Plastering (main) : Plastering Articles : Working with plaster


Tips for working with plaster

Anyone can plaster a ceiling! The following article will highlight some different forms of plaster to help you in choosing the right one for your ceiling job.

Smaller plastering jobs

For smaller plastering jobs, such as minor cracks and holes, you can cut a soccer ball in half. Mix the amount of plaster you will need for the job directly in the ball. When you are finished repairing your crack, allow the remaining plaster in the ball to dry. Then, once dried, turn the ball inside out and allow the dried plaster to simply fall out. This allows for an easy clean-up, as well as a environmentally friendly way to re-use the receptacle for your next minor plastering needs!


plastering ceilings

Plastering small cracks and holes

When plastering small cracks and holes, apply the plaster and then immediately brush it with a wet paint brush. This will leave a smoother finish, removing any extra plaster, and relieving you of the task of extreme sanding.


Patching nail holes

When working with plaster, always drill a pilot hole before placing a screw in the newly dried plaster. For patching nail holes, make an easy at-home plaster-mix by combining equal parts starch and salt with enough water for a plaster consistency. To avoid chipping dry plaster, heat your nail before hammering it into the dried plaster.


Mixing plaster

When mixing your plaster, remember, it is best to add plaster to the water, and not the other way around. In this way, your plaster mixture will have less lumps. For thicker, stickier plaster, try mixing some evaporated milk into the mix.

It can be frustrating when plaster hardens before you are done with your plaster job. When you notice that your plaster is prematurely hardening, add some white vinegar to the mix, working it with your trowel for a few minutes until the plaster is once again softened.


Work Safely and Smartly

Always use safety goggles while sanding plaster. This will keep your eyes safe from any toxic dust. Before painting over a newly plastered wall, let your plaster age for several weeks. This will ensure a “seasoned plaster” that is ready for paint. When working with plaster, always work slowly and smartly, making sure to take time to clean up your mess. This will help you prevent the plaster from drying in places that you don’t want it to.


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