How To Plaster A Wall

Plastering a wall is a great way to improve the appearance of your home, however if you don’t have the right plastering tools then it is likely that you could make the job a whole lot more difficult for yourself.

Luckily, at TW Tool Superstore we supply a wide range of specialist plastering tools from plastering trowels to floats and brushes to make the job easier.

It’s always a bad idea to start a DIY task without being properly prepared, so with that in mind, here's a shopping list of what plastering tools you’ll need.

Plastering A Wall Shopping List

Dust Sheets

You probably have some dust sheets lying around your shed or garage if you have done any decorating before. If not, it is worthwhile purchasing a few of these to protect your floor and furniture from any spillages.

Scrim Tape

Scrim tape will be used to cover any cracks or holes in your walls or to cover joints in plasterboard and ensures a smooth finish.

PVA Glue

PVA glue is ideal to use as a primer when plastering, it aids with adhesion of your plaster to the wall and prevents the plaster drying out too quickly.

Plastering Trowel

A plastering trowel is hugely important for providing a smooth and even finish and investing in a decent trowel can make a huge difference to the end result. Our range of NELA trowels give you accurate control and precise finishing whilst being flexible enough to suit all types of plastering technique from amateur to expert.

Plastering Hawk

A simple yet hugely effective bit of kit to have in your arsenal. Plastering hawks are used to carry the plaster as you are applying it to the wall. It also allows you to apply to plaster quicker as you have fresh material to hand at all times.

We’d also recommend adding a bucket trowel to your kit. These come in handy when scooping up the mixed plaster from the bucket onto the hawk.

Plastering Sponge Float

A plastering float is an essential tool for any plasterer. After applying the plaster, you’ll need to make sure the surface is smooth - a float helps you do just that. Available in a variety of sizes, any of these Refina options will be perfect for the job.

Plastering Brush

Plastering brushes, like this one from Refina will come in handy when making sure the hard to reach corners are finished to a high standard.

Mixing Paddle

We recommend investing in a decent mixing paddle like this one from Refina to make mixing the plaster so much easier. Not only will this help you get a consistency of material that is easier to work with but it will save you from creating unnecessary mess from using a makeshift mixer.


You will need two buckets for plastering - one to mix the plaster in and another for the water. Look out for strong and durable buckets that can hold a large capacity of materials like the one shown below.

Even if you are new to plastering, it is important to invest in the right plastering tools to make sure you achieve the highest standard. We’re sure this list of tools will help on

How to Plaster a Wall

Before we delve into our step-by-step guide about how to plaster a wall, we’ll run through a few hints and tips before you start.

Before you jump straight into plastering, put down a couple of dust sheets to protect your floor and furniture from any spillages. Strip any wallpaper and wash down the walls.

You will also need to make sure that the wall is free of any loose debris and dust. If you are plastering an existing wall, make sure you cover any holes and cracks with scrim tape. If you are plastering over plasterboard, use scrim tape to cover over the joints.

If you are plastering an existing wall, you need to control the rate of suction and the best way to do this is to paint the wall with PVA glue. This is because the glue will act as a primer and will stop the plaster drying too quickly and help you get the perfect finish.

How to Mix Plaster

Mixing your plaster correctly is the difference between total success or absolute failure. There is a science to mixing plaster, so pay attention to the following steps.

According to British Gypsum, you should mix 11.5 litres of water to one bag of plaster.

  1. Add water to the bucket
  2. Pour ⅓ of a bag of plaster into the water
  3. Use a mixer to start mixing the plaster
  4. Add another ⅓ of plaster and mix
  5. Make sure to scrape the edges of the bucket to remove any dried mixture contaminating the plaster
  6. Add the remaining plaster
  7. Mix at a high speed, making sure to scrape the edges to maintain consistency

How to Plaster a Wall - A Step-by-Step Guide

Now you’ve prepared the walls and mixed your plaster, it’s time to start plastering!

Step 1: Apply plaster

To apply your first coat of plaster, you’ll need to grab your plastering hawk, trowel and float.

Place the plaster on the hawk from the mixing bucket using your plastering bucket trowel and use the trowel to push the plaster from the hawk onto the wall. Keep the trowel close to the wall and spread the plaster firmly upwards making sure the trowel is flat against the wall. Ideally, you should start from the bottom left corner and work upwards. Repeat until the entire wall is covered.

Step 2: Skim and Smooth

After you’ve applied your first coat of plaster, wait 20 minutes to let it dry slightly. Then get rid of any lumps and bumps by smoothing the plaster with your plastering float. Also pay close attention to the corners at the top and bottom of the wall as these can be difficult to plaster correctly. Using a plastering brush here can help achieve a perfect finish.

Step 3: Scrape

Next, you will need to scrape the plaster before applying the second coat. Use a plastering sponge float to ‘scratch’ the surface.

Step 4: Apply Second Coat

Once you have scratched the surface on the first coat of plaster, it’s time to apply the second coat. Aim to apply a layer around 2mm thick using the same technique from step one. Leave to dry slightly.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

After leaving the plaster to dry slightly, you need to smooth the plaster again. Run a plastering trowel over the surface to make sure the wall is completely flat. After the plaster has completely dried, if there are parts that need some extra attention then using some sandpaper to remove any excess plaster is a great way to achieve an even finish.

Step 6: Decorating

Before decorating over the plaster, it’s important to apply an undercoat to prime the surface if you are painting or wallpapering to seal the surface.

Volia! Now you know how to plaster a wall!

We hope our guide has helped you to plaster a wall like a pro. If you are looking to plaster for the first time and are unsure about what plastering tools you need, get in touch with TW Tool Superstore and we’ll help answer any queries you may have.

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For more help, contact our expert team on 01283 558313

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