DIY Plastering Guide

Plastering is a skill which many underestimate, and one which often takes years to perfect. To get you started on your DIY projects we've pulled together some plastering tips and starter guides to help you begin to undertake some of the easier projects yourself.

Different types of plastering

Plastering A Wall


Plasterboarding is extremely common in modern housing and new build property.

Plasterboards are adhered to blockwork using a dry wall adhesive.

This method of plastering is known in the trade as dot and dab plastering.

Plasterboards provide an easy maintenance alternative to traditional methods of plastering.

Plasterboards are a gypsum based board onto which plaster skim is applied to provide a plastered finish.

Plasterboarding work carried out by plasterers tends to be quicker and easier to carry out for plasterers and therefore can work out much cheaper than other forms of plastering work.

The boards come in varying sizes with the smallest plasterboard being known as a handiboard.

Large plasterboards are extremely heavy and when being fitted to ceilings require either a special tool which lifts them up and holds them in place before fixing securely to the ceiling or will require a two-man team to fit.


A thin covering of the final coat of plaster often called multifinish or board finish (when used to plaster over plasterboards).

When skimming onto existing plaster rather than plasterboards it is essential that the base plaster is carried out well as skimming does not hide imperfections in plastering.

Plaster Skim and Plasterers Scrim

Don't confuse these two unless you want to show your plastering layman status.

Plasterers scrim is a kind of adhesive tape which is used to adhere the shamfered edges of plasterboards together.

Plaster skim is another name for multifinish or skimming plaster (the final plaster finish coat).

Remember this - a roll of scrim and a bag of skim.

Getting started with your DIY plastering project

How to plasterCompare quotes for plastering from local recommended plasterers with Top TradespeoplePlastering a wall can be a tricky job and takes a lot of care and patience.

Before you take out your trowel it’s worth practising on a small piece of hardboard first, to hone your plastering skills!

Not Quite Sure?

Remember, if you’re unsure how to plaster a wall, leave it to the professionals.

A good tradesman will offer a quality service, leaving your walls plastered to a high standard.

Find a professional plasterer with our online directory.

Tools Needed

Here are some of the tools you’ll need before you get started:

  • Plastering trowel
  • Paintbrush
  • Hawk
  • Bucket
  • Large mixing bucket

First things first

Start off by preparing the room, making sure you dust down the wall’s surface using a stiff brush.

Spread plastic sheeting over the floor to protect it from any drops.

If the wall’s made of smooth cement, apply a plaster bonding agent to make sure your plaster will stick - it’ll also prevent cracking.

Next Steps

Now you’re ready to mix the plaster.

Don’t do this too soon, as it’ll dry very quickly and will be unusable if you mix it before you’re ready!

Only mix as much as you’re going to use immediately.

Make sure you mix the plaster thoroughly.

The end result should be a thick, creamy consistency with no lumps.

Next, apply your first coat of plaster to the wall.

Start at the bottom and work your way to the top of the wall using smooth strokes.

Keep your trowel at an angle to prevent you from pulling off the new plaster as you work.

This may take some practice to get used to the technique!

Your first coat of plaster should be about 2mm thick.

If you’re going to apply more coats, score the layer beneath with a scarifier to help the new plaster adhere to it.

Finishing off the plastering job should be done by polishing up the surface of the freshly plastered area.

Using sweeping strokes, gently stroke over the plaster with a wet trowel.

The plaster should be beginning to harden so to lubricate it, splash it with a little water using a paintbrush.

The sweeping motion should help you smooth over any little imperfections.

Now you should have a straight, silky smooth plastered wall that any professional would be proud of!

Need A Plasterer?

If you’re still unsure how to plaster a wall, be on the safe side and look up a professional plasterer.

That way, you’ll get great results without all the hassle of doing it yourself!

Remember too, if you need to find any other kind of local tradesmen then we can usually help you by getting you matched with up to 4 local people who you can compare quotes from.

Compare quotes for plastering from local recommended plasterers with Top Tradespeople