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Polished Plaster / Venetian Plaster - Black like Italian Slate

Afternoon all, been a while but the renovation continues with a lot more of the same.

However a new one for me I’m hoping you can help with. Was going to put in a Slate fireplace behind an Oak mantle piece. But struggling to justify the cost of having it custom cut. I read about Black Polished Plaster but have never done it.

Wandering if any of you have done this, how achievable it might be and if it’s worth the effort?

Also what products/paints/tools might I need to have a crack at this? Am hoping build the hearth, sides and back area of the fireplace inset.

Appreciate any guidance as always … TP being my ‘go-to’ resource. All the best AH64

As always, the moment you post, you find an article!!! :slight_smile:

Andy hi, trying take a look at this but for some reason the pics are not showing for me … is it my end or can you repost it maybe? Looks like might be the sort of resource I need be looking at.


Hi amateurhour64
This is one I might be able to help with. I am trained as a Venetian plasterer and would be able to point in the right direction.
Good Venetian finish is a 3/4 coat system, not including primer or a wax finish. Choose natural products and not the synthetic copy. Natural is made up of lime and marble dust combined and slagged. Covering small areas with the material is a challenge but possible.
The smallest amount of plaster that can be bought is 8kgs of base and 8kgs of a finish at £59.95 each. Colourant is an extra cost as is wax and primer.
Anyway, process and any other information, Im happy to share but fear that it will take up to much space - if you want I can email or at least point in direction of a supplier in the UK. Below is a you tube link of an applicator who does a very tidy job, although I do realise that you were not looking to cover such a large area. The trowel work is the process that is taught to new applicators and provides the simplest of patterns. Creativity and confidence to take on trial and error, will potentially take an applicator into some amazing results.

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Hi Howzz and many thanks for coming back to me … apologies to be late on reply.

Yes materials sound expensive … I feared they might be but have to say, all the ‘upgraded’ product that I’ve invested in (as a result of TP’er’s advice over the years) I’ve not regretted one bit. Quite the reverse … finding all these super products and paints is like having had Aldi and Tesco steak for years (no issue with that) but then having a Thomahawk steak at Wolfgang Pucks place on Park Lane. Is it expensive. … sure as *** it is, is it better, damn right it is … by quite a huge factor. :slight_smile: … and so it goes with this stuff.

Possible to list a few examples (names/sizes/makes etc) of each of the 3/4 coats? And maybe some links? Or as you say a supplier you can recommend?

As for process, Certainly for me it would in no way take up too much space and I very much doubt for the TP folk on here. That’s why we all come hear, to listen to folks who genuinely know their stuff and are happy to share in a way that makes us amateur confident to dip a toe.

Although the target area we are looking at doing is relatively small, these things have a habit of growing!!! So whatever I can master here, I have zero doubt will grow into other areas … I was relatively happy with my paint finishes prior to 2013 and finding TP before learning the ‘dark ways’ of Kodrin Spachtel or Presonett Joint Filler and decent paints … the likes of which I’d never heard of!!!_:slight_smile:

So please share as much ‘step by’ data as you have the time to spare. Or if you have any links to ‘step by’ articles or videos (such as the one you kindly sent) they are in no way wasted. Even though I have mastered some of the ‘No.10 door finish’ and ‘flat wall plaster polishing’ and done a huge number of rooms here, I still refer to those same articles to remind the best way to do on a regular basis. Absolutely invaluable. Would be great if you could do the same here. I have found an article done by another Tp’er but the photos don’t show unfortunately.

Appreciate you taking the time to steer me the right direction. Look forward to hearing from you

That is superb information, thanks for sharing.

Morning Howzz … did you get any chance to respond to post? Would love to read and see more on this subject … think it’s a really solid subject that many folks of TP would love to learn more on.

Any other folks got any input? … exciting topic!

Sorry amateurhour64 should have got back sooner. Depending on where you are in the country, I would be happy to find a way of getting over to you and help.
The following links are websites and both are owned by the same person. I normally go through the first.
Coverit plaster is a Venetian plaster producer but also have very good guides with regards their products.

For the Classic Venetian plaster need to combine the next 2 links (only need to prime once)

The following link is for a person called Andy and he owns the supply companies - reference the first 2 links

It is worth learning to plaster, I transfer skills across to the paint side and knowledge back to the Venetian plaster.

Take advantage of this post by saying how much I like Mylands emulsion because it has added marble aggregate, very resilient.
As a thought, and I am aware that this is a painting forum and not plastering, but in my dining room I have a Venetian plaster fire brace and either side are walls with a good quality paint. I never have a problem of moisture building up on the Venetian wall but I do on the painted walls. I did have staining before i plastered. However, I think the combination of both materials (paint and plaster) compliments. I like the plain walls which are punctured by an explosion of Venetian creativity. Do like the combination of the following:

My 2019 hope is that the British get a bit more daring

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Howzz good evening to you and sincere apologies for the huge delay in coming back to you … especially as the data you kindly posted was first class and comprehensive.

Life distracted (as it can…way too often) and I had to park that particular project but I will 100% be returning to this later this year and your data is first class in preparing for that new lesson and experience.

I feel bad I left it so long to come back to you and can only apologise again. Fear not I promise you the effort made will not be ignored and I 100% will be having a crack at this.

I don’t recall a post or request for help I’ve made on TP that I ignored … took a while to get to for sure, but always followed with better results than I dare ever imagine. The benefits of us amateurs learning from folks who really know their stuff.

Thanks again.

Hi Amateurhour64
I run a building and refurb business with my son. Over the years the stress of working in people’s houses has had a detrimental effect on my health. I would walk away from this business tomorrow if the option was there. However, the reward comes trying to help people and so I appreciate you taking the time to feed back. Don’t worry about the delay, absolutely understand that life has the habit of throwing the odd curve ball.
A few doors down from where I live is a young couple who have office jobs. Anyway, I observed him slowly install a chequered tiled path up to his front door - a fantastic job that would challenge even the most seasoned of pros. So, I would say take your time and enjoy the projects - I’m sure you will.

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