Can You Paint Over Venetian Plaster Walls?

Venetian plaster is an excellent wall treatment for areas susceptible to getting wet, such as the bathroom and kitchen.

It has the versatile and durable composition of materials like sand, lime, and cement, helping to prevent the accumulation of moisture inside the finished wall.

However, you would still want to maintain the beauty of your home after applying Venetian plaster.

You can paint over Venetian plaster walls, as it is the only way to bring out the beauty of your home. Before painting, you need to prepare the surface of the wall properly. Surface preparation process involves cleaning and using the right primer. The primer would make the wall more adhesive, allowing the paint to stick properly to the surface.

Can You Paint Over Venetian Plaster Walls?

While it is possible to paint over Venetian plaster walls, you need to know how to do it properly to avoid making a mess on your wall.

In this article, I will show you the step-by-step procedure of painting over Venetian plaster walls. Read on to learn how to do it.

How to Apply Paint over Venetian Plaster Walls

Venetian plaster does not look bad after applying it; it has a soft, earthy look and feel.

However, the product’s look might not blend with your interior décor.

Hence, painting the plastered wall is the only way to reclaim the beauty of your home.

Furthermore, painting over polished surfaces can be demanding.

You need to do a lot of preparation, and you need the right tools for the job.

Before we get started, here are the tools and materials you need for this job:

  • Clean towel
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Mineral spirits
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Paint tray
  • Paint sprayer
  • Paintbrush
  • Palm sander
  • A cup
  • Painter’s tape

With all those materials and tools in place, here are the steps to guide you through painting over the plaster.

Step One: Skim Coat the Plaster to Seal Every Hole

Grease and dust are normal things on walls, especially for those living in places with high humidity.

You cannot just apply a layer of paint on your Venetian plaster; you need to check it first.

Check the wall for damages on the plaster. Over time, plastered walls might get damaged in some sections.

There might be cracks, dust, and grease on the surface, so you need to fix that before applying paint.

The best way to fix any problem on the plastered wall is to skim coat the surface.

Skim coat every section of the plastered wall with a defect.

Do not leave any holes unsealed. After skim coating and sealing every hole on the surface, allow it to dry and set for some time.

Step Two: Clean the Skim Coated Surface

Once the surface is dry, the next step is to clean it properly to get rid of any dust on the surface.

You need a lint-free, clean cloth and mineral spirit to clean the surface.

Pour one-fourth of the liquid on the cloth to dampen it and rub it against the wall.

Do not apply much pressure while cleaning the surface to avoid creating an uneven surface.

Leave it for a few minutes to allow the spot to dry.

When it dries, recheck the surface if there is any layer of dust or wax and get rid of them.

If there is no dust on the surface, proceed to the next step.

Step Three: Use an 80-Grit Sandpaper to Sand the Surface

Attach 80-grit sandpaper to the palm sander and sand the surface. Sand every area of the wall, but do it gently.

If the mineral spirit did not remove most of the stains on the wall, use sandpaper to get rid of the remaining stain.

Once you have successfully removed the stains on the surface, use a damp cloth to wipe the dust and debris.

Read: Sandpaper Grit Scale

Step Four: Use a 120-Grit Sandpaper to Sand the Surface

This step involves using 120-grit sandpaper to sand the wall.

Once you are done with the previous step, remove and replace the 80-grit sandpaper with 120-grit sandpaper and sand the entire surface again.

This step will make the plastered surface smoother and ready for painting.

It would create a better texture to make the paint stick to the wall firmly.

Step Five: Use the Painter’s Tape to Cover Switch Plates and Outlets

Chances are there are switch plates or electrical outlets on the surface of the wall you want to paint.

Before applying the primer and paint, you need to take care of the switch plates and electrical outlets.

Use the painter’s tape to cover any trim, switch plates, or electrical outlets to avoid getting the paint on them.

Your goal is to change the wall’s color and not the outlets.

Furthermore, we recommend you spread a cloth on the floor to avoid making a mess while painting the wall.

Step Six: Apply the Primer

The next step is to prime the surface. The primer is essential when painting most surfaces, and Venetian plaster walls are not exempted.

You need the paint tray to apply the primer.

Pour a few inches of quartz or alkyd primer into the paint tray.

Make sure you use a high-quality primer for the job.

Apply even and thin coats for the best result.

Use an edging brush to apply the primer around the areas with the painter’s tape.

Use a long-handled roller to finish the remaining part of the surface.

After applying the primer on the entire surface, allow it to dry.

Allow the wall to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Read also: Can You Put Paint Rollers in the Dryer?

Step Seven: Apply the Paint

At this stage, you should have the paint of your choice ready. The best type of paint to use on plastered surfaces is latex paint.

Get your paint tray and fill it about halfway with the paint.

Use a long-handled and clean roller to paint the wall except around the painter’s tape.

Use an edging brush to paint around the painter’s trim.

Once again, allow the paint to dry and set according to the manufacturer’s directive.

Step Eight: Get Rid of the Painter’s Tape

The best time to remove the painter’s tape is when the paint has not dried completely.

Removing it while the paint is still damp would help preserve the smoothness and quality of the painted surface.

The painter’s tape might pull up dried paint if you take it off after the paint is dried.

Nevertheless, if anything goes wrong while removing the painter’s tape, you can use a small brush to apply a little paint.

You can also apply an extra coat of paint if there is any need.

However, before applying the extra coat, ensure the first coating is properly dried.

Step Nine: Clean Up

The last step is to clean up paint splatters and spills.

Check the floors and baseboards for wayward paint and clean properly.

Ensure you do the cleaning before the paint sets fully, as it would be more difficult to clean after then.

Can I Sand Venetian Plaster?

You can sand dry Venetian plaster. However, you need to sand it in a circular motion with ultra-fine grit sandpaper (we recommend 400-grit sandpapers) for a marble-like finish.

You can use up to 600-grit dry sandpaper for a higher sheen.

Clean the surface with a damp cloth after sanding.

Can I Paint over Old Venetian Plaster?

It is possible to paint over old plaster, but you will not get your desired result.

If you want the paint to stick to the surface properly, apply a sealer before applying the paint.

Painting on old plaster requires a lot of preparation work, which is highly demanding and time-consuming.

Is It Necessary to Use a Primer before Painting Old Plaster?

If you want to get a smooth and excellent finish, you need to apply primer on the old plaster before painting.

Without the primer, the paint might not adhere to the surface properly.


You can paint over Venetian plaster walls. Nevertheless, you need to prepare the surface for the paint to stick properly.

You can follow the steps listed in this guide to prepare your Venetian plaster wall before applying paint.

As we mentioned earlier, you can do this as a DIY project or hire professionals if you lack the expertise and do not have the right tools.

Cheers, tools owners!

Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.