Simulated Fresco -
Plaster techniques Series 1
Rating 2.5 -moderate
Create old world charm or contemporary sophistication with these easy to follow
plaster effects and simulated Fresco techniques.
artSparx has created a 3 stage step-by-step tutorial series. Series 1 begins
with basic plaster application,
Series 2 illustrates antique glazing and
plaster distressing methods, culminating in the final fresco simulation
3, hand-painted elements. You can complete each tutorial as a finish and style
in it's own right. Or, depending on your interests and style needs, combine the
tutorials to achieve the hand-painted fresco appearance that will bring your
environment to life.
Series 1 - Plaster effects Application
Series 2 - Antique glazing and distressing
Series 3 - Hand-painted fresco elements
The color recipe for the following tutorial is for creating a classic, antique
plaster effect, ideal for most rooms and an excellent base color for
hand-painted fresco elements. You can also create additional plaster wall color
tones, in virtually any color combination. For additional color recipes visit
the artsparx color palette. To create alternate
colored plaster walls, simply follow this step-by-step tutorial, substituting
the base color suggested below with the base color specified in each color
recipes at the artsparx color palette, and
complete the effect using the glaze recipe from the selected Color Palette
Step 1: Remove
all nails and repair any damaged or cracked areas. Prime as needed. Refer to
the artSparx basic preparation resource for tips and techniques….
off all baseboard edges, ceiling edge, trim, window and door frames. Remove all
electrical and light switch cover plates. Cover furniture and floor areas with
|Choosing a base color and
For you basic aged plaster effect you will
start with a slightly off-white latex flat
wall paint. Benjamin Moore Linen White works
well as an off white base tone. In addition,
Plaster of Paris is required, plus a couple of
plaster trowels, 1 gallon bucket and some
Color Glaze' mixture and other color suggestions refer to the artsparx
|Mixing your 'fresco' plaster
You will be mixing the plaster/paint
combination in small batches, to insure the
compound does not dry out and become
unworkable as you move along your room. Use a
1 gallon bucket and pour approx. 1 quart of
your latex flat wall paint (Benjamin Moore
Linen White) into the container. Slowly add
handfuls of Plaster of Paris, stirring the
mixture thoroughly to insure the plaster
becomes fully integrated in the paint.
Continue to add plaster until you have
created a mixture with a smooth putty
|Applying the plaster compound
you have thoroughly mixed your plaster-paint
compound you can begin to trowel on the
plaster over your wall surface. Place a
portion of the plaster compound in a plaster
trough and, beginning at the top of your wall,
spread the plaster mixture over the surface
with a wide, flat trowel or putty knife.
Spread the plaster thinly over the wall,
adding more as needed. Using a second trowel
or putty knife, continually wipe blades
together to remove excess plaster build up on
the trowel edge. This also helps you re-work
the plaster surface without dragging more
plaster over the wall.
Create slight variations in texture over
the surface by dragging the trowel blade over
the surface. Experiment with different amounts
of pressure applied to the blade. A light,
even pressure will cause the trowel edge to
'skip' over the surface, creating variations
in surface texture. A harder, firmer texture
will result in smoother areas. Try and develop
a nice blending of smooth areas, with
occasional, irregular textures.
Use broad even strokes
to smooth out the plaster.
Creating a slight
texture is an important part of the
antique fresco appearance.
Carefully re-work the
plaster to smooth and create light
Wipe the trowel blade
against another putty knife frequently to
remove excess plaster build up.
Continue over the wall surface until you are
out of your plaster-paint mix. Mix up another
batch and continue onward until your have
completed the walls.
you reach a corner, simply apply the plaster
mixture with a small 1/2 inch brush and smooth
outward with a trowel. Your finger, dipped in
the plaster compound can also work well, as
long as you complete the corners by smoothing
the surfaces with the trowel edge.
Completed plaster surface
Allow the plaster walls to dry completely.
This may take up to 12 hours.
|Completing the fresco process
You are now ready to move onto
the next stage, Antique glazing and
distressing the plaster surface.
Series 2 Antiquing and
Series 3 Adding Hand
|Materials for United Kingdom
The materials remain the same. Simply
substitute your local paint brand in an
off white (Dulux Grecian White, for