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What is and how much is Venetian plaster in Australia? Why is Venetian plaster so expensive?

Are you unsure what Venetian plaster is and how it differs from traditional plaster finishes? Or perhaps you’d like a better understanding as to how much Venetian plaster costs in Australia? And, what is it that makes Venetian plaster so expensive when compared to traditional plaster finishes? In this article, we’re going to delve a little deeper into the ancient finishing technique, so that you can decide as to whether or not it’s worth your investment. 

What is Venetian plaster? 

So, what is Venetian plaster? Traditional Venetian plaster (aka marble, polished, or Italian plaster) is made up using lime putty and marble dust, which gives it a truly gorgeous polished finish when applied to walls and ceilings. This gives it a mesmerising marble effect that is reminiscent of Venice herself, the jewel of Italy and the pinnacle of opulence. 

Venetian plaster can be enhanced using various acrylic resins and when applied correctly, it can give Venetian plaster its very own rock-hard and deeply textured finish. One that is smooth, marble-like in appearance, and with a glossy sheen. This is what makes Venetian plaster so attractive! 

For a little bit of background on Venetian plaster, it is a finish that has been used for centuries. Whilst it was originally intended for building purposes, today, it is used purely to complement the interior design of buildings to give off an old-world, contemporary design. 

Venetian plaster is not just popular for its luxurious and opulent appearance, but because the lime-based nature of the product is far less harmful and is considered to be hypoallergenic as well. Additionally, Venetian plaster is mould and algae resistant and can be used to regulate humidity in homes in warmer climates. 

What is the difference between plaster and Venetian plaster? 

What is the main difference between normal plaster and Venetian plaster? Is it really worth paying the extra? 

The key difference between traditional plaster and Venetian is the fact that normal plaster is gypsum-based giving it a matte finish that usually comes out in one single colour. Venetian on the other hand, being lime-based and flecked with marble dust gives it a stunning polished effect. That and Venetian can be coloured in any way that you want using organic and synthetic colourants, even if it doesn’t necessarily have a natural look about it. 

In essence, Venetian plaster is simply a superior-looking finish and can be used as a standalone finish without paint. Regular plaster on the other hand, unless painted over, looks bland and unfinished. 

How much is Venetian plaster in Australia?

So, now we know how fancy and impressive Venetian plaster is, how much does it cost, on average in Australia? 

The fact is, when it comes to applying Venetian plaster, you really need to know what you are doing in order to get the finish right. As such, you’ll find that experienced plasterers and interior designers tend to charge more for this type of project. 

Venetian plaster is a caustic product which means that special PPE (personal protective equipment) is required in order to protect your lungs and skin during the application process. 

You can expect to pay anywhere between $150 per square metre for Venetian plaster, whereas regular plaster comes in at an average of $90 per square meter. 

With an average of $60 extra per square meter, is Venetian plaster really worth the extra investment? Our honest opinion is absolutely, yes! 

Why is Venetian plaster so expensive?

So, why is Venetian plaster so expensive? In truth, it’s all relative. Certainly, on paper, Venetian plaster IS more expensive than regular plaster. However, when it comes down to the finished product, the additional investment speaks for itself. But, what is it that makes Venetian more expensive? 

  • Materials used: Venetian plaster costs more than regular plaster because of the materials used. Lime and marble dust are the biggest contributors to the higher price tag. 
  • Expertise required: Not just anyone can apply Venetian plaster as it is intended. Certainly, you can follow a DIY guide and give it a go, but unless you have experience with plastering, then it is a very difficult technique to pull off. As such, Venetian plasterers tend to charge more for their expertise. 
  • Time for application: Venetian plaster takes a significant amount longer than regular ‘wet plaster’. This is because there are multiple layers, and there has to be ample time for the plaster to dry thoroughly in between each application. As such, having Venetian plaster finishes applies to your walls and ceilings is not typically a quick ‘in and out’ job. 
  • Aesthetic appearance: There’s no denying the fact that Venetian plaster has a superior aesthetic appearance to most traditional finishing methods. Regular plaster requires painting in order to look finished, whereas Venetian plaster is a finished look in and of itself.
  • Colourants: If you want your Venetian plaster finish to have a certain colour, then you may find that you will have to pay extra for various organic or synthetic colourants to be added in. 
  • Opulence: Venetian plaster is classy. It really is as simple as that! If you want a finish on the walls in your home that is reminiscent of Ancient Rome, then you should expect to have to pay a little extra for it. 


So, how much does Venetian plaster cost in Australia? You should expect to pay somewhere in the region of $150 per square meter. Please note that these figures aren’t to be taken as gospel and should merely serve as a rough estimation. In order to get an accurate figure, we recommend contacting your local painting and decorating company who specialises in Venetian plaster and decorative finishes.