Acrylic plaster is of a lighter weight than traditional plaster. Acrylic plaster is also made mostly of synthetic materials rather than the cement, lime and sand that are the main components of traditional plaster. Acrylic plaster can be coloured prior to application or it can be painted after it is applied to the wall. It also has the same appearance of plaster, making it a suitable option for just about any plaster application.
Acrylic plastering done in a stucco technique creates circles or half circles in the plaster. This technique is generally done with a trowel, but a more random and rustic appearance is achieved with the acrylic plaster applied by hand. The hand-applied stucco finish is sometimes called rough stucco.
Acrylic plaster is often sprayed through a texture blower to create what is commonly called a cottage cheese or popcorn texture. Texture blowers can be rented at a home improvement centre. The speed with which the blower is moved back and forth and the amount of overlap determines the amount of texture on the surface. Trowels are often used after blowing to smooth out the peaks. This is known as a knock-down texture.
Venetian plaster is created by applying several thin layers of acrylic plaster to the wall with a trowel. The trowel is held at different angles for each layer, changing the texture of the acrylic plaster. Venetian plaster is commonly done in one colour, but using multiple colours is growing in popularity.
The suede plaster technique is done by applying acrylic plaster in short strokes and smoothing it as much as possible. The smoother the acrylic plaster is, the more successful this technique will be when completed. After the first coat is dried, a second coat of acrylic plaster is applied. The second coat is misted and smoothed during the application and the strokes used to apply it are decorative, short and are done in various directions to create a suede appearance.