Getting Your Walls Plaster-ready
Although the skilled job of plastering walls is always best left to the professionals, there is plenty you can do yourself to get your old walls prepared for a new plaster finish — and save money in the process. Natasha Brinsmead explains more
While most plasterers are more than happy to prep your old walls for a new plaster finish or plasterboard, this work will obviously add to the time they spend on the job and therefore to the bill you receive at the end. Carrying out the work yourself to ensure your walls are ready to be plastered will therefore save you money.
Preparing the Room
Before your plasterer begins, it helps if you can clear the room and cover anything that can’t be easily or safely removed — plastering is a messy job. Your plasterer will need access to a water supply too. Aim to provide a route to water that doesn’t involve traipsing plaster and mess through your entire house. If you are planning on fitting new skirting boards then remove the old ones before plastering — most plasterers will find it easier to plaster down to an inch or two above the floor than to skim down to the top of skirting. If you want to keep your skirting boards in place then the majority of plasterers should be able to skim down to the existing skirting boards — it just tends to take a little longer.
Dealing with Old Plasterwork
If your walls already have a layer of old plaster on them and you wish your plasterer to apply a fresh skim coat, you will first need to get your walls ready. Any damaged and crumbling old plaster will need to come off the walls and the brickwork beneath may need to be cleaned off and prepared (more on which later). The remaining old plaster should be free of any old pieces of wallpaper, and an adhesive, such as a weak solution of PVA, brushed on. Alternatively, use a product such as Blue Grit, an adhesive containing small sand-like granules that stick to the wall and provide a really good key for a new plaster coat. Thistle Bond-it (british-gypsum.com) is another good product. Both are