Need Our Help With Your Upcoming Project?

Steps Involved in Plastering an Existing Home

Plastering an existing home or undertaking a renovation project can seem daunting, but with the right steps, it can be straightforward and rewarding. In this guide, we will briefly look at what steps are involved in plastering an existing home.

plastering an existing home

Plastering an existing home

The key to successful plastering an existing home is proper surface preparation, which involves cleaning and dampening the wall to ensure the plaster adheres correctly. This step is crucial whether you’re working on new plasterboard or an old, uneven wall.

Once the surface is ready, you can start applying the plaster. Using a trowel, apply small amounts of plaster at a 45º angle, working in upward sweeps. Flatten the trowel at the end of each sweep to ensure a smooth finish. This technique is essential for creating a seamless look that blends with the existing surfaces.

After the initial coat has dried, a second, thinner coat will provide the final smooth finish. Make sure to smooth out any imperfections and allow the plaster to cure properly. With these steps, you can achieve professional-looking plastered walls that are ready for painting or wallpapering, transforming your home with a fresh, new look.

Preparing for Plastering

Preparing for plastering involves setting up the room, ensuring access to water for mixing plaster, and addressing skirting boards. Each step is essential to achieve a smooth, professional finish.

Room and Furniture Preparation

Start by clearing out as much furniture as possible to create ample working space. This helps you move freely while plastering. For larger items that cannot be removed, cover them with plastic dust sheets to protect them from dust and splashes.

Ensure the floor is covered with protective sheets as well. It prevents damage and keeps the floor clean. Remove any paintings or adornments from the walls.

Finally, turn off electrical outlets and cover them to prevent accidents. Use masking tape to shield switches and sockets. This preparation step is crucial for a smooth and safe plastering process.

Access to Water and Other Mixing Tools

Water is needed for mixing plaster to the right consistency. Identify the nearest water source and ensure it is easily accessible. Use a hose or buckets if the water source is far from the working area.

Make sure the water supply is clean and free from contaminants. Plaster often contains lime, which can corrode plumbing, so avoid using kitchen or drinking water supplies.

Set up a designated area for mixing the plaster. Ensure this area is protected with plastic sheets to avoid spills and mess. Keep all mixing tools and buckets near this area for convenience.

Skirting Board Considerations

Evaluate the condition of existing skirting boards. If they are in poor condition or interfere with plastering, consider removing them. This can allow you to plaster more seamlessly from the wall to the floor.

For intact skirting boards, protect them with painter’s tape. This ensures a clean edge and prevents plaster from adhering to the woodwork.

Decide if you will skim to the top or bottom of the skirting boards. This affects the final appearance and must be consistent throughout the room. Careful planning here ensures a neat and professional finish.

By addressing these areas with careful preparation, you set the stage for a successful plastering project. Proper planning and attention to detail ensure a smooth and attractive result.

Wall Preparation Techniques

Before you start plastering an existing home, it’s essential to prepare the wall properly. This ensures that the plaster adheres well and the finish is smooth and durable. Key steps include removing any damaged plaster and cleaning the brickwork, followed by applying adhesive and primer.

Removing Damaged Plaster and Cleaning Brickwork

Start by using a chisel and hammer to remove any loose or damaged plaster. It’s important to take your time here to avoid further damage to the wall. Once you’ve removed the weak plaster, use a wire brush to clean the brickwork underneath.

Make sure to remove every bit of dust and debris. If there’s any damp or mould, treat it before proceeding. For damp patches, consider applying a damp-proof membrane to prevent future issues. Using a wet sponge, wipe down the wall to remove any remaining dust or dirt particles, ensuring the surface is clean and ready for the next steps.

Applying Adhesive and Primer

After cleaning, it’s time to apply adhesive and primer to the wall. Start by mixing a solution of PVA adhesive with water, generally in a 3:1 ratio. Apply this mixture to the wall using a large brush, covering the entire surface where you intend to plaster.

This step helps the plaster adhere better. Let the PVA solution dry until it feels tacky to the touch. Next, apply a coat of plaster primer if you’re working with drywall. This ensures an even application and prevents the wall from sucking moisture out of the plaster too quickly.

Be thorough but quick, as timing is crucial for ensuring the adhesive properties are optimal when you begin plastering.

Plastering Basics

Plastering a wall involves choosing the correct type of plaster, gathering essential tools, and following a methodical process to achieve a smooth, durable finish. Below, you will find guidelines on each key aspect of plastering.

Choosing the Right Plaster

When selecting plaster, consider the type best suited for your project. Gypsum plaster is popular for its smooth finish and easy application. It is ideal for most interior walls. For older homes, lime plaster can be a good fit due to its breathability and flexibility, helping to prevent cracks. Cement plaster is durable and well-suited for exterior walls or humid areas.

Assess the wall condition before purchasing plaster. For new walls, plasterboard may be prepped with plaster directly. In contrast, older walls may need a bonding agent.

Essential Plastering Tools

Having the right tools impacts the quality of your work. A plastering trowel is essential for even spreading. Use a bucket trowel for scooping plaster out of the mixing bucket. A plasterer’s hawk is helpful for holding small amounts of plaster while you work.

