How To Plaster

12 May

How To Plaster

If you’d like some instructions on how to plaster walls on your own, instead of hiring a professional, we’ve included some instructional videos that should answer your questions and illustrate proper plastering techniques.

The first step is to understand how to mix plaster. You’ll need a powerful (i.e. not homeowner quality) drill to  power a mixing bit, a couple of buckets, a bucket trowel, and a place to mix where dust and splatter will not ruin carpeting or flooring. You’ll likely make a bit of a mess, so don’t attempt to mix plaster in an area that cannot be easily cleaned. We suggest a garage, basement, or outdoors. Here is a video that shows the steps to mixing plaster:

After you have mixed the plaster, you’ll need to learn to apply it to walls. Learning to be proficient at applying plaster is definitely more of an art than a simple mechanical, repetitive task. Some tasks can be learned by simply reading a book, others require much more hands-on practice. Learning how to plaster is in the latter category.

Feathering the plaster along the surface of the wall will take time and practice to learn. While the process looks very easy to do in the video below, actually being able to apply plaster as illustrated is more difficult than the expert makes it appear. The key is to gradually change the angle of the trowel as it is being moved along the surface of the wall. This is how to apply a thin, even coating of plaster over the surface of a wall.

When first beginning to learn how to apply plaster, the thickness of plaster being applied with vary widely from one spot to another. Simply take the trowel and scrape off the plaster and try again. For expert results, you’ll need to learn to always change the angle of the trowel in the same relation to the speed of the movement of the trowel. The slower you move the trowel along the wall, the slower you will change the angel of the trowel.

Conversely, the faster you move the trowel along the wall, the faster you will change the angle of the trowel. This relationship/ratio of change must always be the same in order to apply a consistent thickness of plaster. Here is a video that illustrates the process of plaster application:

Once you learn how to apply plaster to a wall surface, you’ll need to expand your effort in order to plaster an entire wall. Plaster experts can do this in very little time; it’s going to take a beginner much, much longer. In this video you’ll see an expert who will show you how to skim coat an entire wall with plaster. Notice the efficiency in his moves. He doesn’t engage in any extra, unnecessary moves at all. No stepping back to take a look, no repeated dipping into the plaster bucket, no double or triple attempts at putting plaster on his trowel. No time delays between moves. Each move is effective at accomplishing the task intended. Don’t expect to be nearly as fast as this man when you are just learning how to plaster:

After the plaster has been applied, you may want to leave a smoother finish, or you may prefer a textured plaster finish. There are actually many different texture patterns that can be applied. This first video shows a raised texture pattern that is created using a large brush specifically designed for creating textured walls:

This next video shows how to apply a Venetian Plaster texture:

The next video shows how to apply a roller texture. While the video illustrates how to apply a roller texture to a sample of wallboard, the technique used is exactly how a roller texture would be applied to a plaster wall:

Lastly, while plastering doesn’t create nearly as much dust as sanding dry wall, there will nonetheless be a fair amount of dust to clean up aftering your plastering job. Here is a video on how to properly clean up plaster dust:

Lastly, if all of the above seems like too much work for you, the alternative is to call an expert plaster compnay, sit back, relax, and let them take care of all the plastering details. We’re here to help if that’s what you choose!

Drywall Maine
55 Collinsbrook Road
Brunswick, ME 04011

Phone: +1-207-841-7658

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