Plastering Beginner's Guide
zeldardro The Plastering Beginner's Guide is designed to help get you up and running.
This article is not intended to be a complete treatment of plaster or plastering, rather it is meant to be a simple, straightforward and easily digested starting point. To read full detail about this subject, see Plastering.
Plastering, like anything else is easy if you follow a tried and tested method:
Get the wall ready first, don't start mixing until you have done this...PVA over everything, except plasterboard, you can apply the skimming while this is wet or dry....if the wall is p-board, get it scrimmed up all along the joints and make sure no nail/screw heads are proud.
- get a coat of plaster on the entire wall, don't bother about any marks, lines or anything else, just make sure the entire surface is covered fairly evenly (even as in the same thickness - don't have it a mm in one part and half an inch thick elsewhere, unless this is unavoidable.)
- have a brew, wash your trowel, bucket etc and clean the mixing bucket
- 10 mins later, do another mix, half the size as the first mix.
- apply this t-h-i-n-l-y over the now partially set first coat, you are only really using the new mix to fill any hollows and you will see that it is much smoother already than the first coat.
- wait 10 more mins when you've finished the 2nd coat, then with a clean trowel and clean water, splash a small amount of water on the upper left section of wall and work your way L-R, then the same at the bottom. (the handle side of the trowel should be kept clean at all times, if any bits of plaster are visible when looking down at the blade, clean them off, have a wet brush and bucket at all times when plastering).
- repeat number 6
Some people attempt to do large walls in one coat, but it's false economy, firstly, it saves them 75p worth of plaster, but they spend longer trying to get a decent finish on it, and secondly, because they think they are saving time by 'not doing it twice', instead they end up going over it a dozen times trying to get it right, whereas with the method mentioned above, it gets two coats, laid down once and finally polished, but there's less effort goes into those 'four times over' than 'one coat and struggle for hours'...the end result is a smooth finish suitable for painting, if the walls are to be wallpapered and it's your own house, you can leave the final polishing, but for the sake of an extra 30 mins easy work per wall, it's not worth leaving.
Trowels...you can rub the sharp corners off on a brick if they are giving you too much grief, just make sure there are no 'burrs' on the face of the trowel side...they only need half a dozen scrapes on each corner, just to take the sharpness out.