Provence Stenciled Plaster Finish with the Vella Plaster System
Author’s Note: This is one of my favorite finishes! I love the Provence colors, and the high end French Country look has become very “hot” again. This finish could be easily adapted to different color combination and stencil pattern treatments, or it just makes a nice distressed finish on its own. I became very familiar with the Vella Plaster System as I was developing the techniques for my ongoing Virtual Workshop: Stencil Impressions. I have found it to be super user-friendly, and the ease-of-use and body of the plaster make it ideal for incorporating Stencil Impressions techniques as well as many other decorative pattern treatments.
The Vella Plaster System offers a simple, easy-to-use, limited range of products that have unlimited potential for creative applications.
Provence Stenciled Plaster Finish
Vella Premium Plaster Colors: V45, V68, V41, V86, V32
Vella Wax: Neutral, Walnut
Vecchio Crushed Marble
Tools: Venetian Trowel, 3” Colour Shaper, 1” Stencil Brush, Grout Sponge
Custom Plaster Mixes Needed for this Project
French Red: Mix at a rate of 2qts. V45/1qt. V68/1qt. V41
*For basecoat add 3/4 to 1qt. Vecchio and mix well. Reserve some of the plain, smooth plaster mix for stencil embossing.
French Blue: Mix at a rate of 1qt. V86/1at. V32
Step by Step
1. Use a hard Venetian Trowel to trowel on a layer of the French Red custom Vella mix with the Vecchio aggregate added. You will need to apply the plaster rather thickly to “bridge” the thickness of the aggregate.
2. Smooth and “squeegee” as you work with a 3” Colour Shaper tool to remove excessive scratch lines created by the aggregate. Allow to dry overnight.
3. Use a smooth (no aggregate) Custom French Red mix to randomly stencil emboss the Delicate Floral Panel stencil pattern with the Colour Shaper overall. This is a highly distressed technique and is quite forgiving regarding stencil “bleedunders”. Nevertheless, aim for a nice even build to your embossed designs and use a light “cake icing” pressure with the tool or trowel to avoid excessive “bleedunder”. Allow to dry completely.
4. Use a Venetian Trowel to trowel on the Custom French Blue plaster mix. Use a light pressure and “skip trowel” application in some areas to allow irregular patches of the French Red basecoat to peak through.
5. Use the Colour Shaper tool to smooth the plaster around the edges of the embossed stencil pattern. This will greatly accentuate the edges of the pattern. Allow to dry.
6. Use a cut piece of a Grout Sponge to apply a thin layer of Neutral Wax overall, beginning in one corner and working outward. Always work the wax from a “wet” area into the dry areas and work well into the recessed areas.
7. While the wax is still wet, us a Grout Sponge to work some of the V45 and V41 randomly into areas of the pattern.
8. Use a combination of the Grout Sponge and the Colour Shaper tool to further accentuate the pattern and texture with a thin layer of Walnut Wax.
Tip: Use a Colour Shaper tool to clean excess plaster of your stencil.
Vella Wax Notes
Vella Premium Wax is easily and simply applied with a synthetic sponge. It can be polished, if desired, after approximately 15 minutes with a high speed mechanical buffer.
For the highest degree of hardness and shine, apply two coats of wax. Allow the first wax coat to dry approximately ½ hour before applying the second coat. Apply the second coat in small, workable areas and allow it to dry for approximately 15 minutes before buffing.
The wax will significantly darken your plaster finish, particularly on the first layer, and it may look very blotchy. As the wax dries out over the course of 1-2 days, the color will lighten up again and the finish will even out.
Surface Prep and Application Notes
Vella Premium Plaster is highly cost effective and user friendly, because it can be applied directly over almost any type of wall surface: textured, smooth, painted flat or shiny, taped sheetrock, and both oil and latex-based paints. It can be a major time saver because very little surface prep is needed. As with any other type of plaster treatment, surfaces should be clean, dry, form and free of dust, dirt, oil, wax, loose paint, wallpaper and plaster.
Due to the product formulation, Vella Premium Plaster can be applied quite thickly before it begins cracking. This makes it an ideal product to smooth and bridge a previously textured wall surface such as an “orange peel” or “knock down” wall finish. The skim coat that you apply becomes your first troweled base coat. With just one additional layer of plaster you have a complete wall finish!
Because Vella Premium Plaster is a limestone-based, open pore plaster, it MUST be sealed. Vella Premium Plaster can be sealed with either Vella Premium Wax OR with a layer of Liscio Ultra Sheen Plaster, a high-shine synthetic plaster.
Cost Per Square Foot
The Vella Plaster system is highly cost effective as it can be applied over almost any wall surface without extensive surface prep or priming. The average cost per sq. ft for product for two layers of plaster plus two layers of wax will cost a mere .30-.50 cents per square foot. Vella Plaster is available at a range of national paint retailers across the country and can be tinted on site to a wide range of predetermined or custom colors. Contact the company directly for more info: http://www.vellaplaster.com