When you first start plastering, it can be difficult to know what kit is essential and what isn’t. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on the wrong trowel or one that doesn’t suit your style of working, and that can be an expensive mistake to make.
Plastering 101: The Essentials
If you’re an absolute beginner, then the checklist of essential equipment you need is actually quite short:
- Plastering trowel
- Bucket trowel
- Water brush or spray bottle
You can also add a corner trowel for getting a perfect finish into corners and a plastering float for achieving that smooth and beautiful polished eggshell finish.
Let’s look at the checklist in more detail, beginning with the one piece of kit you can’t work without.
A Plastering Trowel
You’ll need a 14-inch trowel made from stainless or carbon steel that won’t rust, is relatively lightweight and will develop a beautiful edge. You can buy broken-in trowels, and if your budget will stretch that far, they’re highly recommended.
This is the basic tool of your trade, so don’t buy a cheap one. Instead, read the trade reviews online and invest in a durable and high-quality trowel that will do the job for years to come.
Like bread and butter or salt and pepper, the plasterer’s trowel and the hawk belong together. There are plenty to choose from, but again go for the best quality you can afford. Lightweight plastic hawks work pretty well if you’re new to the job but tend to bend and break easily. A lightweight aluminium hawk with an ergonomic handle will last you a lifetime if you look after it properly.
The Super Scooper: The Bucket Trowel
This is one piece of equipment that you don’t need to spend a fortune on – though buy one that won’t rust and ruin your plaster. This is one piece of your equipment that won’t affect the finish you get on the walls, since you’re literally using it to scoop up your mixed plaster.
Get the Mix Right: Get a Mixer
If you want to get the best possible finish on your walls, you need to get your plaster mix right in the first place. The easiest way to get your plaster smooth and creamy and ready to go on your walls is with a plaster mixer.
Again there’s a huge choice of makes and models, but it really is worth investing in something that will get the job done year after year because a decent mixer saves you so much time and money in the long run.
You’ll find an excellent choice of mixing equipment online at <a href=”https://www.plasterers1stopshop.co.uk/plastering-equipment-c-259“>https://www.plasterers1stopshop.co.uk/plastering-equipment-c-259</a>, where you can make a comparison between a few different models. You can also invest in a plastering paddle to begin with, but you’ll soon find yourself graduating to the big boys!
Splash It On
To create the perfect final coat you’ll need to splash water over the plaster. Some swear by a brush, others by a spray bottle. A brush gets water on the wall quickly and effectively, though you’ll need to make sure you invest in a high-quality brush that won’t drop its bristles, which can be a disaster. A spray bottle makes a good alternative because it’s easy to control and doesn’t have any bristles to drop on your pristine plaster. One advantage of a brush over a spray bottle is that you can use it to clean down the edges of your work.
You’ll also need a cleaning brush to take care of your equipment, but a dishwashing brush is ideal for getting into the spokes of your mixer.
Grab a Bucket
You’ll actually need two buckets – one for mixing and one for water. Flexible garden trug-style buckets are ideal for mixing, as they’re strong but relatively light, although solid buckets are more durable and generally contain the plaster mix better. Choose 12l buckets for water.
Whatever buckets you choose, however, you’ll need to keep them spotless. Any flakes of old plaster can get into a new mix and ruin it, so don’t run the risk. Besides, by keeping all your equipment in good condition, it’ll last that much longer, making your investment more cost-effective over time.
Corner Trowel and Float
When selecting these extra trowels, the same rules apply as when you choose your other equipment. Buy the best you can afford, make sure they’re comfortable, robust and corrosion-proof, and look after them with care so they last a lifetime.
There are other pieces of equipment you’ll need, including a spirit level, Stanley knife, hacksaw and straight edge, although you may already possess some of those items for other DIY projects. Invest well in your basic kit and you’ll find it’s surprisingly versatile and long-lasting.