Whether your new property is a doer-upper or a complete renovation project, the chances are you’ll need to re-plaster the walls. In fact, plastering restoration can be crucial to restoring the character of an older property and to creating a beautiful and authentic look.
Plaster has been used as a wall covering for hundreds of years thanks to its resilience. Of course, over time it will suffer damage as the surface is scraped and dinged. It can be tempting simply to opt for plasterboard to create a clean, flat surface, and that may be an option if the damage is too severe. However, if you can find a skilled tradesman to repair and renovate the plaster in an older property, you’ll find it creates a matchless finish.
Why You Should Plaster Internal Walls
Having the walls plastered is a satisfying job in that it often signals that a renovation is nearing completion. It also gives an incomparable finish to your walls, whether your property is period or modern. However, whereas plasterboarding is quick and cost-effective when you’re on a budget, plastering is a skilled trade and you can expect to pay several hundred pounds for your old plaster to be removed if necessary, renovated and skimmed. But if your period property has lime-plastered walls, there is no substitute for having them professionally refinished – this attention to detail will add value to your property.
Preparing Your Walls
If you’re confident enough to have a go at the job yourself, then you’ll need to prepare the surface to be plastered. How you achieve this differs depending on the surface of the wall. Brick or block needs to be brushed clean and a bonding agent applied before receiving two coats of plaster – the scratch coat and the skim coat.
Wallpaper needs to be stripped and then any repairs made before you can plaster – the same applies to walls that have crumbling or damaged plaster. Painted walls need to be sanded and cleaned. Now apply a weak solution of PVA bonding to these types of walls before the skim coat is applied. Plasterboard is the easiest surface to prepare, and you can find out more useful information on home improvement online.
Applying Your Plaster
Whether you need one or two coats, the application process is essentially the same. Mix up your plaster according to the instructions and place a generous dollop on the hawk. Scoop up the mixture with a flick of the wrist and start at the bottom of the wall, using nice smooth strokes to distribute the plaster evenly. Keep your trowel at a slight angle and rinse it between each application of plaster. When the wall is coated, open the windows or turn on a fan to slow the drying process and take the opportunity to thoroughly wash your tools.
Now apply the skim coat, paying extra attention to creating a smooth and high-quality surface. To get the best possible finish, coat the wall and then wait until the plaster is slightly hardened but still pliable enough to be worked and smooth the surface with long sweeping strokes from the bottom of the wall to the top.
Finally, leave the plaster for about 45 minutes before polishing it with the wet surface of your trowel. Keep flicking or spraying the wall with water to create enough lubrication for your trowel, and work gently so as not to ruin the finish by gouging it.
Now you’re ready to paint, so apply your misting coat of thinned emulsion before applying a top coat and admiring your handiwork.