There's an art to plastering a wall well, and the use of the proper tools is essential. These include a plasterer's trowel, a corner-shaping tool, a hawk, a darby, a screeding rod, a brush and a bucket. To order the materials you will need, figure the size of the area to be covered. The undercoat is a mixture of sand, prepared gypsum plaster and water.
If this already sounds like hard work, let us take care of it for you. Call Plasterers Redbridge on 020 8088 0926.
If you still want to give it a go, here are the tools that you will need.
1. Trowel: a plasterer's trowel is a must. This has a long brace bar on the top side. It costs a bit more for this trowel, but it's worth the price.
2. Hawk: this is the classic mortarboard device. Use one made of aluminum and save wear and tear on yourself. The wooden type is much heavier. Load with plaster and hold in the left hand while the right does the work (unless you're left-handed!)
3. Darby: a two-handled smoothing tool to level large flat areas. It is held flat against the wall as it is moved along and levels out any bumps.
4. Screeding Rod: a straight-edged wood or metal stick to level off rough plaster applications. One end is usually held against guides as the upper end scrapes excess plaster back onto board for reapplication.
5. Water Brush: this, and a bucket of clear water, must be kept on hand for finish plaster coating. The brush spreads as well as dashes water over the surface being troweled smooth.
How to mix the plaster
To mix, use either a wheelbarrow or shallow wood box and mix the sand and plaster, dry, in one end. Tilt the mixing box with the dry mixture in the upper end and put water in the low end. Then draw the mixed sand and plaster into the water a little at a time, mixing constantly. If water is added into the dry mix, or all of it is pulled into the water at once, lumps are formed which can't be easily broken up. Mix to a heavy creamy consistency. Add more of the dry mix or water, as necessary.
Apply the base coat. The final coat of finishing plaster is mixed with water without sand and applied. Plaster is applied from a full trowel on upward strokes, using light pressure only.
As you can see, plastering is a skill that needs to be mastered in order to have smooth walls that will bring years of pleasure. We don't recommend giving it a go, if you are not a handy and meticulous person.
If you want the job done right and you are looking for plasterers in Redbridge, or nearby, give us a call on 020 8088 0926.
We cover Essex, east London and more. For friendly, reliable and professional plasterers, look no further.