DIY Network

How to Apply a Tuscan Plaster Wall Treatment

DIY remodeling experts create an affordable plaster wall treatment that brings attractive Tuscan style to this kitchen remodel.

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create affordable plaster wall treatment
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prep Yourself and the Area

Creating a Tuscan-style textured wall treatment is relatively easy, but it does require a willingness to experiment with how much texture you really want on your walls. It’s good to create sample panels to determine the right color and texture for you. To do so, simply follow the step-by-step instructions below, but scale them to the size of a few sample boards (which should be made of drywall or the same material that constitutes your walls).

This project can be messy. Wear old clothing from start to finish. And always tape the areas you don't want to get the plaster finish on.

To texture a large surface area, you want your strokes to be relatively consistent across the whole surface. Even if you’re creatively random, be consistent in your random creativity. Texture on walls is very messy to remove.

Prepare the area by putting down drop cloths and taping areas you don’t want textured (e.g. window trim). Remove any nails, picture hangers, or other elements from the wall area you want to texture.

create sample panel to determine color and texture

Step 2: Mix and Apply the Plaster

Mix the light-weight joint compound and water according to instructions on the bag.

Apply small amounts of joint compound to the wall using a 4" putty knife.

Using a trowel, spread the compound in even passes with smooth, steady strokes. Make sure the pattern is random.

Continue over the entire wall, overlapping slightly.

plaster wall treatment brings Tuscan style

Step 3: Paint the Base Coat

You can find powder tints that work well with lightweight joint compounds, but the mixing can be tricky, especially with multiple colors involved.

Primer and latex paint are used for the first coat of this project, though they are mixed together instead of applied at different times. This project uses three different colors to achieve the final affect.

Again, prepare the area with drop cloths and tape.

Mix the base coat of 1/2 primer and 1/2 selected base color.

When fully mixed, use a brush to cut in the paint onto the ceiling and edges. Use a roller to paint large areas.

Allow time to dry

Step 4: Apply the Second and Third Coats of Paint

Create the second color by mixing 1/2 Flotrol and 1/2 of the second color. Flotrol is a latex paint conditioner that doesn’t thin paint but it keeps it fluid, preventing visible brush marks. It can dilute the color slightly so experiment before you apply across the whole surface. Flotrol also creates a slight glazing effect.

Brush on the flotrol/paint mix; be sure to get into all the ridges.

Before it dries, wipe it off with a rag, leaving more in cracks and crevices than on high surfaces. Clean off all globs or hanging drips.

If you have a highlight color, you can dry brush the highlight color for maximum affect. Simply dip the brush into the paint, then wipe off the majority of paint onto a piece of newspaper.

Brush lightly on the texture,adding highlights to the surface.
Allow time to dry completely.