A Complete Guide to Plastering
All the help you need in getting the most from your plasterer
Plastering is a task many claim they can do, but few can do well. Given how important it is to do a flawless job, it’s better left to an experienced professional. That said, if you’re feeling bold, or just want to broaden your knowledge so you know what to look for in a plasterer, here’s a complete guide to plastering.
The right plastering tools for the job.
A tradesperson is only as good as their tools. For plastering, there are a few need-to-haves –
- A mixing bucket – The bigger the better. This is used to mix water and plaster or dry wall adhesive.
- A featheredge/Darby – Used to apply plasterboard so that it’s straight.
- A float and hawk – The hawk holds the plaster, the float applies it to the wall or ceiling.
When hiring a plasterer, make sure they take pride in their tools and materials. That doesn’t mean their mixing bucket has to be absolutely spotless, but it shouldn’t be caked with the legacy of old jobs. It’s important that their bucket is able to effectively mix (adding plaster to water, not the other way around), and their tools allow for a smooth application.
The best in plastering materials.
When it comes to the plaster itself. there are two things to consider –
- A backing coat – This could be a mix or plasterboard
- A finishing plaster – Applied on top as a final coat.
The backing coat will be a browning or bonding plaster, though DIYers may prefer plasterboard for the sake of easiness of application. Buying smaller sheets can be more expensive, but it gives you more maneuverability in cutting and applying.
This is followed by applying the finishing plaster over the top, requiring more skill, with less room for error. This coat is also referred to as a ‘skim’, and it is by no means easy. It takes years of repetition to be able to apply this coat consistently and without error, so the more experienced and reviewed your plasterer is, the better. If you fancy yourself, you might want to practice on a quiet wall. Don’t dive straight into the middle of your living room.
That’s the relatively simple stuff covered, but plastering can become an artform when it comes to ‘Artexing’. This is the patterned plaster you often see on ceilings and walls. The patterns come in varying degrees of difficulty, so, again, best left to a seasoned pro.
As always, if you’d rather hand-off your plastering job to someone else, we’re only too happy to help.