How to Get Plaster to Look Like Concrete


If you have plaster interior walls and want them to have a specific look like concrete, you can employ a faux technique to make the plaster appear to be cement. There are two methods to accomplish this transformation: painting and applying mortar. The first requires a lot of skill and prior experience, having substantial trial and error under your belt to get the right balance and look. The other method is more simple and direct.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Cloths
  • Concrete bonding agent
  • Brush
  • Thin-set mortar
  • Masonry sand
  • Wooden trowel
  • Fill a bucket with water and add a couple of drops of dish soap. Wash the plaster with a sponge to get any dust or dirt off so you have a clean surface for mortar to adhere. Dry with clean cloths.

  • Rinse the bucket thoroughly and combine one part thin-set mortar with three parts masonry sand. Stir with a wooden trowel. Add water incrementally until the mortar turns to a pancake batter consistency.

  • Brush a concrete bonding agent onto the plaster wall. This will allow the thin-set mortar to stick to the plaster. Without it, the mortar will not adhere.

  • Stir the mortar mix and spread onto the plaster wall with a wooden trowel. Swirl and twist the trowel's spade to create your desired look. Sprinkle masonry sand onto the mortar to create a more textured look, if you want.

  • Allow the thin-set mortar to dry overnight. Once the mortar dries and sets into the bonding agent, your plaster walls will have a concrete look.


  • "Painting Techniques & Faux Finishes"; Louise Hennings, Marina Niven; 1999
  • "Easy Home Makeovers"; Mervyn Kaufman; 2007
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