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How To Make Plaster Relief Walls

The effect of this plaster relief technique, when used over an entire wall or room, can be visually stunning. The same technique can be used to repair existing plaster relief or to add interest to boring, flat walls.

More in Decorating

plaster relief adds interest to boring, flat walls
  • Time

    Two Days

  • Price Range

    $250 - $500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Sketch the Wall

Begin by sketching design on wall -- but do not sketch or apply plaster to a high-gloss finish.

begin by sketching design on wall

Step 2: Pipe the Plaster Mix onto the Sketch

Use any type of plaster, mixing only enough to work with a small area (1 to 2 square feet) each time. Plaster dries very quickly. Mix three parts of plaster to one part glue and one part water and stir until mixture is the consistency of cake frosting. Spoon mixture into cake decorating bag and add tip. Follow the pattern by squeezing the mix directly onto the wall surface. Start with the outline and fill in the design.

start with outline and fill in design

Step 3: Carve Out the Details and Paint

Allow plaster designs to dry, then use craft knife to carve details as desired (Image 1). Use base coat to prime the area. Once the paint has dried, use metallic nail polish (gold or silver works best) to add highlights (Image 2). For an aged look, add a few coats of glaze over the completed surface.