If you’ve got a few plaster wall repair patch jobs you need to do around the house, now could be the time to learn how to do your own fixups. Armed with our DIY Plastering Guide and some spare time, your walls could be looking like new again.
Step 1: Planning and preparation
Before you start, you’ll need to get the right equipment for the job you’re undertaking. For plaster repair, you’ll need the basic plastering tools:
- A plastering trowel—a trowel used to spread and smooth plaster.
- A bucket trowel—a wide-bladed tool for scooping mortar from a bucket.
- A hand board (also called a “hawk”)—to hold plaster so you can easily get it onto the trowel, which then applies it to a surface.
- A mixer—a tool for mixing plaster quickly and effectively.
- A splash brush—for splashing water onto your plaster for a perfect finish.
If your project is beyond your skill—like if you’re contemplating solid plastering an entire wall or structural elements of your home, ask around to find out the average cost of plastering in your local area. For riskier or expensive jobs, it’s always smart to engage professional local plasterers.
Step 2: Getting to work
Safety first. Make sure your work environment is tidy and everything you need is within easy reach. Also, check the weather to make sure you’ll be able to finish your project before any adverse conditions set in. Wear safety equipment like gloves and a mask when mixing or applying plaster. Also wear long pants and closed shoes to avoid accidents.
Before you start, prepare your wall by stripping any residual wallpaper and washing the walls. Then:
- Brush on PVA glue to prepare the wall to hold the plaster. Mix one part of PVA glue with four parts water. Roll or brush the PVA over the entire area to be plastered.
- Mix your plaster. Add cold water and patching plaster mix into a bucket until it forms a mound above the surface of the water. Use your mixer to mix it into a smooth paste.
- Heap some fresh plaster onto your hawk board. Scoop the plaster out of the bucket with the edge of your trowel.
- Use your trowel to ready a small amount of plaster. Slide the flat edge of the trowel under one end of the plaster and pick up enough to layer the area you’re plastering. Apply more plaster in sections.
- Smooth the first coat of plaster before applying a second. Once the plaster is in place, clear your trowel and run it over the wall.
- After flattening, wait half an hour and finish. Splash the wall with a little clean water using the brush and flatten with a clean trowel for the final polish.
Now that you’ve mastered basic plastering skills, time to move onto other home DIY projects that have been on the backburner. We’ve got all the painting supplies you need for your newly plastered walls, or wallpaper for something fancier, on Gumtree.