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How To Plaster A Wall Yourself (DIY) – Tips by Viet Duc

February 9, 2024 | vietminvietmin | Uncategorized

Diving into DIY plastering can be both challenging and rewarding. This guide, inspired by the expertise of Viet Duc Ltd, offers detailed steps and tips to help you plaster a wall with confidence. Embarking on a DIY plastering project is a fantastic way to transform and refresh your space. Our expanded guide, with insights inspired by the craftsmanship of Viet Duc Ltd., one of the most reliable and trustworthy house plastering agencies in New Zealand, will equip you with thorough knowledge and practical tips for plastering a wall. Whether you’re a beginner tackling your first project or a seasoned DIY enthusiast, this guide covers everything from preparation to the finishing touches. We aim to demystify the process, ensuring you can confidently approach this task and achieve a professional-looking finish.

Tools and Materials: What You Need for Plastering

For professional and DIY plastering, having the right tools and materials is essential for a successful project.

Essential Tools

  • Plastering Trowel: For applying and smoothing plaster.
  • Hawk: A handheld flat surface to hold plaster.
  • Mixing Bucket and Paddle: For preparing plaster mix.
  • Corner Trowel: For neat finishes in corners.
  • Sanding Block or Paper: For smoothing surfaces post-plastering.


  • Plaster: Choose based on the type of surface and finish required.
  • PVA Bonding Agent: Helps plaster adhere to surfaces.
  • Protective Gear: Gloves, goggles, and masks for safety.

Additional Tools for Professionals

  • Scaffolding: For high or difficult-to-reach areas.
  • Larger Mixing Equipment: For more extensive projects.
  • Variety of Trowels: For different textures and finishes.

Having the correct setup can significantly affect the quality and efficiency of your plastering work.

Detailed Preparation

  • Inspect and Prepare the Wall: Carefully examine the wall for any cracks, holes, or moisture issues. Repair any damages before starting.
  • Surface Cleaning: Use a brush or vacuum to clean the wall thoroughly. If necessary, wash the wall and allow it to dry completely.

Preparing the Wall for Plastering

Before you begin plastering, preparing the wall is crucial to ensure a smooth and lasting finish. This section outlines the essential steps:

Cleaning and Clearing

  • Surface Cleaning: Remove dust, dirt, and any flaky paint. For greasy walls, use sugar soap or a suitable cleaning agent.
  • Clear the Area: Move furniture away and lay down dust sheets to protect the flooring.

Addressing Wall Issues

  • Repairing Damage: Fill any holes or cracks with an appropriate filler and sand down once dry.
  • Dampness Check: Address any signs of dampness before plastering, which might require professional assessment.

Surface Preparation

  • Scoring Old Paint: If the wall has glossy paint, lightly score it with sandpaper to help the plaster adhere better.
  • Applying PVA: For smooth surfaces or where old paint has peeled, use a PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) mix to provide a good base for the plaster.

Setting Up Tools and Materials

  • Ready Your Tools: Have all your tools and materials within reach to streamline the plastering process.

In-depth on Plaster Types

  • Different Plaster for Different Surfaces: Understand that gypsum plaster is ideal for dry areas, while cement-based plaster is better for damp conditions.
  • Undercoat Plaster: Learn about undercoat plaster for uneven walls that need levelling.

Comprehensive Tools and Materials List

  • Complete List of Tools: Make sure you have a hawk, a variety of trowels (including a corner trowel), a mixing stick or drill with a mixing paddle, a bucket, and a spirit level.
  • Preparing Your Workspace: Lay down dust sheets and tape off areas to protect from splatters.

Mastering the Mix

  • Mixing Technique: Mix the plaster in clean water until it is creamy. Avoid overmixing, which can introduce air bubbles.

Step-by-Step Application Process

Enhancing the details in this section will guide you through a more intricate and compelling plastering process:

Applying the First Coat (Scratch Layer)

  • Mix Consistency: Ensure the plaster mix is creamy but not too runny.
  • Applying Techniques: Use the trowel to apply the plaster in upward strokes. Aim for a uniform thickness of about 2-3 mm.
  • Creating a Key: Once the first layer is slightly firm, gently scratch the surface with a plasterer’s comb or similar tool, as this creates a key for the next layer.

Applying the Second Coat (Floating Layer)

  • Thickness: Apply a second layer, slightly thicker (about 2 mm) than the first, ensuring it’s smooth and level.
  • Smooth Out: Use a clean trowel to smooth the surface, filling in gaps or indentations.

