DIY Plastering 101: 7 Tips for a Flawless Job

By admin / September 9, 2019

For people who are learning DIY, plastering is one of the few problematic jobs that baffle people. Plastering is great if it’s perfect. Many people are looking towards perfecting their craft.

There are more people now hoping to DIY instead of hiring professionals. If you’re looking to do some DIY plastering yourself, there are a few different ways to do it.

In this article, we have 7 tips so you can do some perfect plastering that can even match the pros. Follow these techniques and we’re sure you’d get a flawless job each and every time.

1. Learn All Your Plastering Tools

Before you start plastering away, you need to first have the right tools for the job. Each of these tools can make your job much easier than running around without them. Like any true born artist, you need to have the right materials.

The most basic tools that you need to do some DIY plastering includes:

  • Stainless steel finishing trowel
  • Plastering hawk or hand board
  • Bucket or masonry trowel
  • Plasterer’s water splash brush
  • Heavy-duty plaster mixer

You would want to have at least one of these when you do some plastering. You would also want to have a way to protect the surroundings from plaster splashes.

2. Understand The Right Types of Plaster

There are three major types of plaster in use in major plastering jobs. These have their own advantages and disadvantages and uses in modern construction. These are:

  • Lime plaster
  • Cement plaster
  • Gypsum plaster

There are further classifications of plastering depending on several factors. Some base the classification on finish or coat. Some base this on the brand name or the proportion you need for cement/lime to sand.

Lime plaster is a combination of lime, water, and sand. Lime plaster allows the wall to be breathable, allowing moisture to pass through. They are also flexible and antifungal, making lime plaster great at preventing cracks.

Cement plasters use cement with Portland, water, and sand. Cement plaster is easy to use and cheap, allowing you to achieve an easier finish. It’s durable and has good strength.

Gypsum is one of the easiest to work with materials, with its ease of application. You can also expect that there will be zero shrinkage and no curing time needed for it to be viable.

3. Prepare Your Walls

Preparing your walls for plastering is one of the most crucial steps of this job. Plaster doesn’t stick to any surface and you don’t want it to fall away down to your plastic sheet. To make sure that your wall is ready, here’s what you can do.

First, you need to strip any wallpaper. If you plaster over wallpaper, you can expect to see some bubbles by your second coating. This will make the plaster fall off and peel.

This is the hardest and most boring part of the job, but it’s also the most important.

Next, you need to wash your walls and remove any impurities on it. You would need to remove as much dirt and grime from the walls.

Grime can reduce the adherence of your plaster from the wall. A sizeable layer of grime can create a big bubble on your surface. If this falls off, you would need to remove the entire layer.

Once you finish cleaning, scrim tape all the cracks on your walls. Scrim tape is a type of mesh that people apply to walls, which prevents the cracking of your plaster. Any cracks should get some scrim tape to prevent any plaster disturbance.

4. Use Sugar Soap or TSP To Clean Your Walls

So, what’s the best way to clean your walls before plastering? There are different ways to do proper wall cleaning before you start plastering.

For starters, you have a choice between sugar soap or TSP depending where you are. Sugar soap is available in many Commonwealth countries like Canada and the UK. In the US, TSP is the best wall cleaner you can use.

TSP or trisodium phosphate can cut gloss and other impurities in your walls. To do so, mix TSP that you can source from the hardware into hot water until it dissolves. Wipe it on the wall and use a sponge to dry.

If you’re in communities where there is a ban on TSP, you can use commercial deglosser and some elbow grease to scrape the walls.

5. Apply PVA as Primer

One of the most misunderstood processes in plastering is the application of PVA. PVA or polyvinyl acetate is glue and adhesive mixed together, acting as a primer for your operation. Why?

PVA will help you seal all the walls and make sure you get an even finish. It will help bond the plaster to the wall and reduce the suction rate.

Every material has a suction rate that separates the liquid from the solid materials. Plasterboard has very low suction rate, while brick separates water fast. Without PVA, the brick will absorb all the liquid and lead to your plaster cracking.

6. Do Two Thin Coats

When applying plaster, the secret to a flawless application is to do two thin coats. Many amateur DIY practitioners’ mistakes come from using too thick a coat when applying the plaster.

You want to start with an ultra-thin first coat. This is to make sure it sticks in place and pushed into the wall with strong pressure. This is your insurance that prevents the second coating from falling off later.

When you’re on the second layer, you want to make sure it’s as flat as you can do. Make sure that the first coat is still wet when you apply the second coat. The second coat can be as thick as you need it to be.

7. Aim For Flatness

Flatness is everything in plastering. Aim for flatness, not smoothness. Remember that it never matters how smooth it is – only how flat it is.

The back coat should be as flat as possible to allow the skim coat to be much smoother.

Follow These For Flawless DIY Plastering

When it comes to DIY plastering, knowledge is the right answer. You want to make sure to follow the right steps and don’t skip anything. Every step is crucial to giving you the best end product.

Looking into more DIY tips? Check out our other guides today and see what works for you. We have many different DIY tricks that can make your job much easier.

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