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How to Remove Venetian Plaster

Peggy Epstein

When the Venetian plaster in your dining room doesn’t fit in with your redecorating plans, you may wonder if it has to be professionally removed. It is possible to make this a do-it-yourself project, as removal of Venetian plaster is not a difficult job.

However, keep in mind the fact that it is a messy job that creates a lot of dust, but when finished there will be no trace of what was once on the wall.

How to Remove Venetian Plaster

  1. Take everything out of the room, or cover items with drop cloths, because this is an extremely dust-producing project. Cover the floors with plastic drop cloths and seal any vents to prevent dust from entering the ventilation system. Remove switch plates and outlet covers, and cover them with masking tape. Cover entrances to the room with plastic drop cloths and seal them with masking tape, leaving one edge open for getting in and out of the room.

  2. Place 80-grit sandpaper securely onto the electric sander, and attach the sander’s dust collector if it has one. Put on a pair of safety goggles and a dust mask. Start at the top in one corner of the wall and sand across the wall while moving the sander in a circular motion. Move from side to side on the wall from the top to the bottom. Check the sandpaper frequently, and change it when needed.

  3. Use 80-grit sandpaper to hand sand the areas next to the ceiling, the corners and the baseboards, as well as any other spots that you can't reach with the electric sander.

  4. Repeat the entire process using 120-grit sandpaper. This should remove any traces of Venetian plaster. Be careful not to sand any one area for an extended period of time; you want to avoid sanding through the drywall’s paper layer.

  5. Start at the top of the room and vacuum up the dust; remember to vacuum the dust from light fixtures and windowsills. Wipe down all surfaces with a clean, damp cloth, being careful not to saturate the drywall. Rinse the cloth frequently with clean water as you work.

  6. Tip

    Allow the wall to dry thoroughly before applying wallpaper or paint. Spackle any holes or cracks before removing the Venetian plaster.