Step By Step: How To Plaster A Wall

For the perfect finish to any room renovation, you need to get super-smooth walls, which means you may need to get them replastered. Plastering is a skilled job so if time is of the essence, then you could consider using dry lining materials, which include ready-made plasterboards that fix to your wall.

But if you want to opt for the more traditional method and have some DIY skills, then why not give wet plastering a go?  To help get you started, we’ve put together our Step by Step: How to Plaster a Wall guide.

Prep, prep, prep

As with all DIY projects, success lies in your prep so before you start plastering it’s important to get the area prepared. Put dust sheets down to protect your floors and make sure the walls are clear of dust and dirt. Then check over the walls and fill or patch any cracks or holes – you can use screen tape or filler, ensuring the surface is as smooth as you can get it. And finally, gather all your tools together and check they are all clean and debris free before you start.

Start with the PVA

PVA – PolyVinyl Acetate – is used to create the best bond between the wall and the fresh plaster so it’s important that you evenly apply this primer first to the surface you are going to plaster. The PVA mixture needs to be diluted with water first – normally a 1-4 ratio but read the instructions – before you roll or brush the mixture evenly to cover the entire wall. Let the PVA layer dry a little until it is sticky, and you are ready to plaster.

Apply the plaster

With your plaster mixed, it’s time to apply the first coat. Use your trowel to scoop the plaster mix from the bucket and onto your handheld hawk board. You then scoop an amount of plaster up and onto the wall. Take your time and do a patch at a time, spreading the plaster firmly upwards as you flatten the trowel to evenly spread it out. Repeat until the whole wall is covered with a layer around 1cm thick.

Get a smooth surface

Now wait for around 20 minutes to let the first layer dry a little, then smooth over with your trowel to flatten any bumps, using a wet brush to even out the edges. The professionals recommend scratching – also known as devilling – the surface before the second coat is applied as it helps the next later to stick properly.

The second coat

You are now ready to apply your second and final coat of plaster. This coat needs to be a thinner consistency so always dilute your plaster mix with water a little more as your aim to add a top layer of around 2mm.

Finishing off

You are now on the home stretch with just a few more things to do. Once the plaster has dried a little you can finally polish your handywork by lightly spraying the edges with water and use inward trowel strokes to smooth out the surface. Or you can use a wet brush. Then let the walls dry completely before using sanding paper to buff off any excess plaster. You are now finally ready to decorate!

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