Category Archives: History of Italian Venetian Plaster

Think Bella! Truly Sad News, Doyle Self, Master Artisan, great Friend & Mentor has passed at age 57.

Posted on October 20, 2014

With great sadness, we found out this month, that Doyle L Self II, founder of “The School of Italian Plaster’ has passed away at age 57 from cancer.

On projects, David & I, always have our iPods on, listening to music, podcasts or an audio book.

While applying imported Italian Venetian Plaster on a large wall, “The Prayer” with Josh Groban & Charlotte Church came on… and truly moved me. I was reflecting back on Doyle Self and how much I love the Italian Art!

Doyle’s passion for imported Italian Venetian Plaster and the historic Italian Finishes, inspired me to share, my experience, with the Talented & Charismatic Doyle Self. He changed my Life!

In August of 2005, I took my family to Atlanta, so I could meet Doyle & Linda Self, and attend their “School of Italian Plaster”.  I fell in love with Italian Venetian Plaster, the Italian Finishes and their dramatic history. Doyle knew so much about this Art. He would become my mentor and teacher with these remarkable plasters. His knowledge of these finishes was well known around the world. Everyone knew Doyle, he was always available to share his knowledge.

At their peak, Doyle & Linda Self, had schools in Atlanta, San Diego and Dallas. As exclusive distributers in the states, for Safra Plasters from Verona, Italy, they were riding… a wave of Italian Magic!

But, years later as the economy turned bad in Italy and here in the states too. Downsizing began and the eventual closing of the Safra Plasters in Italy and the School of Italian Plasters in the states.

But the impact Doyle Self had on this Art and fellow Artisans, was huge! His Inspiration and Passion for the breathtaking Italian Finishes, that are still blessing the walls and ceilings throughout Europe for hundreds of years, will never be forgotten…

Thankfully, Doyle had many DVD’s from the School of Italian Plasters, that share his knowledge of the Italian Art.

His style of teaching was fun. He loved to laugh and was joking all the time in class.  He would go… “Children, Children, time to get back to Class!

Doyle lived life hard though, always looking for a new opportunity. He was a man of faith, former painter, former railroader, that lived his life out in front. Taking chances and unafraid to try something new.

Doyle, peace be with you!  Thanks for sharing your passion with the world…

School of Italian Plaster

Doyle Self II and Mark Nordgren

Linda Self & Mark Nordgren

Doyle Self – School of Italian Plasters

Doyle Self

Doyle Self – School of Italian Plasters

Linda & Doyle Self – School of Italian Plasters

Mark Nordgren and Shayna & James Kirkpatrick – Instructors at the School of Italian Plaster


James and Shayna Kirkpatrick – Instructors at The School of Italian Plasters

Doyle Self – School of Italian Plaster

Mark Nordgren – School of Italian Plasters – Bella Faux Finishes


The above board became this stunning Italian Finish on a project, Impossible to Describe the effect! – Bella Faux Finishes

Doyle Self – Mark Nordgren – School of Italian Plasters – August 2005

IMG_6082 2

Mark Nordgren – School of Italian Plasters

Below, are pictures from this trip. It is still one of our favorite family adventures. Little did David know, that this would change his life forever too…


Michael, Kathy and David Nordgren


The Chop – Atlanta Braves Game – David, Kathy & Michael Nordgren

Kathy, Michael & David Nordgren

Bella Faux Finishes – Italian Venetian Plaster – Italian Finishes – Faux Finishes


Think Bella! – “The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Italian Venetian Plaster & Italian Finishes… Wow!”

Posted on February 15, 2013

Kathy and I just came back from Las Vegas, celebrating 30 years of marriage, last September. We stayed at “The Venetian”, Breathtaking is not a strong enough word to describe this experience. If you have any interest in learning more about Italian Venetian Plaster and the Italian Finishes, I would strongly encourage you to spend a weekend at The Venetian. Here in the states, this may be your best opportunity to see the drama that Italian Venetian Plaster can create on your Walls or Ceilings.

The most important “Interior Design Aspect” to understand about “Italian Venetian Plaster”  is, …. “Italian Venetian Plaster is Not the Show”.

By that I mean, the purpose of introducing Italian Venetian Plaster on a project is to compliment everything else in the room. This Decorative Finish is secondary to all of your other textures, colors and design elements. Wood trim, Flooring, Marble or Tile, Carpet, Drapery, Furniture, Plants and Art Work. The Power of Italian Venetian Paster, is to pull and compliment all of the these design elements together in a way that no other Decorative Finish can do. Go through our Before & After Gallery of Project for examples.

Many Faux Finishes and Decorative Finishes, their purpose, is to gain the spot light and become “The Show”.  Sometimes this works and sometimes it becomes too much.

There is no other finish, that has stood the test of time for endurance and consistently creating this timeless effect, that can last for hundreds of years. It is the favorite of the Best Architects and Interior Designers from around the world. Italian Venetian Plaster truly is the Best Decorative Finish in the world.

Trust me on this, your next trip to Las Vegas, stay at “The Venetian”. You will not see some of these dramatic areas if you do not stay at the hotel. Then spend some time trying to understand the drama of this remarkable finish. Notice how subtle it is, and try to imagine any another decorative finish, faux finish, faux painting or paint color that could compare or create this drama.

Italian Venetian Plaster…. Wow! Every Home or Business, has room that would love to be blessed with this remarkable Italian Finish. Many times, an Accent Wall,  Tray Ceiling, Niche or Columns is all you need. Consider introducing…. Just a Taste of Italian Magic!

Also, follow us on Facebook, where many of our projects are shared first.



IMG_2640 - Version 2

Think Bella! – “Scagliola – 17th Century Tuscany Technique used to Create Marble… Incredible!”

Posted on April 25, 2012

Scagliola is a technique dating back to the 17th century in Italy, used to create columns or imitate a marble that can no longer be found. David and I are both fascinated by this Art. The possibilities would be endless to introduce something unique to a project. Scagliola is at the top of our list of new effects to bring to… Bella Faux Finishes.

Also, follow us on Facebook, where many of our projects are shared first.



Think Bella! – “History of Italian Venetian Plaster”

Posted on March 21, 2012

Our favorite Decorative Finish by far… is imported Italian Venetian Plaster. The effect is breathtaking on a Ceiling, Wall or Column. Paul Linden of Venetian Plaster Masters in San Diego, California, does a great job of explaining the history of Italian Venetian Plaster.

Also, follow us on Facebook, where many of our projects are shared first.


Bella Faux Finishes

Bella Faux Finishes