Avoid Cracks in Venetian Plaster

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Venetian Plaster

Updated 31/08/2023

Venetian plaster has many benefits; it’s one of the most durable finishes available and can last for centuries with proper maintenance. The plaster is also eco-friendly and sustainable, and it offers a beautiful, unique finish to any space.

However, like other plasters, Venetian plaster is not indestructible and can develop cracks over time. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common causes of cracks in Venetian plaster.


What Causes Venetian Plaster to Crack?

Here are a few of the most common causes of cracks in Venetian plaster.


1. Stress

When too much stress is put on the plaster, damage can result in small cracks. It’s essential to ensure that heavy things are not allowed to press against Venetian plaster walls to avoid any type of damage, including cracks.


2. Temperature

Temperature fluctuations can also cause cracks in Venetian plaster. For instance, a kitchen may experience major fluctuations in temperature by heat generated from using the stove or oven. The result can be cracks in the Venetian plaster.

To avoid this problem, the room must be well-ventilated to keep heat and humidity building up in the space.


3. Poor Application

Another common cause of cracks in Venetian plaster is poor application of the plaster. This issue is usually found in DIY plaster applications where the installer has little or no experience.

To avoid this problem, it’s best to hire a professional plasterer who has extensive experience with Venetian plaster. They know how to properly install the plaster to keep it looking beautiful for decades.


4. Wind

This may seem like a strange problem; however, it’s true that wind can cause cracks in Venetian plaster. The problem is that over time, wind can erode plaster that’s been used on the exterior of a home or other building.


5. External Vibrations

Do you live near a military base? If so, your Venetian plaster could crack due to the base’s use of practice firing munitions. In addition, planes flying overhead that break the sound barrier can cause major vibrations that have been known to break windows, crack Venetian plaster, and even break roof tiles.

Another source of external vibrations is an earthquake. Earthquakes may be minor and only cause cracks in plaster. A major earthquake can take out a huge Venetian plaster wall quite easily.

When Venetian plaster becomes cracked, it loses some of its beauty. Repairs are required soon after a crack develops. Repairing this type of plaster is not easy and must only be done by a professional plasterer who has extensive experience with Venetian plaster.


What are the Most Common Types of Cracks in Venetian Plaster?

Hairline cracks are one of the most common in Venetian plaster. These are usually caused by movement, expansion, or stress. These cracks are small and thin, usually under 25 cm.

Another type of crack that can be found in polished plaster is a trim crack. The trim crack usually appears in the foam trim when seams haven’t been sealed correctly. Shrinkage or expansion can cause trim cracks to develop.

Spider cracks may also appear in Venetian plaster. These cracks are usually caused when the base coat was not allowed to cure for the right amount of time before the next coat was applied. Or they can appear if the mixture wasn’t blended properly. These cracks spread out from a central point, similar to a spider’s web.


How to Maintain Venetian Plaster to Avoid Cracks

While cracks can happen, there are some things you can do to maintain your Venetian plaster to avoid most cracks.


Keep It Dry

While Venetian plaster is waterproof, it needs to be kept dry at all times. When cleaning the plaster, make sure all water is wiped up to avoid the plaster becoming damaged or cracked.


Use a Gentle Cleaning Method

Venetian plaster is durable; however, it’s still a delicate plaster that can be damaged, even during cleaning. When you clean the plaster, be extremely careful.

Use a gentle cleaning method and pay attention to details as you clean. Use a cotton material that’s recommended by the manufacturer for cleaning. When it comes to detergent, avoid harsh cleansers and only use a little bit of warm, soapy water to clean Venetian plaster gently.


Check the Plaster Often

Before cleaning and from time to time, check the plaster to ensure it’s in good condition. It’s also a good idea to reseal the Venetian plaster finish with wax to keep it protected and shiny.


Make Repairs Quickly

To avoid major cracks, be sure to hire a professional Venetian plasterer to fix fine cracks. The sooner the cracks are fixed, the lower the cost will be to repair them. You’ll also avoid larger cracks in the wall that could cause major damage.


Why Choose Venetian Plaster?

You may be wondering why you should choose Venetian plaster if it can be damaged. There are several benefits that come with Venetian plaster, including the following:


A Beautiful Finish

Venetian plaster is a durable, beautiful finish that can last for hundreds of years if cared for properly. You can have the beauty and luxury of marble walls without all the expense. Venetian plaster can be used to create a stunning visual in any room or space.


Environmentally Friendly & Sustainable

The plaster is also environmentally friendly and sustainable compared to other types of plaster. For one thing, Venetian plaster is made from limestone, which is a natural material that’s classified as a renewable resource.

In your home, Venetian plaster also provides an antimicrobial surface that repels pests, fungi, and bacteria. And the material doesn’t put off VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can be dangerous for anyone who has allergies, sinus problems, or lung disease.

Finally, Venetian plaster is completely natural and non-toxic. It’s an odourless material that is highly hygienic and beautiful at the same time.


Summing It Up

Venetian plaster is a beautiful treatment for walls and ceilings. While it is extremely durable, the plaster can develop cracks.

If your Venetian plaster develops cracks, it’s important to hire a professional plasterer who is experienced with Venetian plaster. Don’t wait to call them—hire them as soon as possible to keep from developing a major crack in the plaster!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I apply Venetian plaster on any surface?
A: Venetian plaster can be applied on various surfaces, including drywall, wood, and masonry. However, proper surface preparation is crucial to prevent cracks.

Q: Are cracks inevitable with Venetian plaster?
A: No, cracks can be avoided by following proper application techniques, using quality materials, and considering factors like room temperature and wall movements.

Q: Can I fix small cracks after the plaster has dried?
A: Yes, small cracks can be repaired by applying a thin layer of plaster over the affected area and blending it seamlessly.

Q: How long does it take for Venetian plaster to fully dry?
A: The drying time can vary based on factors like humidity and the number of plaster layers. It typically takes around 5-7 days for Venetian plaster to fully cure.

Q: Is professional help necessary to apply Venetian plaster?
A: While DIY application is possible, hiring a professional can ensure a flawless finish, especially for larger projects or intricate designs.

Q: Can Venetian plaster be used in high-moisture areas like bathrooms?
A: Yes, but it’s important to use a waterproof sealant to protect the plaster from moisture-related issues and potential cracks.

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