How To Guides for Home Owners

How to Plaster a Wall

What is Plastering?

Plastering is the process of covering walls, ceilings, and partitions with plaster. Plaster is a protective or decorative material made of limestone, gypsum, cement, and sand. It hardens and strengthens the surface it is applied on. Therefore, it is used extensively in construction to protect walls and ceilings from deterioration. It also helps prepare the surfaces before painting them and ensures durability and longevity.

Plastering is an essential process in home construction or repair, and it takes a lot of skill to perfectly plaster with the finishing required. Hiring a professional for your plastering needs is advisable, but you have to keep in mind that the process can set you back financially. If you want to learn a skill and save money, it is not that difficult to learn plastering by yourself. We live in an era where you can learn how to do anything on the internet, and plastering is no different. You need to gather some essential tools and supplies and embark on your plastering journey. Like most things in life, plastering also seems like an impossible task, but with practice, you will be smoothing that plaster on the wall with all the precision of a chef covering his sponge cake in buttercream.

Essential Tools for Plastering a Wall

You have decided to master the art of plastering, and just like any artist, you need the finest tools to hone your craft. Gather the following supplies to ensure you are well equipped to plaster the surface of your choosing:

  • Plastering Trowel- This is essential for smoothing and finishing the plaster. Invest in a professional trowel to get the best result possible.
  • Plaster Hawk Board- This is basically the plasterer’s palette. It is a surface used to carry the plaster and apply it to the wall, just like an artist using his palette to bring his paints to the canvas.
  • Bucket Trowel- A tool specially used to scoop the plaster from the bucket to the hawk board
  • Paint Brush- needed to add water to plaster and for finishing purposes.

Also advisable is using a power mixer for ease, but plaster can also be mixed by hand.

Step-by-Step Guide for Plastering a Wall

There is a lot of information about plastering, and it can be difficult to go through it. Plastering is a simple process that requires precision and practice. Once you have acquired the necessary tools, follow these essential steps to plaster your wall:

Step 1-Prepare Your Wall

Ensure that you have a clear, unobstructed work area. Lay out protective sheets on the floor as it can get quite messy. Remove any curtain rails from the walls and tape up any sockets present. Scrape the wall of any old plaster, wallpaper, grease, or dust. Having a completely bare wall for the plaster to stick is crucial.

Step 2-Apply PVA Glue to The Wall

PVA glue ensures that the applied plaster will adhere to the walls and dry out evenly. Dilute the PVA with water and brush it out on the entire wall. Do not wait for the glue to dry. Apply the first layer of plaster when the glue is sticky.

Step 3-Mix Your Plaster

This step is akin to preparing the batter for a cake. Plaster is available in powder form and needs to be mixed with water to form a paste like consistency. This step is crucial as mixing the plaster with the wrong consistency will not provide you with the required finish and may bend up running the whole plastering process. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided on the packaging. Fill a clean bucket with water and gradually add the plaster to it to eventually get your required consistency, make sure the mixing is smooth and there are no lumps in the mixture. You can use a power mixer for this process if you are mixing large batches of plaster. Keep mixing until you achieve a consistency that can be described as a thick custard.

Step 4-Apply Plaster to The Wall

Use a trowel to apply your plaster mix to the wall. Use your trowel to pick up a small amount of plaster from the hawk board and spread it firmly on the wall. Use small strokes and cover the entire wall.

Step 5-Smooth and Skim

Let the plaster dry slightly, and then use the trowel to smooth out any edges. Focus primarily on the corners where the plaster edges tend to accumulate.

Step 6-Apply The Second Coat

After the first layer of plaster has dried, do it all over again and apply the second coat of plaster. Ensure the second coat is thinner in consistency to avoid a lumpy look.

Step 7-Finishing

Smooth out any rough edges for the final touch. You can use a wet brush or a sandpaper to smooth out the wall to your heart’s contentment.

Step 8-Painting or Wallpaper

Once you are done with plaster, go ahead and paint or wallpaper your wall according to your vision.

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