Plastering Tips and Advice

Want to plaster your own bare walls but aren’t sure how to get started? Then why not brush up on plastering with this handy tips and advice guide.

Although home DIY projects don’t usually involve plastering work, that doesn’t mean it is completely unheard of; in fact, more and more homeowners in the UK are giving plastering a go as a way of saving money and cutting back costs on expensive refurbishment projects. But is it as easy as it looks?

In truth, plastering is a delicate job that requires precision and a careful hand; not to mention a lot of patience. Taking your time is the key to getting the plastered wall to look as professional as possible – if you rush the project you are much more likely to experience further problems later on. So if it doesn’t sound too daunting and you want to give DIY plastering a go – where do you start?

Top Plastering Tips

There are a range of different factors that can affect the final sheen and even feel of a plastered wall, but to help you get things underway we have come up with the following pieces of essential advice:

  • Make sure you have all the right tools and equipment for the job before you get started. That include a straight-edged (preferably aluminium) board; a float, trowel and hawk; a bucket of water; and a small brush – not to mention protective clothing and goggles too!
  • Similarly, clear the room completely or lay out dust sheets over furniture before any type of plastering begins – just to make sure nothing gets damaged while the project is in progress.
  • The first step to plastering is to make sure you have a wall that isn’t too dry, as this will suck out all the moisture from your applied plaster and leave the layer brittle and prone to cracking or warping. Neither should a wall be wet, however; instead, it should feel cold and smooth to the touch. If it is a little dry, gently coat the wall with a damp sponge or cloth before you begin.
  • If the wall is bumpy or uneven, you should also go over the surface lightly with a small piece of sandpaper to smooth out any grit or dirt that has settled there.
  • Once that’s done, you can now you can start mixing the plaster. Make certain that it has a thick, gloopy texture (similar to ice cream) and isn’t too thick or runny when held aloft on your float. That is, it should sit rather than slide off the trowel before application.
  • To test the dryness and smoothness of the wall, you can always carry out a small test spot in a corner somewhere too – although this isn’t essential, leaving it to dry can give you an idea of how the plaster is going to turn out.
  • Be careful to angle the trowel as you go, lifting it to a slightly higher gradient as you go up the wall. This will ensure the plaster is evenly laid and you don’t scratch any portions of dried plaster or the surface of the wall itself.
  • Although some home-owners opt for two coats of plaster, it is also best to go for a thin finish; somewhere around 2mm thick should do the trick. This will make the plastering job easier on your arms, and help you get it finished in almost no time at all!
  • Finally, remember to clean up as you go – no-one wants messy surroundings when already confronted with such a messy project!

Remember, if you aren’t comfortable with any of this advice or remain unsure as to what it means, then you should always opt for a professional plastering contractor instead. These experienced professionals will be able to plaster a wall quickly and efficiently, without compromising on a high-quality finish; just make sure you compare as many quotes as possible first to find a good deal for your plastering job in your local area.