How is plaster installed? If you own a home or commercial structure with plaster walls and ceilings or are considering plaster versus drywall for a new construction or renovation project, it’s vital you understand the material’s installation and construction process. Knowing how plaster is installed can help you decide between plaster and drywall and ensure you keep that plaster in good condition over the years!
Plaster is manufacthttp://services/plaster-installation-ct/ured as a dry powder. Adding water creates a paste that is applied over what is called a lath, or wood strips designed to keep this paste in position. As the paste dries, more layers are added until the material creates a solid, durable construction material.
Since plaster is applied as a paste and isn’t sold in sheets and panels like drywall, you might note a bit more information about the application process, so you know why it’s recommended you rely on a pro for installation and repairs. It’s also helpful to note the pros and cons of both drywall and plaster, so you can make the right choice between the two for any new construction or renovation projects you’re planning.
First note three common phrases you’ll hear when discussing plaster application; “plaster” typically refers to interior applications, while “render” often means exterior applications. “Stucco” is often used interchangeably with plaster but typically refers to soft plaster that is shaped and formed for decorative purposes, such as crown molding.
Stucco might also be added, either shaped onsite or formed elsewhere and then adhered to the plaster walls and ceilings with specialty adhesive. Plaster can also be painted as desired.
Adding a new layer of plaster over an existing layer is an excellent choice for repairing small cracks and other damage, or for covering over textured plaster walls versus trying to sand away their design. Applying plaster over plaster is called skimming, or adding a skim coat.
When skimming plaster walls, it’s vital that you add a very thin coat as opposed to thick layers as you would when installing new plaster. New plaster is applied in thicker layers, to provide added insulation in the home and keep the material secure. Adding too many thick layers over existing plaster can put undue weight on the lath, risking damage.
Scrim tape, a special open-weave tape used for construction, might also be applied over existing cracks and other gaps. This tape will help hold the fresh plaster in place while it dries, providing added support and reducing the risk of new cracks forming.
Knowing whether or not walls are plaster is vital before making any repairs or even painting their surfaces! To determine if your home or commercial structure has plaster or drywall, try pushing a thumbtack through an inconspicuous spot along the wall; drywall is soft and typically easy to penetrate, while plaster is denser and stronger. If you cannot get that thumbtack through, you probably have plaster walls.
You can also try looking behind walls by removing a switch plate in front of a light switch or electrical socket. Notice if there are wood strips behind that plate, or if the wiring for the switch or socket is contained in a box. If you can see lath strips, your structure has plaster walls; if the wiring is in a box, this often indicates drywall walls.
A homeowner can learn how to plaster their own walls and might do an adequate job; however, as with any home improvement project, it’s very easy to get plaster application wrong, risking future damage and unsightly results! Adding plaster layers might seem simple enough, but a property owner cannot simply pick up a trowel and start “slapping” plaster onto lath and expect attractive, durable finishes that last.
For best results, first invest in the right tools, including a plastering trowel. A plastering trowel offers a jagged side for marking the first layer of plaster, and a smooth side for ensuring a perfect finish. Plastering trowels are also typically larger than standard trowels, making it easier to apply all the plaster needed to create walls and ceilings.
A plaster mixer also ensures proper mixing of the plaster powder and water, without bubbles or clumps. Just like using the right mixer or blender is vital when cooking and baking, a plaster mixer will ensure your finished material is ready for application and looks its best once installed!
If you’re considering skimming existing walls with new plaster, it’s vital that you strip away wallpaper and give the walls a thorough cleaning, as plaster won’t adhere to paper or dirty surfaces. Scrim tape helps hold plaster in cracks and crevices, as said, and applying PVA adhesive will also help hold plaster in place as it dries and cures.
A plaster installation contractor or homeowner can add plaster over drywall, using the steps noted above. Adding PVA adhesive is vital when skimming drywall, to keep that plaster in place and ensure a smooth, even finish.
However, new plaster is not typically installed over drywall but over lath attached to a structure’s framing. The plaster is then built up layer by layer, smoothed into position, and then allowed to dry and cure.
Both plaster and drywall have pros and cons; reviewing these together can help you decide the best choice for your property.
If you should visit a local hardware or home improvement store looking for plaster, you might note that there are more plaster options on the shelf than expected! Knowing a bit about their differences and why each type is used can assist you in choosing the best plaster type for your property.
One great advantage of plaster over drywall is that the material can be shaped and molded, as said. This allows you to create some dazzling finish effects for your plaster, offering a unique look and lots of visual interest in your home or commercial structure. If you’ve never worked with plaster before, you might add some to a scrap block of wood and practice these techniques before trying them on your walls!
You can also practice freehand finishes, for a unique look. Apply plaster in a thick swirling design, or put your trowel flat against the plaster and then pull it away from the wall, to create added texture. Keep practicing on scrap wood until you achieve a look you love, and then apply that plastering technique to your walls!
Connecticut Plaster Restoration is happy to bring this information to our readers and hopefully it helped answer the question, how is plaster installed? For the best plaster repair and installation for your property, turn to our trusted Connecticut plaster repair contractors. We have over 20 years of experience and guarantee all our work to last. For more information, call us today!