How to Plaster a Wall Like a Seasoned Pro

Posted on: June 27, 2019

Plaster Base Coat

What’s Needed to Plaster Like a Pro?

There are many DIY jobs that we tackle without batting an eyelid, from simple plumbing to more complex electrical work. But where many people tend to falter, is when it comes to applying the finishing details. And nowhere is this more evident, than when someone plasters a wall badly. You can cover up many botched jobs, but a poorly finished wall is something that will stick out and bother you for its lifetime. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure that your plastering work will come out just as good as a seasoned pro’s work. So grab your hawk and your trowel and let’s get started.

Proper Preparation

As with many things in DIY, one of the worst things to do is to jump right in and start. Many times, this will lead to twice the work, when we later realize we should have prepared a little better. First, break up the job into sections, don’t think of a room as a room, it is 4 walls and therefore 4 different jobs, so we have smaller tasks to focus on. Check your surfaces and make sure the wall is not going to suck all the moisture from your plaster. If the wall is very porous, then you will need to add some water to it. If it is slightly porous, be mindful that it might take a longer time to firm up. A wall that is smooth, or painted, may need to be coated with PVA to ensure that the plaster can adhere to the surface. Make sure you have a good trowel. The old saying of a bad workman blames his tools, is very true when it comes to plastering. You will find quality materials at Amaroc to ensure you have the best starting point.

Know Where to Start

When you read instructions, you know you should always start at the top, and that’s how you should approach your plastering. Assuming you are right-handed, start in the top left corner and apply long, sweeping strokes with even pressure. Make sure to hold your trowel properly and focus on flatness rather than smoothness. Apply firm pressure on your trowel, and remember to aim for long, sweeping strokes that apply as much plaster as possible in each stroke. This is the hardest part to master at first, and you will feel inclined to add small amounts of plaster at a time, but perseverance is key. If you can master applying as much plaster as you can with each stroke, you will achieve a flatter result with much less effort in the long run. Make sure to get flat corners, bad cornering will take away from the look of a wall.

Know How To Finish

Once you get your technique down, you will be able to apply a lot of plaster in a short time, which is exactly what we need. We are working on a time schedule, as we need to get finished before the plaster firms up. Once your wall is plastered and properly flattened, try to aim for applying a second coat within 25 minutes of the first. When all is done, and you’re ready to finish, try to trowel the wall horizontally. This will ensure a flatter result and fill any holes that may have occurred from the vertical application. Remember we are aiming for fast quality work rather than rushing, so use the same firm and long strokes, and with any luck, you will plaster like a pro.