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Service in the media
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Typically when remodeling a new home, people tend to think of the expensive granite countertops and the paint finish types that need to be installed. Most of the time, no consideration is paid to one of the house's most important sections — the walls inside. 

No one thinks about their walls until there is a problem or when they are moving into a new apartment. But indoor walls offer protection and isolation. They can even act as sound inhibitors, insulators and also have extra resistance to flames. 

Plaster is the most common type of interior wall material. Plastering is a method used before decorating or painting to achieve a suitable final wall or ceiling finish at a site.

Although plaster is often applied by a plasterer and is used to seal buildings interior walls and ceilings so that they are smooth and clear to paint or wallpaper. 

Before walls are painted or finished the plaster must be placed and fully dried. Freshly plastered walls should be left to completely dry before painting for at least a week to a month.

Things to Consider When Plastering 

Whether you are undertaking a home improvement project, flipping a worn out rental or helping out a friend, plastering is a great option. The biggest selling point of plaster is its durability. Plaster coating provides a much stronger and more durable wall finish than other alternatives (such as drywall). You will need to know some facts about rendering and see how much it costs to hire a plasterer to get your plaster work done. 

If you are looking for a tough and lasting wall finish that combats dents, knocks and accidents then plaster is for you. Not to mention the decorative options available with a plastering finish, it can really dress up your wall. Oh and for our greenies there is an added bonus, plaster is pollution free and therefore a better option for our beloved planet. 

You may have already been aware of the benefits of plastering but you may still be unsure of the costs associated with it. 

Plasterers determine a rate based on the area being plastered. The cost of plastering typically costs between $2-$10 per square foot, so you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $20,000 depending on the size and complexity of the job. 

What Does a Plasterer Do?

Plasterers are professional craftsmen who apply plaster to walls and ceilings. The application of plaster can greatly enhance the appearance of any interior space. Plasterers can repair damaged plaster, add decorative plaster to existing home walls or work in newly constructed buildings. In addition to walls and ceilings, plaster can be used to create decorative details and architectural designs within a space.

Many plasterers follow the same basic process when working on a project. They begin by applying gypsum to the work surface, and then top the gypsum with a finish coat of plaster. Plaster can be dyed in any number of colors, and the surface can be left smooth or textured, depending on the style of the space.

Types of Plasters

Backing plaster

Backing plaster is also referred to as a backing coat, is normally used in new constructions or renovation projects. It is sometimes called browning or bonding.

Undercoat plaster

Undercoat plaster can be used in place of backing plaster in those situations where hand or machine plastering techniques are being used.

Finishing plaster

Finishing plaster is the exterior coat of any plaster surface. It is applied on top of backing plaster. This is the final coat in any plaster project and is typically applied in a 2mm thick coat.

Drywall Plaster 

For most builders, drywall plaster is the chosen alternative, which provides fire-resistant alternatives and acoustically characterised drywall plaster. Another advantage of this option is that by adding more rooms, you can build partitions. 

Lime Plaster

Another alternative for plastering is lime plaster which consists of lime and sand. This coating acts as the finished surface and the undercoat both. 

Wet Plaster  

Perhaps the most known of choices is wet plaster, mixing lime, mortar (or gypsum) and water to form the mixture. Typically it is spread wet with a trowel. 

Ornamental Plaster  

Ornamental plaster, as the name implies, is mostly used because it needs to provide artistic effects on walls. For example, you may have designs like ceiling flowers, waves or words that depend on this type of plaster

Plaster Cement 

Cement plaster is the ultimate protection against bugs and pests which may attempt to invade the walls. The ratio for cement to sand plastering is 1:3. 

Gypsum Plaster 

For its newness Gypsum plaster is little known. However, owing to its reduced chance of shrinking or splitting, it is rapidly becoming the new favourite. It is also a master of all trades, as painting, undercoat, finishing and one coat.

Choosing the Right Plasterer

Depending on the scope of your plaster project, you might need an artistic plasterer to decorate your space, or a utilitarian plasterer who can simply repair a hole in your plaster wall. If any friends or family members have had this type of work done, ask them for a reliable referral. The Internet can also be a great tool. Search for plaster companies online and read reviews prior to contacting them. Once you have found a few candidates, call each company and ask a few questions, including how long they have been in business, what type of work they do and whether or not they are insured. Invite potential plasterers to your home or office to view the project and provide you with a cost estimate.


Plasterer licenses depend upon the state that you reside. Some states, such as NSW, have particular licenses for dry and wet plastering. Comparatively other states have one license for both. Or it may be the case that plastering falls under a builders license in your area.

Plastering FAQs

Q. How long before you can paint my newly plastered wall / ceiling?

A: There is no exact scale of time to this. It can be painted as soon as the wall / ceiling is dry (turned light pink). A newly plastered area, when dry, will go dark brown & light pink. Obviously the warmer the room the faster the time to dry out. Something 2-7 days.

Q. What should you have to do to prepare my room/work area before the plasterers arrive?

A: All the areas to be worked on should be stripped as soon as possible with all the furniture and fittings to enable a decent working environment.

Q. Do I have to remove the wallpaper before the walls are plastered?

A: Yes, any type of paper needs to be removed before plastering.

Q. Is plastering messy? 

A: Plaster can result in a small amount of dust but most professionals will clean this away as part of their service! 

Q. What to do before you paint your newly plastered area?

A: Fresh plaster has to be sealed before painting. A cement sealant or diluted down emulsion may be used to do so.

Further readings:

Different types of plasterboards

Quick facts about rendering

How much does plastering cost? | 2020 cost guide

How to cut and install drywall


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