4 fantastic plastering tips for DIY beginners
So you’ve finally decided to fix that hole in the wall. Good. Before you start, however, you need to know the ins and outs of plastering, of which even some professional builders are reluctant to do. Don’t worry, however, as our expert DIY plastering tips will not only make it easier for you, but will also allow you to get the job done right on the first time of asking. This article is dedicated to the DIY starters who are either looking to learn, or refine their skills.
Plastering has often been described as an artform, owing to the expertise required to complete its processes properly. Professional plasterers in Melbourne, such as the team at KONNSTRUCT, have worked with plaster for quite some time, and as such have the experience and skill set needed. This guide of four plastering tips will help you to get to speed and become more confident with all plastering tasks, starting off small and gradually improving.
Plastering Tip 1: Preparing the area
The step where many beginners go wrong is right at the first hurdle. Preparing the affected area is perhaps the most crucial stage to the plastering process to avoid any unevenness in the final results. Right from the start, we are going to set to work to start the preparation of the area so that we can apply the plaster without any problems whatsoever.
Using a hard bristled brush, gently remove any baubles or other loose areas of existing plaster, making the area nice and smooth. This is important for the final result of the plastering, more than anything. It makes sure that there will be a clean finish to the process, free of streaks of baubles, as well as allowing it to blend in to the untouched area around it.
Plastering Tip 2: Getting the plaster mix right the first time
Getting the mixture just right isn’t exactly rocket science, but if not done properly can lead to disaster later on. One mistake that people make is to add water to the plaster in a bucket, which creates a congealment at the bottom and heightens the risk of a poor plaster solution. Always add water first into the bucket, then add the plaster afterwards in a 50/50% ratio. This will also make it easier to stir and top up by hand to get the mixture just right.
The consistency of your plaster mix should be so that it can sit on the trowel without sliding or falling off. A simple way to judge this is to use the stirrer that you were using and see if you can get it to stay upright by itself. If you can manage to do this, then it’s ready to go. Another great plaster tip is to not make it too thick, as this can make applying the plaster incredibly difficult and physically taxing.
Plastering Tip 3: Using a primer
The primer is used to effectively cut out the suction of the wall so that the plaster can properly set. Failing to use a primer, or not applying it properly, will allow the wall to draw out all of the moisture from the plaster solution. This leads to an effect called “blown” plaster, in which the plaster, once it dries, will simply crumble and fall off over time.
There are plenty of primers available from all hardware stores that will do the job. Make sure that you pick up the very basic of primers, however, as some are made specifically for drywall or wallpaper adhesion. If you have PVA glue lying around in the shed, however, you can make your very own primer. This is generally recommended by many DIY enthusiasts, and you only need to:
- Depending on how large the plastered area will be, create a mixture of three quarters PVA, and one quarter water.
- Apply to the area immediately before you are about to plaster it, so that the bonding effect will work to its maximum potential.
- Touch test the primer, if it feels wet to touch you will have to wait until it feels slightly gluey. When this happens, you are ready to go.
Plastering Tip 4: Patience is a virtue
One mistake rookies make is to try and get everything perfect on the first time when it comes to plastering. The application process is one judged on each stage of using your trowel, after which with each swipe you assess the smoothness of the plaster. It always helps to have a practice run first, if only to get used to the particular mixture of plaster that you are using.
After each coat, seek to gradually get it smoothed, rather than trying to do it all on the first coat. Each swipe you make will be activating the bonding effect with the primer, and therefore making it harder and quicker to set. Take your time with the plastering, make sure that everything is done properly, and soon you will see a great result after your toil.
One last thing….
By following these plastering tips, you’ll be well on your way to making the move from beginner master plasterer in no time at all. Don’t be afraid to move onto slightly bigger projects, either, as plastering is one of the many things in life where practice indeed does lead to perfection. Should you make a mistake, or still not be confident enough to take on the task at hand, don’t worry, our plastering in Melbourne team at KONNSTRUCT are only a phone call away on 1300 743 734