Applying the Final Coat (Finishing Layer)

  • Fine Finish: Mix a thinner, smoother plaster for the final layer. Apply it finely to fill in any imperfections.
  • Polishing: After slightly drying, polish the surface using a clean, somewhat wet trowel for a smooth finish.

Expert Tips for Application

  • Consistent Pressure: Apply constant pressure when spreading the plaster for even layers.
  • Edge and Corner Technique: Be meticulous around edges and corners for a neat finish.
  • Temperature and Humidity Considerations: Be mindful of the room’s temperature and humidity, as they can affect drying times.

Drying, Sanding, and Finishing

  • Optimal Drying Conditions: Ensure good ventilation but avoid direct drafts, which can cause the plaster to dry too quickly.
  • Sanding Tips: Use fine-grit sandpaper and sand lightly to avoid creating indentations in the plaster.
  • Final Checks: Look for any missed spots or blemishes to touch up.

Painting and Decoration

  • Sealing the Plaster: Seal the plaster with a mist coat of paint or a specific plaster sealer.
  • Choosing the Right Paint: Consider the room’s use and the plaster type when selecting paint.

What is Professional Plastering?

Professional plastering is a skilled trade that involves applying plaster materials to walls and ceilings to create a smooth, finished surface. This process requires a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. Here are some key benefits:

Benefits of Professional Plastering

Superior Quality and Finish

  • Expertise: Professional plasterers bring years of experience, ensuring a high-quality, smooth, consistent finish.
  • Advanced Techniques: They use specialised techniques for a flawless surface.


  • Long-lasting Results: Professional plastering provides a durable finish that withstands wear and tear, reducing the need for frequent touch-ups.

Efficiency and Time-Saving

  • Speed: Professionals can complete the job faster due to their expertise and efficient methods.
  • Convenience: Hiring a professional saves time and effort compared to DIY plastering.

Problem-Solving Skills

  • Handling Complex Issues: Professionals can effectively address issues like damp walls or uneven surfaces.

Aesthetic Improvement

  • Enhanced Appearance: A professionally plastered wall contributes to the overall aesthetic appeal of your space.

Peace of Mind

  • Guaranteed Work: Many professionals offer guarantees on their work, providing reassurance about the quality and longevity of the plastering.

Professional plastering offers quality, durability, efficiency, and aesthetic appeal, making it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a superior finish in their homes or commercial spaces.

Professional Plastering vs. DIY Plastering: Weighing Your Options

Choosing between professional and DIY plastering can take plenty of work for homeowners. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed choice.

Understanding Professional Plastering

Skilled tradespeople carry out professional plastering. It’s characterised by:

  • High-quality Finish: Professionals deliver a smooth, even surface that’s hard to achieve through DIY.
  • Durability: Their work often lasts longer with fewer issues.
  • Efficiency: Professionals complete the job faster and handle complex issues effectively.
  • Peace of Mind: You get quality assurance with a guarantee on the work.

The Appeal of DIY Plastering

DIY plastering, while more challenging, has its own merits:

  • Cost-Effective: It can be more budget-friendly as you save on labour costs.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Completing a project yourself creates a sense of accomplishment.
  • Flexibility: You can work at your own pace and schedule.

Considerations for Your Choice

Skill Level: Assess your skill and comfort with plastering tasks.

Project Complexity: For intricate work, professional expertise might be necessary.

Budget and Time: Consider how much time and money you are willing to invest.

Both professional and DIY plastering have their advantages. You should base your decision on the project’s complexity, skill level, and budget. Remember, a well-plastered wall can significantly enhance the look and feel of your space, so choose wisely!


You can plaster a wall with the right tools, materials, and techniques. Remember, plastering is an art that requires patience and practice. Don’t be discouraged by initial imperfections; your skill will grow with each attempt. Whether you choose professional plastering or embark on a DIY journey, the key lies in understanding the demands and rewards of each approach. Professional plastering offers unmatched quality, durability, and efficiency, ideal for complex projects or when top-notch results are non-negotiable. DIY plastering, while more time-consuming and skill-dependent, can be fulfilling and budget-friendly for more straightforward projects. Consider factors like your skill level, project scope, and desired outcome.

The choice between professional and DIY plastering hinges on balancing quality, cost, and personal involvement. Whichever path you choose, remember that a well-executed plastering job enhances your space aesthetically and adds to its longevity and value. Ultimately, your choice should align with your skill level, project complexity, and personal preferences, ensuring your plastering project enhances your space aesthetically and structurally.

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