Home decorating allows me to express my creativity in new and exciting ways. One of my favorite DIY projects is creating beautiful, textured cement wall art. With the right materials and some basic techniques, you can make abstract art hangings that include interest and visual appeal to any room.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through Nousdecor‘s Plaster Wall Art Tutorial on how to choose plaster, prepare your surface, sketch designs, apply plaster, and include finishing touches. With a bit of practice, you can create cement wall art masterpieces to proudly display.

Key Takeaways of Plaster Wall Art Tutorial

  • Plaster of Paris and joint compound create bright, smooth textures ideal for DIY art.
  • Properly preparing the surface ensures the cement will adhere. Sanding and priming are vital.
  • Sketch out designs beforehand or work intuitively at the moment. Use stencils or molds to add definition.
  • Carefully mix and employ the cement using a trowel or putty knife. Allow time to fully dry.
  • Paint, seal, and embellish the finished cement to give your unique artwork personality.

How to Choose the Right Plaster for Wall Art

The type of cement you use will affect the final texture and strength of your piece. Here are some of the most common varieties for creative plaster wall art concepts:

  • Plaster of Paris – A quick-drying cement made of gypsum and water. It has a bright white color when dry. Plaster of Paris works well for basic cement wall art shapes and textures.
  • Joint compound – Also called drywall mud, joint compound dries smoothly and is easy to sand. It’s often used along with fabric to create textured plaster fabric art.
  • Concrete cement – Extremely strong and durable, concrete cement needs acrylic bonding agents. It’s ideal for cement-based wall-textured art.

For most home DIY cement wall art, I recommend starting with cement of Paris or joint compound. The smooth, bright finish helps the artwork pop. Consider the type of texture and look you want before choosing a plaster.

How to Choose the Right Plaster for Wall Art

Preparing Your Surface

To ensure cement adheres properly, the surface needs to be clean and porous. Here’s how to get your working surface ready:

  • Clean thoroughly – Wipe away all grease, dirt, and dust with soap and water. This helps the cement grip the surface.
  • Sand lightly – For very smooth surfaces like drywall, give it a light sanding to create some tooth. This gives the cement something to adhere to.
  • Employ a base coat – On porous surfaces like wood or canvas (see creating unique plaster wall art on canvas), add a thin coat of gesso or glue size. This provides a unified base layer.

Proper surface prep prevents cracking and peeling later on. Don’t forget this important first step!

Creating Your Design

Once your surface is ready, it’s time for the fun part – deciding on a design for creating plaster art at home! Here are some approaches to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Freehand sketching – Draw inspiration from your imagination and let your hand guide the plaster. This intuitive process allows for organic, abstract shapes.
  • Using stencils – Cut shapes from cardboard, sticky vinyl, or thick plastic. Employ cement over the stencils to create repetitive motifs.
  • Creating a mold – For 3D or relief effects, press shapes into clay or plasticine then use the mold to shape your plaster.

I like to start with a rough pencil sketch to map out the composition. Simple line drawings are easy to replicate when the cement is applied. Don’t be afraid to deviate from your plan during the plastering process too. Sometimes the material takes on a life of its own!

Creating Your Plaster Design

Applying the Plaster

This is the fun, hands-on step where your designs become a reality. Follow these tips for working with plaster:

  • Mix the cement – Start with the powder and slowly incorporate water little by little. Stir vigorously to remove lumps and create a smooth consistency.
  • Employ the cement to the surface – Use a trowel, putty knife, or your hands to spread the cement onto the prepped surface based on your sketch. Work in sections.
  • Smooth the cement – As needed, gently even out the cement to blend rough edges. You can also use tools to create interesting textures.

The working time for cement is limited before it sets, so work swiftly but carefully. Having all your tools and materials ready helps this go smoothly. Don’t stress small imperfections either, they bring character!

Finishing Your Plaster Wall Art

Once the cement has fully cured, you can include final embellishments to complete your unique art piece:

  • Paint the cement – Acrylic paints work best for coloring the plaster. Solid colors or washes enhance the texture.
  • Add other embellishments – Consider attaching jewelry, beads, shells, or found objects. Sparingly placed to accent the design.
  • Seal and protect – Employ an acrylic sealer once fully dry to protect the finish and allow for hanging.

There are so many possibilities to make the piece your own. Be creative with paints, mixed media collages, or anything that sparks inspiration. Enjoy the process and have fun!

Finishing Your Plaster Wall Art

Frequently Asked Questions

Acrylic paints are best for coloring cured plaster. They flex as the cement expands and contracts. Avoid oil-based paints which may crack over time.

Drying times vary based on cement thickness and environment. Most DIY projects dry within 24-48 hours. Allow even longer for thick, dense sculptural pieces.

Yes, joint compound (drywall mud) makes an excellent substitute. It has a similar bright white finish when dry. The smooth texture is great for cement fabric art.

You can press items like lace, burlap, or crumpled paper into wet cement to leave impressions. Wire brushes, trowels, and putty knives also create interesting lines and patterns.

Sealing with acrylic varnish or polyurethane will protect the cement from moisture damage and prepare the surface for hanging. Make sure the cement is fully cured before sealing.


As you can see, cement is a very versatile and forgiving artistic medium perfect for DIY wall art. With some simple guidance on working with plaster, preparing surfaces, and adding creative finishes, anyone can sculpt impressive DIY textured wall hangings. I hope these tips have inspired you to try your hand at a plaster wall art set!

There’s something magical about shaping formless cement into meaningful designs with your own two hands. As you practice, you’ll gain more confidence working with this creative material. Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn through trial and error.

Most of all, remember the cement is there to help you manifest your artistic vision in a tactile, textural form. Let it guide you into unparalleled wall ornamentation options to make any space uniquely yours.

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