Other essential tools include:

  • Mixing bucket for preparing the plaster
  • Straight edge for levelling the plaster
  • Corner trowel for smoothing corners
  • Gloves to protect your hands

Ensure all tools are clean and in good condition before starting.

The Plastering Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Start by preparing the wall. Clean the surface, removing loose material and old plaster. Apply a primer if necessary to ensure the new plaster adheres well.

Next, mix the plaster. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve the right consistency. Use a mixing bucket and mix thoroughly to avoid lumps.

Apply the first coat using a plastering trowel. Begin at the top of the wall, smooth the plaster downwards with the trowel angled slightly. Use even strokes and aim for a coat about 2mm thick.

Once the first coat dries, apply the second coat. This should be thinner, around 1-1.5mm. Use long, sweeping motions to cover the wall smoothly.

Finally, smooth the surface. Use a straight edge to level the plaster and a corner trowel for the edges. Allow the plaster to dry completely, inspecting for any imperfections to address accordingly.

Patience and precision with each step will help you achieve a professional finish.

Achieving a Professional Finish

To achieve a professional finish in plastering, focus on skimming for a smooth finish, preventing common plastering issues, and sanding and polishing the surface. Each step requires precise techniques and attention to detail.

Skimming for a Smooth Finish

Skimming is crucial for creating a smooth finish on your plastered surfaces. This process involves applying a thin layer of plaster over the base coat to ensure an even and flawless surface. Key techniques include using a clean trowel and applying even pressure to avoid any ridges or lines.

You should mix the plaster to a consistent, lump-free texture before applying it. Work systematically across the surface, smoothing over any imperfections as you go. Remember, it’s essential to keep the edges thin to blend seamlessly with the existing wall.

Waiting for the skim coat to become tacky before final smoothing is important. Using a flexible trowel for the final pass will help achieve a professional finish.

Preventing Common Plastering Issues

Cracking and blistering can ruin your plastering work. To prevent these, you need to prepare the surface properly. Clean the area thoroughly, removing dust and any loose material. Adding a bonding agent can help improve adhesion between old and new plaster.

Ensure you mix the plaster according to manufacturer guidelines. Plaster that’s too thick or thin can lead to problems. Apply the plaster in layers, allowing each layer to dry partially before adding the next.

Maintain a consistent technique throughout the application process. This includes applying even pressure, using the right tools, and taking the time to smooth over each layer properly. By doing this, you minimise the risk of defects.

Sanding and Polishing

Once the plaster is dry, sanding and polishing are the final steps for achieving a perfectly smooth finish. Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any remaining imperfections. Begin with gentle sanding, increasing pressure as needed to remove bumps and ridges.

Regularly check your progress by running your hand over the surface. Feel for any rough spots that need more attention.

After sanding, you can polish the surface using a damp sponge or soft cloth. This helps to remove dust and gives the plaster a slight sheen. Polishing should be done carefully to avoid removing too much plaster. A well-polished surface provides a professional look and prepares the wall for painting or further decoration.

After Plastering Considerations

Once plastering an existing home is complete, a few key steps are essential to ensure the best results. You should pay attention to the drying time and proper finishing techniques, as this can impact the final look and durability of your walls.

Curing and Drying Time

After plastering, you need to allow the plaster to cure and dry properly. Typically, the curing process can take several days, depending on the type of plaster and the conditions inside your home. For instance, a one coat or patching plaster can dry in three to four hours, while a board finish plaster dries in about one and a half hours.

It’s important to keep the room well-ventilated. Open windows to promote air circulation, which helps speed up the drying process. If you have a new extension or insulation, make sure to consider the room’s humidity and temperature, as these factors can also affect drying times.

Avoid placing heavy objects against the walls during this period to prevent imperfections. If you notice any small cracks, these can typically be filled after the plaster has fully dried, ensuring a smooth surface for decorating.

Painting and Decorating

Once the plaster has cured and dried, you can start painting and decorating. Before applying paint, you should prepare the walls by sanding down any rough areas and dusting off any debris. Use a primer to ensure the paint adheres properly to the plaster.

For a smooth and even finish, apply a mist coat, which is a mixture of water and emulsion paint. This base layer helps to seal the plaster and prepare it for the final coats of paint. You can then proceed with your desired colour and finish, whether it’s matte or gloss.

If you’re adding design elements like drywall or other decorative features, ensure these are securely fixed to avoid any damage to the fresh plaster. Consider looking up how to guides for detailed steps on these processes.

You can also take design inspiration from various renovation projects to achieve the look you want. Remember, proper preparation and finishing are key to transforming your space and ensuring long-lasting results.

If you would like any help or require plastering services, please get in touch with our team for a free quote and consultation today.

Looking For Plasterers In South London or Surrey?

Ralph Plastering is a highly recommended plastering company in South London and Surrey providing all aspects of plastering, dry lining, rendering and external wall insulation services.

Liked what you read? Get in touch with our experts!

If you have any requirement for any plastering, rendering or dry lining services, submit your details below and one of our team members will get in touch with you.