How to apply decorative plaster correctly?

The modern market of finishing materials never ceases to amaze consumers with products for every taste and color. Beautiful decorative plasters with different shades and textures are very popular..

Today we will take a closer look at these finishing materials and consider in stages how to apply them correctly..


Everyone dreams of making their home as comfortable and cozy as possible. This goal can be achieved by beautifully and competently decorating a house or apartment. Fortunately, today’s homeowners have everything they need to do this, from a variety of finishing mixes to luxurious hard cladding..

Such an attractive material as decorative plaster deserves special attention..

If you are tired of classic and unremarkable environments, then it is perfect for you. With the help of high-quality decorative plaster, you can give your home a unique look. Currently, there are mixtures in stores that have different textures and colors, which allows customers to choose an interesting and reliable option for decoration in any style, be it ultra-modern high-tech or artsy baroque..

Do not think that such finishing materials can only be used to decorate the interior of the home. Modern manufacturers produce high-quality decorative plasters for facades.

Such coatings are reliable and durable – they are not afraid of precipitation and temperature changes.

Also, decorative varieties of plaster mixes have a unique appearance.. It is to these finishing materials that they turn to when creating spectacular panels, embossed surfaces in the form of paintings or uniform patterns.. As a result of applying such coatings, the interior becomes truly original and bright. Often, reliefs applied to walls combine many different shades. Thanks to such combinations, the decoration acquires volume and literally comes to life, transforming the interior or facade of the building as a whole..

This finishing material also differs in that, if desired, it is quite possible to replace it. For example, if you are tired of the original shade of the plaster, you have the opportunity to change it without any problems at your discretion. It is worth noting here that it can be not only perfectly smooth and uniform, but also a relief coating or a beautiful panel..

A distinctive feature of decorative plaster is a rather deep relief. Otherwise, it is called a bas-relief. It protrudes several centimeters above the surface of the base. Of course, there are also such plasters that have an almost smooth surface and stand out exclusively in color. Both options look aesthetically pleasing, but the choice is always up to the buyer..

Today, in the stores of building and finishing materials, there are quite interesting decorative plasters, which, when applied to various substrates, imitate natural surfaces. For example, it can be a drawing under a tree. Such coatings are applied both with an ordinary spatula and with a roller with a special nozzle..

Of course, such finishing materials are more expensive, but they look very interesting and fresh..

Most decorative plaster mixes are plastic. Thanks to this feature, such materials are very easy to apply, and it is convenient to work with them. That is why not only experienced craftsmen can apply them on various bases, but also beginners who have not encountered such works before..

Advantages and disadvantages

If you decide to turn to such an effective finishing material as decorative plaster, then you should familiarize yourself with all its strengths and weaknesses..

To begin with, consider what are the advantages of this mixture:

  • High-quality decorative plaster boasts good strength characteristics. She is not afraid of mechanical damage and various external influences.
  • It is impossible not to mention the beautiful appearance of this finish. Decorative plaster can completely transform the interior or facade of a house, giving them a unique flavor.
  • This finish will last a very long time and will not lose its attractive appearance..

  • Decorative plaster does not crumble or crumble even many years after application. Of course, a lot depends on the quality of the finishing work: if you followed the instructions and applied such material correctly, then it will not collapse and deform.
  • Many consumers turn to decorative plaster, as it can be used to hide various wall defects that are found in many homes. Of course, we are talking about minor cracks and irregularities. Decorative plaster simply cannot cope with significant damage.
  • Decorative plaster is also good because it is a versatile material. It can be applied to a wide variety of substrates. It can be wood, brick, concrete, metal and many other materials..

  • This finish is used for both indoor and outdoor decoration, which once again confirms its versatility..
  • A high-quality mixture is not afraid of temperature changes and frost.
  • Such plaster has sound insulation properties, so it is often used for wall decoration both in apartments and in private houses..

  • Branded plaster mixes are not afraid of dampness and moisture.
  • Decorative plaster is an environmentally friendly finishing material. It contains no hazardous components and toxic substances, so such material can be safely used to decorate a home.
  • These materials are vapor permeable.

Thanks to this quality, the bases on which the decorative plaster is applied “breathe” and there are no traces of mold or mildew on them..

