How to Make Fake Stone Walls With Plaster

Written by julie hampton
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How to Make Fake Stone Walls With Plaster
A drywall trowel is used to apply plaster to create a faux stone wall. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Avoid the cost of real stone by using a faux finish technique to create the look of aged stone and rock. Apply lightweight joint compound to a home's walls to mimic textured stone. The joint compound can be painted a variety of colours from charcoal grey to chocolate brown. Adding the plaster to the wall is time consuming. Plan accordingly for the project. Don't forget, the faux stone wall is a permanent finish and cannot be removed.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Dust sheets
  • Painters tape
  • Old credit card
  • Bonding primer
  • Rough-nap roller
  • Trim brush
  • Sanding block
  • Rag
  • Eggshell latex paints
  • Clear glaze
  • Terry towel

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  1. 1

    Move all items in the room away from the wall. Clear a path about 4 feet wide in front of the project area. Ensure there is enough room for a ladder and other paint materials. Place protective dust sheets on the ground to cover flooring. Wipe dust off baseboards with a clean rag and apply 2-inch painter's tape. Add tape to other adjoining surfaces where plaster should be avoided. Burnish the tape well by rubbing down with your thumb or old credit card.

  2. 2

    Roll on a bonding primer with a rough-nap roller. Use long vertical strokes and paint the entire wall surface. Use a trim brush to paint the perimeter of the wall and areas you cannot paint with the paint roller. Allow bonding primer to dry for four hours.

  3. 3

    Apply the joint compound onto the drywall trowel with a putty knife. Hold the trowel with one side of the trowel firmly against the wall and angle the tool at about 30 degrees. Wipe on the plaster in a random fashion skipping over the wall forming a texture on the wall. Remember there is no incorrect way to apply the texture and each person's stone will look slightly different. Do not apply the texture more than 1/4-inch thick. The wall doesn't have to be completely covered. Aim for 90 per cent coverage. Once the plaster dries and is painted, the unplastered areas will look like crevices in the stone. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

  4. 4

    Sand the dried plaster lightly with a sanding block. Wipe away all plaster dust with a damp rag or sponge.

  5. 5

    Paint the plaster using eggshell latex paint. Roll paint onto the wall with a rough-nap roller. Apply two coats of paint and be prepared to add additional coats for darker stone colours. Use a chip brush to add paint to any crevices in the stone plaster the paint roller does not cover. Dab the brush onto the plaster to push paint into the plaster nooks. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

  6. 6

    Add additional depth and dimension to your stone wall by covering the wall with an optional glaze. Mix together dark brown latex paint and clear glaze using a 1 to 1 ratio. Apply the glaze to the wall by rolling on the mixture with a mini roller and then dabbing with a terry towel. When dabbing the wall, roll the terry towel into a small ball in your hand and dab the wall. You will then remove some of the glaze mix and push some into the stone's crevices. Work in 2-by-2-foot sections at a time until the entire is stained.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear gloves when faux finishing the wall to protect your skin and nails from plaster and paint.
  • Always practice the technique first, prior to working on the permanent wall surface. Creating the look of fake stone is moderately challenging and takes some practice. Practice creating texture on old drywall boards or poster board.
  • Remember to cover your hair when plastering. Protect your locks by wearing a baseball cap or bandanna. Plaster often falls off the wall when wet, and may easily land into your hair.

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