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

Homebuilding & Renovating - - Project Advice -

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-gyp­ is an­other good prod­uct. Both are

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