  • This finishing material does not cause allergic reactions either during application or after drying..
  • Decorative plaster does not have a pungent and unpleasant odor, so during its application you will not get sick or dizzy.
  • It is possible to apply this material with your own hands. It will not be difficult to trim this or that base with a plaster mixture, and you can easily do without the help of specialists..
  • In stores you can find decorative plaster in a variety of colors and textures..
  • This material does not require expensive and scrupulous care..

As you can see, this finishing material has a lot of advantages. That is why many homeowners who are looking for a truly high-quality and beautiful material for home decoration turn to decorative plaster..

However, despite the impressive list of advantages, decorative plaster has some disadvantages.. Let’s consider them in more detail:

  • The biggest drawback that discourages people from buying this material is the high cost. Plaster is much cheaper.
  • Many consumers attribute the disadvantages of this material to the fact that for its application it is necessary to carefully prepare the base, and this often takes a lot of time..
  • If you want to dismantle decorative plaster from the base, then you will have to spend a lot of time and effort – it is not so easy to do this..
  • Some homeowners find the process of applying decorative plaster very difficult. That is why most users turn to the services of professionals when they decide to decorate the walls with this material..

  • The decorative plaster layer may swell. In order not to face such a serious problem, you need to apply this material correctly. In case of mistakes, swelling appears most often.
  • Also, ugly stains may appear on such a finish. This problem also makes itself felt if you applied the plaster incorrectly or used a poor-quality solution..
  • Home craftsmen are often faced with the flaking of the finishing layer of decorative plaster. Like the above, this defect occurs due to improper application and illiterate preparation of the base..

This finishing material has much fewer minuses than pluses. Moreover, many problems can be avoided by following the instructions for applying the plaster..

Experts strongly advise against buying too cheap plaster mixes.. Such products, most likely, are not of the highest quality..

Low-quality plaster will not last long and will quickly require replacement, and this is an extra waste.


There are several ingredients in the decorative plaster:

  • Binder, which can be traditional lime and synthetic components such as polyurethane or acrylic resin. The main purpose of these components is to ensure the maximum plasticity of the solution. Thanks to this, the master has more time to create the desired decor and pattern..
  • Also in the composition of decorative plaster there is a filler:
    1. clinker Portland cement of white color (for example, a multi-colored version);
    2. pigments;
    3. multicolored placeholders.

    • Solid elements are also used as fillers, such as:
      1. marble chips;
      2. quartz sand;
      3. wood fibers;
      4. granite chips;
      5. granules of synthetic origin.

      Of course, the proportion of solid components in decorative plaster is much less, but when calculating the mass of the composition, it is important to take them into account..

        • Also, such finishing materials contain the following additives:
          1. plasticizing;
          2. hydrophobic.

          The main purpose of these elements is to increase the resistance of the finishing material to the negative effects of dampness and moisture..


          Do not think that decorative plaster is represented by only one variety with a rough texture. Today, stores sell all kinds of mixtures with different structures. In addition, different types of plasters have different performance characteristics..

          Let’s take a closer look at the most popular and demanded of them, and also consider what properties are inherent in them..


          Many consumers prefer mineral decorative plaster. Most often, such mixtures are found in dry form.. They need to be stirred just before starting finishing work..

          Such types of plasters are very popular, since they are distinguished by increased strength characteristics and high vapor permeability. In addition, mineral formulations are not afraid to come into contact with moisture..

          Such material is white, therefore, after its application, the walls are most often additionally finished with paint and varnish coatings..

          This finishing material is also popular due to its affordable cost. Of course, there are also more expensive options on the market in which components such as glitter or marble chips are present. Such products can boast not only spectacular appearance, but also non-combustibility..

          It is also worth noting that mineral plaster is suitable for both interior and exterior decoration, as it is quite reliable and durable.

          However, this material also has disadvantages:

          • Mineral decorative plaster does not have sufficient elasticity. Because of this, it is not always easy to apply it, and over time, cracks may appear on an already dried surface..
          • It should also be borne in mind that the service life of the mineral coating is not too long. On average, such plaster lasts up to 10 years..
          • The mixture itself cannot be tinted, so you cannot do without buying additional paintwork for finishing.


