Learn how to plaster a wall

Plastering a wall is often a task that people leave to the experts, especially if those people are unfamiliar with DIY. The thought of having to quickly learn about plastering as well as entrenching yourself in the midst of a delicate procedure that will make or break one of your rooms is enough for many people to dismiss the idea.

However, we are here to say that it can be done! Whether for financial reasons or you feel like a bit of a challenge, you can certainly learn how to plaster a wall. All that is required is a willingness to learn, an eye for detail and of course, patience. The whole experience can be rewarding, with the job potentially looking as if a professional had done it.

Thankfully, we’ve done a lot of the hard work for you. Below is our step by step guide that will walk you through the whole process whilst giving you important plastering tips.

 Shopping List

First things first, you’ll need to do a bit of shopping to get all of the tools and materials for the job. Below we have provided you with a checklist of items you’ll need:

●   Screen tape

●       Cutting knife

●       Plasterer’s trowel and hawk

●       Plasterer’s float

●       Deviling float

●       PVA glue, emulsion roller and tray

●       Clout nails

●       Board finish plaster

●       2 buckets

●       Stirring rod

●       Cloth/rags and spray gun for misting

●       Dust sheets

●       Dust masks

Stage 1: Preparation

This is all about laying down the foundations to try and make the whole project go as smoothly as possible. First of all, you’ll want to put down drop-cloths to keep your work area clean. It would be an idea to invest in cheap canvas sheeting or plastic tarps to protect your room from dust, spills and debris. Here are a few important points to keep a note of:

●   Ensure that you do a good job of covering your floors. Plaster can damage or scratch wood or laminate floors.

●   When finishing the job, take out the drop cloths and spray them clean.

●   Use painter’s tape for airtight protection when securing the dropcloth directly beneath the wall.

Stage 2: Put PVA on the walls

The PVA glue here is used to hold the plaster onto the wall as well as helping it to dry out evenly. When diluting the PVA glue, make sure this is to a 4:1 ratio – one part PVA and four parts water. The mix should now be ready to roll or brush onto the walls. Important notes:

●   PVA is what helps the plaster stick to the wall.

●   Only when the PVA is tacky – not completely dry – should the plaster be put on the wall.

Stage 3: Mix plaster

This stage is all about how to mix plaster effectively. But first, before you do anything, ensure that you’re wearing a dust mask before opening up the bags of plaster! Then, using a bucket that can hold around 5-7 gallons of liquid, fill it halfway and then mix in the plaster until a mound is created above the surface of the water. Straight after this, use a stirring rod to help mix the dry plaster particles. Stir the substance until it becomes thick and free of lumps. Important notes:

●   Always make sure that you are adding the plaster mix into the water, never the other way around.

Man plastering a wall

Stage 4: Put on the first coat of plaster

Now for the fun bit – the application. Using the hawk, float and trowel, your task here is to put on the first coat using the right plastering technique. Heap some of the plaster onto the edge of your trowel and scrape it onto your hawk. The plaster shouldn’t stick to the hawk and if it does, you can wet it slightly to moisten it. Starting from the bottom left-hand corner working your way upwards, scrape a conservative amount of plaster from your hawk onto the wall. Tip:

●   When starting from the bottom left-hand corner, crouch down and push the plaster up the wall in a gentle arc-like motion. At the height of your stroke, you should be fully standing. Slide the trowel around two to three inches to the side and then reverse the motion and bring it down again.

Stage 5: Smoothing the plaster

It will take around 20 minutes for the plaster to dry slightly and at this point, you will probably find small and sporadic lumps spread across your plastered wall. Use your trowel to gently smooth them out, especially around the corners at the bottom and top of the wall.

Stage 6: Put on the second layer of plaster

The second layer needs to be of a thinner consistency than the first and the way to do this is to dilute the plaster mixture with more water. The goal here is to only apply a 2mm layer of plaster. Next, leave to dry.

Stage 7: Polishing up on the details

Once the plaster has dried slightly, you will almost have a fully plastered wall that only requires a little bit of polishing up before being the finished article. Add water to the surface of the spray gun and spray the edges of the plaster with it. Make sure to use the trowel to help smooth out the surface and use a wet brush to help fill out the tricky edges on the wall.

And there we have it, a fully plastered wall! Now if you’re not the DIY type or you would rather get a professional to do the job for you then feel free to contact us today for professional advice or queries about our services. Operating in the whole of Wiltshire, we have a team of plasterers in Reading, Swindon, Bath and Bristol.