A Step-By-Step Guide to Plastering your wall
This is part two of a multipart series “A Guide to Wall Plastering“:
Contents: “Types of Plasters and Tools and Materials required for plastering a wall” is an overview of the series.
Part 1: “A Step-By-Step Guide To Mixing Plaster”, this step-by-step guide to Mixing plaster will help you understand the basics of mixing Plaster.
Part 2: “A Step-By-Step Guide to Plastering your wall”, this step-by-step guide to plastering will ease you through the job. Hopefully, the finished result will look as if a professional completed it (This Article).
Part 3: “Reasons for the cracks in plaster”, In this part, you will learn about the reasons for the cracks in plaster.
Part 4: “A Step-By-Step Guide to Repair Cracks in Plaster Walls”, this step-by-step guide to Repair Cracks in Plaster Walls will help you understand how to fix the cracks in the plaster wall quickly.
This post will be updated as new sections are released.…
Plastering is one of the final steps in finishing an interior or exterior wall.
Clean and Check your surface.
Before you start, make sure your wall is clean by removing bits of existing plaster, dust or wallpaper as you go and check the suction of your wall to make sure it isn’t too porous. If this is the case, it will suck the moisture out of the plaster so fast that it won’t have a chance to work before it dries. So, control the suction of your wall with water or PVA, which should satisfy the thirst of the wall, stopping it from stealing the moisture from your plaster too quickly.
Build4less Pro Tip: Using a hawk and trowel correctly can be quite a challenge to start with if you’re not used to handling them, so before you put the layer of plaster on the wall, practise using them effectively, so you don’t end up in a mess.
Build4less Handy Tip: A handy tip when wetting your walls is to use a fine mist spray gun to avoid having to keep reaching down to re-wet your brush. Once the water starts running down the wall, you know you’ve controlled the suction.
Mixing the Plaster
Always mix plaster by adding plaster to the water and not the other way around. Add just enough plaster first to make a heap on the top of the water and mix it so that it’s lump-free, then slowly add the plaster to get the correct consistency either with a wooden stick or mixer drill.
Plaster and water mix together roughly half and half so half a (clean) bucket of water should make a full bucket of plaster. When mixing up your plaster, it should have a thick, creamy consistency with no lumps.
To know more about How to mix the Plaster read our guide on A Step-By-Step Guide To Mixing Plaster.
Using your Plasterers Hawk, tilt it towards you and skim a small amount of plaster from the hawk onto your trowel in one quick, smooth movement. Then, with the plaster from your trowel run a top horizontal borderline along the uppermost section of the area you are plastering and if at all possible try to work from right to left. Work the plaster into the edges creating a flat even coat of plaster that is flat and even and around 2mm thick.
Once the top border is complete, continue putting the plaster onto the wall but this time using vertical upwards motion curving around as you reach the top border. Angle the leading edge of the trowel away from the wall as you apply the plaster and gradually flatten the trowel closer to the wall as you move along and the plaster comes off the trowel. Make sure you overlap the top border and continue using a curving motion. Every time you finish an upward application, make sure you go over it with a fairly flat trowel using an angle of approximately 10-15mm to ensure you flatten everything you’ve just done.
The next stage is to flatten the first coat off and give your trowel a quick clean. The sole purpose of this stage is to get your wall flat and knock the ridges back, wait for 5 to 15 minutes until your wall has dried to a tacky consistency and then run your trowel over the wall to knock any ridges make the wall flat. Once the first coat of plaster has been applied, it can be trowelled up and you can then apply the second coat of plaster.
the second coat of plaster is applied in a similar way to the first coat but you should aim for a thickness of around 1mm. Remember to firmly push with your trowel when applying the second coat otherwise, you may end up with some small holes as you go over the first coat. To do this effectively use a flattish trowel going along the wall with the leading edge at around 10-15mm combined with firm pressure.
Pass your trowel over your wall looking out for holes or hollow areas and if you find any, gently work the plaster into them. You can also use a small paintbrush to help you with any corners at this stage, using big strokes up and down the corners to make sure the plaster is applied evenly. The next step is the trowelling up process. make sure you leave the wall to get tacky and then it will be time to remove the trowel marks. You will be able to see from the colour of the plaster when it is time for the final trowel as the plaster will darken in colour as it sets.
Third and Final Coat
It is important to make sure at this stage that you do not over polish the plaster. The plaster should be slightly polished and even but feel like an eggshell when you run your hand over it. If the plaster is any smoother than this it will make it extremely difficult for any wallpaper or paint to stick to it.
As you start to complete the finish of your plaster using the float it is possible that the float could pull some plaster from the high spots on your wall to the lower spots, but just remember, you can always add more plaster if it is needed or just wipe away any surplus plaster from your float onto your hawk.
Once your first coat of plaster is dry you can use the scraper or trowel to take off any small ridges. After you have done this, cut a small piece of paper tape to the height of your wall and fold the tape in half to create a crease running down the centre. Apply a thin coat of plaster base coat to both sides of the internal corner of your paper tape and then press the tape over the top of the corner of walls in your room. Once the paper tape is in place use your trowel to flatten the tape onto the wall making sure to squeeze out any excess plaster and then leave it to dry. Once it is dry use a trowel or paint scraper to apply a top coat of plaster onto both corner faces. Then, using an internal corner plaster tool, run it over the topcoat to give your corner a flat and flawless finish.
Some things to remember
You can use your scraper or trowel to fill any corner gaps between the plaster walls with the first coat and make sure you scrape off any excess.