          Silicate decorative plaster is made on the basis of a special liquid potash glass. This material is often used for exterior decoration of houses, since it cannot be called absolutely harmless to human health. This finishing material is quite durable, elastic and vapor-permeable. No mold or mildew forms on its surface, even in conditions of high moisture content in the air.

          Silicate plaster is sold ready-made, so you do not have to spend time mixing it before proceeding directly to the application. Many consumers choose exactly silicate plaster, because using it, you can choose the right color. However, the color gamut of this material is very scarce..

          If you decide to turn to a silicate mixture, then you should take into account that certain knowledge and experience are needed to apply it, since it dries very quickly and you will have almost no time to adjust..


          Acrylic decorative plaster is a ready-made water-dispersion mixture. It does not need to be stirred before starting work or prepared in any other way. This plaster contains a high molecular weight polymer – acrylic resin..

          The main advantage of acrylic mortar is its high elasticity. Over time, cracks do not appear on the surface, and the bases under such coatings do not undergo deformation, like the finishing material itself. Acrylic decorative plaster can be used for both interior and exterior decoration.

          However, this finishing material has one significant drawback – susceptibility to fire. Acrylic plaster is highly flammable and sustains combustion.

          For this reason, this mixture is strongly not recommended for use if the house has insulation from cotton wool..


          Decorative resins are the basis of such plaster. Due to this feature, such solutions acquire excellent characteristics. Silicone plasters are considered the most modern and high-tech.

          These ready-made formulations have the following positive qualities:

          • serve for a very long time;
          • boast resistance to moisture and moisture;
          • they are highly elastic, so they are easy to apply and do not crack / deform over time;
          • have excellent adhesion characteristics to almost any substrate;
          • are vapor permeable;
          • suitable both for the interior of the home and for the facade.

            Such plaster is capable of self-cleaning. In addition, it is not afraid of precipitation, so we can safely talk about its wear resistance..

            The main disadvantages of this material are the rather high cost and obligatory preparation of the base before direct application. Wherein for the base you need to use a special silicone primer, which is also expensive.


            Also, plasters are subdivided according to the type of filler into:

            • textured;
            • structural.

            Textured plaster is a finishing material with a composition in which not only a binder is present, but also various additives. This mixture can take on a wide variety of configurations. For example, this plaster is capable of imitating stone or wood..


            Structural plaster is no less popular nowadays. It, like textured one, is a heterogeneous mass, in which there are small pebbles, wood fibers, mica, quartz and other similar components..

            The following acts as a binder in such compositions:

            • latex;
            • potassium silicate;
            • cement-lime composition.

            Mixtures in which very small particles are present are distinguished by unsurpassed elasticity, despite the composition. Such plaster easily fits on a variety of substrates, be it walls made of wood, concrete or brick. Besides, the structural mixture can be applied and smoothed with any tool (some masters use the palm at all).

            These products are sold ready-made. They do not need to be kneaded and prepared for finishing work..

            Structural decorative plasters are found in stores in containers from 10 to 25 kg..


            Venetian plaster looks rich and pretentious. Outwardly, it is very similar to a marble surface. This amazing effect is achieved by adding stone dust to the mixture, which acts as a base..

            It is not so easy to work with this finishing material..

            To achieve the desired result, Venetian plaster cannot be applied in just one layer. Often it is necessary to apply this material in 5-6 layers..

            But it is worth considering that the indescribable beauty of the drawings that are obtained as a result is worth it..

            Today there are several varieties of Venetian plaster. Let’s consider them in detail.


            This unusual coating is made in antique style and fits perfectly into many interiors, and it can be not only retro or classic, but also a modern trend..

            To achieve the desired effect, you need to apply an additional layer of special varnish on top., which will serve as a topcoat. As a rule, this varnish dries slowly, while pulling off the layer of plaster, giving it an unusual look. At the same time, the finish does not suffer in any way and does not lose its positive characteristics..

            Carrara marble

            This is another of the varieties of Venetian plaster, which is distinguished by its excellent appearance. However, such a coating will not work with ordinary putty.. Here you only need to use a special mixture of a large number of layers..

