Plastering is an integral part of construction works. Plastering is the covering of the raw and rough surface with plastering material. Newly constructed surfaces like walls or floors get finishing touches by applying this technique. After plastering, surface gets smooth and neat look. Besides adding ornamental value, plastering is important for other reasons as well. It protects the surface and hence the structure from any environmental conditions, like sunlight, dampness and variation in temperatures. Surface is protected then from the attacks of the chemicals like chlorides and sulphates.
Plastering is done with two kinds of plasters, namely, Gypsum Based and Cement Based. Exteriors walls need stronger and tougher plaster work. Cement is more resistant to dampness and water, so cement plaster is used for exterior walls and the interior walls where there is a risk of dampness. Gypsum based plastering is done on the interior walls. On the areas where walls tend to be damp most of times like in kitchen and bathroom, gypsum based plaster will crumble down. A thick layer of plaster is needed on damp surfaces.
For carrying out a perfect plastering work, you need to have perfect plastering tools. Some of the important tools required for plastering job are hawk, plasterer trowels, buckets, straight edge and plumb level, string line, trimming knife, steel floats, claw hammer and splash brush. For doing good plastering job, you need to keep the tools clean, especially bucket and plasterers float. Besides right kind of tools, the plastering material should be mixed in perfect manner. A mixer drill is used to mix large quantities while smaller amount of the plaster can be mixed with a piece of wood. Plaster is hold with the help of a hawk and float is used to transfer the plaster to the wall.
Usually, plaster is applied in two coats – backing coat and the final coat. Bonding or the browning plaster is used in the first coat which is the backing coat. Plasterboard is a good alternative to backing plaster coat. It is easy to apply. Even a novice can do it. After applying the backing plaster, apply the second and the final coat.
While mixing the plastering material, use only cold water. Never add water to plaster. Always add plastering material to the water to save it from getting lumpy. Plaster sets very quickly, so mix small quantities at a time. Plaster should be applied when it is still creamy and soft. You can apply base coat in two layers to achieve the right kind of thickness. Application of the final coat is called skimming and it requires fineness. Apply final coat when the base coat is set but still damp.