How to Plaster a Wall
Plastering has always been one of the trades in building that makes people wonder how it’s done and how plasterers achieve that smooth polished finish that is achieved by working and toweling the plaster.
If you want to learn how to plaster a wall then don’t be put off by thinking it is something that you can’t learn how to do. Although plastering is a skilled profession that is mastered over years by dedicated craftsmen, with a little understanding and hands on practice, there is no reason why a novice can’t achieve a reasonable good finish.
Read More on How to Plaster a Wall
For the purpose of this article we will concentrate on learning how to plaster a wall by looking at the actual finishing or otherwise known as skimming or setting. Plastering is normally applied in different stages with a floating or base coat, plasterboard, and then finally the skim finish that goes on top. If you want to know more on how to plaster a wall then this article may be and we hope beneficial to you.
It is this skim coat or top coat that will provide the final surface that is to be ready for decoration or painting. The skim coat will normally be applied 2 to 3mm thick and is done in 2 layers to help achieve a consistent and well firmed in surface.
The Plaster Mix
Before you even put the plaster finish skim coat on the wall you will need to ensure you have the plaster mixed up correctly. Finish plaster will generally want to be mixed to a really smooth and creamy butter like consistency that can be easily applied to the wall or ceiling.
The plaster you will use will depend on the surface you are applying it to but we will assume that you are going to use Multi Finish plaster. This is an all-purpose finish plaster if you like that can be applied to a variety of substrates. The plaster can be bought in 25 kg bags and is available in most DIY stores or builders merchants.
You will add let’s say half a bucket of clean cold water to a deep plastic bucket and then add the plaster to the water, mixing as it is poured in to achieve a uniformed consistency. You can mix with a stick or for the best results by using an electric plaster mixer which can be hired from your local tool hire store.
If you are going to learn how to plaster a wall then the mix is essential as if you get it wrong your will struggle to even come close to achieving any kind of decent finish on the wall. Mix the plaster until it is creamy and buttery and then when ready clean the mixer so it’s ready for the next mix if required.
You will want a gauging trowel to scoop the plaster out of the bucket. Some plasters will use a spot board to tip the plaster on but we will assume that you are going to work out of the bucket for now.
Tools Used When You Learn How to Plaster a Wall
You will need a hawk and a trowel to carry out the plastering work and like the plaster these can be bought in most DIY stores or builders merchants. You will also need a gauging or bucket trowel which is used to get the plaster out of the bucket and on to the hawk.
The hawk is held in one hand and the trowel in the other. The trick is to take the trowel and scoop the plaster off the hawk and then apply it on the wall. You do this by tilting the hawk back in one hand and then with the other, glide the trowel across the hawk ensuring that the plaster is scooped off the hawk and on to the trowel.
You’ll need to do this quite a few times probably when learning how to plaster wall until you get the hang of keeping the plaster on the trowel and not dropping it on the floor. With a little practice however, you can achieve it.
Take the plaster that is now on the trowel and smooth it on to the wall with a long sweeping motion. Start from the top and work down to the bottom. Once you have completed the area trowel out any ridges of plaster and flatten in before starting the process again and applying a second coat. Before long you will start to get the feel of how to plaster a wall.
The second coat will fill any hollows and firm in the plaster. Once all on leave it until it firms up a little then start toweling flat. You will need to trowel over it a few times to smooth it out. When it gets closer to setting you will want to splash some water over it in order to get it flatter and smooth.
The finish plaster will be dry toweled and polished just before setting completely to achieve a nice smooth and polished look. Take you time when learning how to plaster a wall and try not to be put off if you make a few mistakes at first. Remember, plasterers have spent years perfecting their trade so the more practice you can get in the better you will become.
For larger projects or you’d rather leave it to the pro’s, then consider giving 5KC a call. We’d be glad to help and we offer plastering services in Liverpool. Widnes and most surrounding areas of Merseyside and the Northwest. Call us on 0151 736 0072.