            Natural Carrara marble is not found in interiors – it has practically ceased to be mined. However, modern manufacturers produce good finishing materials that imitate such a stone..

            Marseilles wax

            This type of plaster is almost no different from the usual Venetian. The only difference is that wax is pre-added to it, which gives the finishing material a unique visual effect. The result is not only a very beautiful, but also a reliable coating with improved performance characteristics..

            Such plaster can be used when decorating rooms with a high level of humidity, for example, a kitchen or bathroom.. If you want to make the environment truly chic, then Marseille wax will definitely suit you. Today there are many varieties of such decorative plaster..

            With the help of different mixtures, you can create all sorts of decorative effects, bringing notes of chic and shine to the interior..

            Bark beetle

            Decorative plaster with the memorable name “bark beetle” is acrylic and gypsum. Acrylic materials are ready to use, and gypsum materials are dry mixes that need to be prepared before starting work..

            By itself, the plaster “bark beetle” is a mixture of a composite composition, in which there are many small granules of marble and mineral chips. The granularity of this interesting material largely depends on the size of the granular components. The surface of the material consists of grooves with different widths and depths.

            The main advantages of this material are:

            • increased strength characteristics;
            • reliability;
            • environmental friendliness (due to natural and safe ingredients);
            • lightness, thanks to the mineral filler;
            • resistance to atmospheric precipitation;
            • not susceptible to fire;
            • does not require complex and expensive maintenance;
            • not afraid of mechanical damage;
            • presented in rich colors;
            • has a democratic price.

              Of course, like any other material, “bark beetle” plaster has its drawbacks:

              • if such a finishing material has acquired mechanical damage, it is unlikely that it will be possible to return it to its original appearance;
              • this plaster is not applied so easily, therefore it is better to entrust such work only to an experienced specialist.

              Fur coat

              Decorative plaster called “fur coat” has a rough surface. A similar finishing material came into fashion in the distant past, and now it is regaining its former popularity..

              Modern plaster “fur coat” is made using the same technology as in the past, but looks different. Today it is painted in a variety of shades. Thanks to such a finish, the furnishings can be significantly transformed, becoming stylish and original..

              Consider the advantages of this finishing material:

              • “Fur coat” has good soundproofing characteristics;
              • easy to apply;
              • this plaster can be applied with different tools: from a roller to a brush;
              • has an aesthetic and original look;
              • the decoration can be restored if necessary;
              • is inexpensive.

                But it must be borne in mind that dust adheres very quickly to this finish. Surfaces finished this way will have to be washed. It is recommended to use a jet of water for this..

                You do not need to do this too often, it will be enough to carry out the procedure every few years.


                One of the most popular decorative plasters today is silk imitation mix. This finishing material looks like a beautiful silk cloth, transferred to one or another base. This spectacular result is due to the presence of cellulose and cotton fibers in the plaster, as well as silk itself. In this mixture, of course, there are also polymer components that give it additional plasticity..

                Silk plaster looks expensive and elegant. It has a deep structure that attracts rave looks. Currently, this finish is found in stores in a variety of colors..

                Consider what advantages this finishing material has:

                • can be applied by hand;
                • forms a solid surface without joints and seams;
                • does not require alignment;
                • the possibility of repairing damaged fragments;
                • this material can be laid on a variety of bases.

                  Silk decorative plaster has much less disadvantages.. These include:

                  • the ability to absorb foreign odors;
                  • exposure to pollution;
                  • low wear resistance: do not place furniture too close to such a finish, otherwise it may wear off or be damaged in another way.

                  Consumption for 1 m²

                  All types of decorative plaster differ from each other in consumption.

                  • The most economical is the textured blend. – from 0.9 to 1.5 kg per 1 m² (to calculate more accurately, you should determine the degree of graininess of the composition). If there are finely dispersed components in the solution, then the consumption will be the smallest. If the grains in the plaster are larger (2-3 mm), then the consumption will increase and reach 1.2 kg. The consumption of coarse solutions is 1.5 kg per 1 m².
                  • Solutions containing quartz chips, are consumed in the same way as textured. If the mixture contains grains up to 2 mm, then the consumption will be about 2 kg per 1 m², if the grain diameter is 2-3 mm, then you will need 2.5-3 kg per 1 m².

