Plastering as a profession has been around for thousands of years. Evidence of the work done by a professional craftsman exists in the pyramids of Egypt which contain plasterwork as old as 4,000 years. Remnants of the tools found by archaeologists and their traces also point to the fact that plastering tools in that time highly resembled the ones used today in terms of form and function.

Tools and materials

The wide assortment of plasterers’ tools UK suppliers offer can range from a few – for the most basic tasks, to numerous – for the professional who is trained and familiar with all the facets of the craft. Plastering trowels are the most iconic implement of the plasterer. Wood laths are strips of straight-grained wood like Baltic or American fir that is a framework material to support the plaster. Lime is one of the main ingredients of many plastering mixtures workers apply using plastering tools in the UK, for example. In plastering, it is what you would call the glue that holds the plaster in place.

Basic steps

The first step to any basic plastering job is to prepare the work area by laying dustsheets and protective material to prevent difficult clean-up. You also need to make sure that the surface being plastered is free from any loose dust and debris as these can compromise the integrity of the work. The bonding agent should then be applied on the surface as evenly as possible to make sure that the plaster dries out evenly. The next step is to mix the plaster material in cold water. There should be great care taken in removing any lumps or unmixed plaster. You can then apply the wet plaster on the surface using your plastering trowel.

After waiting for the coat to dry slightly for about 20 minutes, you can smooth any lumps and bumps in the material. If you want to apply a second or third coat, you should scrape the surface of the plaster to ensure proper adhesion. Always make sure that the succeeding layers are thinner and more diluted than the lower layer. Before the last layer dries, you can make finishing touches by using a spray gun and trowel to correct any imperfections.

As long as it continues to be useful in structures, plastering will always have a place in modern construction. For a time, it even became highly stylized and artistic which continues to be iconic to this day as seen in the intricate and beautiful designs in old churches and castles. At the centre of this endeavour is the craftsman’s steady hand, so whether you’re a contractor or resourceful homeowner, plastering remains an important profession in society.