“Venetian Plaster” is actually a misnomer because there really is no such thing as an official venetian plaster. It has become a marketing term used for almost any texture that has shiny bits to it. I have seen joint compound coated with wax and mixtures of chalk and glue called “Venetian Plaster”. There are no standards so you get what you pay for.
It was originally developed in Venice, Italy to imitate the look of polished marble without the cost and weight. In Italy it has many names such as stucco veneciano , grassello and stucco marmorino. The latter term is a derivative of “son of marble” and by regulation it is supposed to have at least a 55% quantity of marble flour and by tradition it is a lime-based plaster. The many names are because there are different aggregates you can add to it such as sand, marble chips, volcanic glass, etc. Each one of these aggregates will give the plaster a different finished look and properties hence the many names.
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