                  • Acrylic-based formulations are distinguished by high consumption.

                  The consumption of fine-grained plaster will be 2.5 kg per 1 m², for grains of 2 mm – 3 kg per 1 m².

                  • Structural material for 1 sq. m (with a layer thickness of 1 mm) will be only 1 kg.
                  • Plaster called “bark beetle” is 2.4-4 kg per 1 m².
                  • Venetian mortar is 70-200 g per 1 m².


                  If you decide to apply decorative plaster yourself, you need to stock up on the right tools..

                  Here is a minimal set of them:

                  • putty knife;
                  • grater;
                  • trowel (you can use a plastic trowel);
                  • metal trowel;
                  • clean container for the plaster mixture;
                  • rollers;

                  • lighthouses;
                  • stencils (if you plan to apply patterns);
                  • stamps for plaster;
                  • paint (if the plaster has no color);
                  • water-based varnish;
                  • primer.

                  Application technology

                  It is necessary to apply decorative plaster strictly according to the instructions so that the finish is durable and reliable..

                  Let’s consider in detail how to correctly perform such work:

                  • First, the walls need to be prepared and only then proceed directly to the application of decorative plaster.
                  • If there are no significant defects and damage on the floors, then all preparation comes down to cleaning the working surface from the previous finish, dust and dirt. Then the base is primed.
                  • Old finishing materials can be removed with sandpaper, a construction float or a sander..
                  • If the overlap has a noticeable slope and large potholes, then it will not be possible to do without preliminary leveling..
                  • To level the walls, you need to remove all dust and dirt, and then apply a deep penetration primer mixture to the floors. This will provide the finish with better grip..

                  • Next, you need to identify what level of curvature the walls have. This can be done with a bubble or laser level..
                  • Mark the highest point of curvature, and then place a layer of plaster on it and attach a beacon to it..
                  • All other beacons must be installed, maintaining a distance of 1.5-1.8 m.At the corners, you need to retreat 30-60 cm.
                  • If you are using a dry mortar, then it is time to prepare it. If you have purchased a ready-made mixture, then it must be applied to the walls by the “spraying” method using a ladle or trowel.

                  • Make sure that the solution grasps a little.

                  After that, you can repeat its application..

                  • Further, relying on the beacons, draw the rule from the bottom up, leveling the surface of the walls and removing excess material.
                  • Grouting using a special trowel can only be started after the decorative plaster layer has dried..

                  Consider a general technique for applying Venetian plaster to walls:

                  • Venetian plaster is applied starting from the ceiling, and not from the floor, like other solutions.
                  • A small portion of the plaster mortar is placed on a large trowel (in the center). It must be applied from bottom to top in arcuate movements. In this case, a slight bias should be made..
                  • Next, the mixture must be distributed over the entire plane of the walls. It is advisable to do this as quickly as possible..
                  • The plaster layer must be thin and transparent..

                  • After that, the plaster must be allowed to dry. But it will take about 8 hours.
                  • Make the next layer darker. This will give you a marble-like surface..
                  • The second layer is applied with a trowel, like the starting layer. Try to put plaster on areas of intersection of strokes.
                  • The third and other layers must be applied with a small trowel. In this case, the movements should be shorter than before..

                  • The more layers you put on the walls, the more natural and attractive the finish structure will look..
                  • When you have applied the last layer of plaster (and there can be from 4 to 10), you need to wait about 15-20 minutes and polish the coating. A wide spatula is suitable for this. It needs to be pressed tightly against the finished wall and processed randomly, making interweaving of strokes.
                  • Such a surface will completely dry out within a week. Only after this is it permissible to proceed to the finishing of the floors with plaster. If you are using wax, then it should be placed on the base in a thin layer (a trowel is suitable for this).
                  • If you are applying varnish to the walls, then it is best to use a brush..

                  After all the operations carried out, you need to wait until all coatings are completely dry and proceed to painting the walls.


                  • If you do not know how to select separate areas for different cladding, you should purchase masking tape or window seal. With the help of these parts, you can make a convenient separation of the base surfaces..
                  • To form a beautiful relief, you do not need to buy expensive tools.

