The skill of plastering is covering interior walls or plasterboard with a thin, smooth coat of plaster before finishing the walls with colourful paint or decorative wallpaper. Normally homeowners will engage a professional to complete plastering, but it is possible with some prior research and the correct set of tools to plaster in your own home successfully. This short piece will describe the plastering process and list the tools you’ll need to give you the best chance of success.
Equip Yourself with The Correct Tools
Plastering is not something completed quickly, so plan to have plenty of time to prepare and complete the tasks; it’s also quite a messy job, so protect your floors with plenty of protective sheeting. It is also important to provide a good base with a high-quality baseboard with modern soundproofing plasterboard or fire-rated plasterboard, both being great options. The main specialised tools needed to plaster are –
- Plastering Trowel – a key tool used to apply the plaster, a good quality stainless steel trowel that feels comfortable is recommended.
- Hawk Board – this tool holds the wet plaster; both wood and plaster examples are good for the task at hand.
- Bucket Trowel – specially designed to move wet plaster from mixing buckets to the hawk board.
- Power Mixer – paddle attachments for a power drill work well but hiring a specialised plastering machine is also an option.
- Paint Brush – a new good quality brush is essential for keeping edges and surfaces clean and wet.
Together with these specialised plastering tools, you will need a snap-off knife, spray bottle, and smaller brush alongside all the appropriate personal protective equipment to keep you safe; goggles, a dust mask, and protective gloves are the minimum requirement.
The Plastering Process Explained
Prepare the room correctly by making sure the area is cleared of obstructions and covered with sufficient protective sheeting; the process follows these steps –
- Prepare the wall surfaces by cleaning them thoroughly and remove any loose particles that may hinder applying the plaster; if working with new plasterboard, cover any joints with plaster tape.
- Apply the PVA adhesive to the clean surface; this will hold the plaster to the wall; when diluting the PVA, always carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Using clean buckets, mix the plaster again, following the instructions carefully, adding clean water steadily to ensure a smooth mixture.
- When the PVA has a tacky feel, apply the plaster using the Plastering trowel; start with small amounts until you feel confident about increasing the amount.
- Allow the first coat to dry for around 20 minutes before smoothing out any bumps or imperfections and applying the second coat.
- Once the plaster has dried slightly, finish with the trowel edge and spray bottle until you’re happy with the finished effect.
This step-by-step list of tasks is a basic outline; take some time to do some research; there is a wealth of helpful online how-to guides for the budding plasterer; focus on the mixing instructions, as this is crucial to a successful outcome.
It is important to remember that plastering is a skill, and the results of your first attempts will not compare with a time-served tradesperson, keep your expectations at an appropriate level.
With careful preparation, the right tools, and a can-do attitude, you can successfully plaster your own home, which may even lead to a new profession!