November 27, 2020 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply Tony Fiocco

    Hi To get exact quantity of plasters, feel free to contact me with your square footage, and I can assist with that.

    For every 100 Ft^
    -Anchor Primer – 2 pints
    -Marmorino Piatto – 2.5 gallons

    Thanks
    Tony Fiocco
    941.366.5550
    941.962.1541 Text

    November 27, 2020 at 5:08 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Thanks for sharing that Tony!

      November 28, 2020 at 4:52 pm
  • Reply Becca

    Hi Henry! We’re building a new home, and planning to do a plaster surround for our gas fireplace. Did you have to reinforce with stone or cement around the opening of the fireplace because of heat? Our builder is concerned about the damage to the plaster and would like us to surround the fireplace opening with stone or cement, but that’s not really the look I was hoping for. Thank you!

    December 10, 2020 at 4:18 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Becca. I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Plaster is used all the time for fireplace surrounds. But you still are unsure, you should contact Tony from FirmoLux. He’s extremely knowledgable when it comes to plaster!

      December 10, 2020 at 10:22 pm

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