                  You can give the finish this texture using only a float and a spatula. It is also permissible to use any other means at hand.

                  • If you have prepared the walls for the application of different types of coatings, then it is recommended to remove the adhesive tape in the areas of separation of zones before the final drying of the plaster mixture. It will be difficult to do this later, in addition, small defects may appear..

                  • Regardless of the method of application, experts recommend that you first paint the textured fragments of surfaces, and then switch to smooth.
                  • If you use decorative plaster “bark beetle” for wall decoration, then there is nothing complicated. However, for decorating the ceiling with this material, it is better to have at least a little experience. If you do not have one and are not confident in your abilities, it is better to entrust such work to professionals..
                  • Silk plaster is not so easy to apply.. The process of transferring it to the base can be divided into 3 main stages:
                    1. applying a base from glue;
                    2. application of flocks;
                    3. varnishing.

                    Try not to apply too thick a layer of plaster, unless specified by its characteristics. Otherwise, the finish will quickly be covered with cracks, regardless of whether it is expensive or budget..

                    • To obtain the desired color, it is recommended to purchase both the mixture and the tinting material from the same manufacturer..
                    • If you want to give the cracks in the plaster a different color, you should add 2 different shades to the solution..
                    • Only apply decorative plaster on a completely dry surface. Otherwise, the finish may begin to bubble or completely move away from the base..
                    • It is not always necessary to install beacons to apply decorative plaster. You can do without these details if you have leveled and putty the floors in advance..

                    • It is recommended to use silicone plaster for decorating rooms where humidity levels are high. This material has minimal water absorption, so it does not absorb dirt and moisture into its structure..
                    • If the decorative plaster contains lime, it must be borne in mind that dark stripes may remain on the walls during its application with metal tools..
                    • Before applying the plaster, you can degrease the base with a solvent or a weak solution of soda.
                    • Please note that the plaster mix “bark beetle” cannot be applied to glass, plastic, wood and metal substrates.

                    • If you apply a textured mortar, you need to ensure that the thickness of its layer does not exceed 1 cm.

                    So, if you are laying material with coarse grains, it can only be applied in 2 layers..

                    • Having calculated the required volume of decorative plaster, add 10% of the stock to it. It will be needed in case the mixture dries up or falls out of the container during finishing work..
                    • When buying decorative plaster, be sure to pay attention to the date of its manufacture. The closer the expiration date, the more difficult it will be to work with the solution..
                    • Use only high quality mixes from well-known brands for plastering various substrates. Do not look for too cheap decorative plasters – they may be of low quality and will not last long..

                    Beautiful examples in the interior

                    Decorative plaster is good because it looks harmonious in almost any room. This can be a living room, a hall, and even a kitchen with a high level of humidity..

                    For example, materials in lighter and neutral colors will look great on bedroom walls. At the same time, you can place a beautiful image or pattern over the head of the bed. Place a light bed and the same light wall shelves in such a room. Dilute the whiteness of the interior with dark wood flooring and linens with contrasting prints.

                    Embossed plaster of a milky shade will be a great addition to the corridor. Small metal lamps should be hung on walls with this finish. In an ensemble with light decorative plaster, wooden brown floors and a coffee-colored ceiling will look organic..

                    Colored decorative plasters look very interesting and bright in interiors. For example, a slightly sloppy and rough finish in a yellow shade will look especially juicy and attractive if you place a wooden table with oriental patterns and a lamp with a contrasting black leg on its background, as well as hang a black clock or a decorative plate. Due to the bright contrast and oriental notes, you can give the atmosphere an unusual, mysterious image.

                    Light gray plaster, imitating the structure of a stone, can be applied in the living room on the wall behind the seating area. Before such a finish, a white leather sofa and a dark coffee table will look great..

                    In a similar setting, you can lay down a dark chocolate shade laminate and cover it with a fluffy white carpet..

                          Original plaster with craquelure effect can look organically not only in old styles. For example, a similar white material (with black cracks) can be used to decorate the walls in the kitchen. Against this background, a glossy gray headset with white countertops will look organic. A large pale gray tile should be placed on the floor..

                          For a master class on applying decorative plaster, see the following video.

                          About the author