Quick Plaster Bust DIY

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comI picked up this extra large resin bust from an estate sale a few months ago- knowing the color wasn’t my favorite, but it could easily be changed. Rather than painting it, I thought plaster would add a nice texture and would make it look a bit more high end and original. This isn’t my first plaster project… the last one I shared on the blog was my DIY lamp last year. Remember that one? Every once in awhile when I pull out my plaster, I go on a rampage hunting for things around the house that could benefit from the finish. Click through for my quick process and to see how my thrifted bust turned out. 

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comHere is my thrifted bust sitting atop my thrifted pedestal (that I still need to refinish or paint). They both have great scale and actually look pretty nice paired together, but I definitely want to address the color on both items. First up? I was excited to tackle the bust with multiple layers of plaster.

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comThe existing finish definitely looked manufactured and faux. It had a plastic type of feel to it that wasn’t doing the large bust any favors. This project was quick and easy. You really only need three things to achieve a similar look…


Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comAdd a splash of water to the dry plaster mix, smoothing the clumps until it resembles something that looks like pancake batter. I went ahead and applied the plaster directly to the bust, but feel free to prime your piece white, if you’re looking for a more perfect application.

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comI began layering the plaster onto the bust in thin, imperfect layers. My goal was really coverage at this point in the process.

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comIt will look pretty terrible and scary at first, but rest assured- the more layers you add, the better it gets! Unlike paint, plaster isn’t easy to layer up.

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comWith each coat of wet plaster, it pulls up the previous coat. The key is to think of your brush as a sculpting tool, rather than a paintbrush. Plaster and paint are nothing alike, so you really have to press the plaster onto the object (like clay or slip), smoothing and sculpting as you go.

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comThat’s when you’ll see the layers really begin to build, and the object will become more opaque. I was going for a molded, textural look (rather than sanded or smooth), so I really emphasized the brush strokes.

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comIf the organic look isn’t your thing, you can still follow this same process, and sand the piece down at the end to smooth the finish. I really wanted this bust to have the appearance of marks and fingerprints- like something had sculpted it by hand… therefore I leaned into the texture!

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comI think it turned out really nice! The finish is definitely more artistic and interesting than where it started, and it was a quick, budget-friendly project. I’m definitely calling it a win!

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comSince I’ve yet to tackle the thrifted pedestal, I used my DIY pedestal we finished a couple weeks ago to display my newly refreshed bust… for the sake of photos! I kind of like this vignette in our living room corner. What do you think?

Quick Plaster Bust DIY - roomfortuesday.comI feel like this mindless creative project and getting my hands into some plaster was good for my soul. These little projects are always fun, and it’s a great way to switch things up or shake up your daily routine! Do you have any fun creative projects you’re looking forward to tackling?

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  1. My favorite king of project- more fun than work. He turned out beautifully! Searching around the house for victims of me next project was me last week. Once I had the rub n buff out and my finger gold, I look high and low for items that needed a little ‘glow up’.

    1. Exactly! Fun, creative, and relaxing. Thanks for your kind words, Melissa! Nothing is safe when I get the plaster out. Haha! And the rub & buff… you’re definitely right about that.

  2. Very cool! And he looks great in the corner of your living room like this. I really like the texture it adds! And maybe when the dogs are outside they will behave because they know someone is watching them! HAHA!!

    1. Thanks, Brittany! I like the texture, too. I think he’s going to stay in that spot! I’ll have to find a new home for my tree that usually lives there. LOL to the dogs. Those two are maniacs in the yard, constantly chasing each other. Can you imagine if all it took to keep them in line was a pretty roman bust?! HAHA! I would die. lol

  3. I think it fits perfectly in your living room! I always admire your plaster projects and eventually the right piece will come along and I’ll try my hand at something like this. For now all of my projects seem to be paint projects, haha. I can’t wait to finish up those and really get into styling some of the rooms. It’s always nice to have those creative outlets that feed the soul, and your little soul project turned out beautifully. Have a great Thursday Sarah! Xoxo

    1. I think so, too! Thanks Lauren. He’s looking nice over there in the corner. I moved my tree and it feels so much brighter with the bust in that place instead. I hope painting is going well! I’m always anxious for the styling part, too. You’ll get there! Keep up the good work :)

  4. The whole time I was reading I was wondering what Emmett thought or said when he first saw it? Both my husband and son would be asking me questions and making comments about the man’s hair, etc. LOL!
    But I absolutely love it and it does look like it was sculpted by hand. Great eye on this find. I would have passed it up because I wouldn’t not have thought about plaster…putting this away in the back of my mind for future project.

    1. Haha!! Typical Greek or Roman bust hair- I’m into it! Emmett didn’t say anything, but probably because I’ve dragged him around quite a few art museums & galleries with me and I’m sure he has already made those comments over the years. Lol! He did crack up because I shared a sneak peek of the bust in progress on IG and people were messaging to guess what I was using. Among the guesses were sunscreen and toothpaste, which gave him a chuckle. Ha! It’s a good thing I slathered it in plaster and not the aforementioned products. Plaster is so fun!

  5. How do you find such cool busts?! I literally never see them when I’m thrifting. He looks a great size, and I dig his Adonis hair! I love the way he turned out. Every single time you complete a plaster project, I am dying to slather something in that cool, white goop! Lucky for them, nobody at our house stands still long enough! Plaster pups, anyone? My brother actually got into the act, and I’ll be posting a picture of the coolest plaster gift he made me. I hope you, too, are enjoying your sibling time! Happy nearly the weekend, everyone! 🍕💜

    1. Estate sales have been my friend for busts lately! People around here must be into them as much as I am. Haha! I dig the hair, too! I’m the same way once the plaster goop comes out… watch out, because I want to plaster everything. Haha! It’s just so fun. Plaster pups. LOL! I did see your brother’s plaster- HOW COOL and thoughtful. I can’t wait to see how you display that beauty. We’re trying to plan a quick trip to Alaska for our anniversary in September, so I may need your recs :) xo