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The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Plastering Your Walls


If you’re planning to give your room a fresh makeover or want to fix a small patch on your wall, then learning how to plaster a wall is worth acquiring. 

Plastering is applying a wet mixture of gypsum, sand, and water to a wall surface, which eventually dries and hardens, providing a smooth and even surface for painting or wallpapering. 

This beginner’s guide will walk you through plastering a wall, so you can confidently tackle that home renovation project.

Materials and Tools

Before getting started, gather all the necessary materials and tools. You will need the following:

  1. Plastering trowel: A stainless steel trowel with a comfortable handle is essential for applying and smoothing the plaster.

  1. Mixing bucket: A large bucket or tub for mixing the plaster.

  1. Mixing paddle: A paddle that attaches to a drill will make mixing the plaster easier and more efficient.

  1. Plaster: Pre-mixed plaster or a combination of plaster powder and water.

  1. Sandpaper: A coarse sandpaper (around 120 grit) for sanding the wall before plastering.

  1. Dust mask and safety goggles: Protect your lungs and eyes from dust and plaster particles.

  1. Drop cloths and masking tape: To protect your floors and any areas you want to avoid getting plaster on.

Preparing the Wall

Before you start plastering, it’s crucial to prepare the wall. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove any loose plaster, paint, or wallpaper from the wall. You may need to use a scraper to help with this process.

  1. Sand the wall using coarse sandpaper to create a rough surface for the plaster to grip. Be sure to wear a dust mask and safety goggles for this step.

  1. Clean the wall with a damp cloth to remove dust or debris, then allow it to dry completely.

  1. Lay down drop cloths to protect your floors and use masking tape to cover any areas you don’t want to get plaster on, such as skirting boards and power outlets.

Mixing the Plaster

Mixing the plaster correctly is vital for achieving a smooth finish. Here’s how to do it:

  1. If you’re using pre-mixed plaster, give it a good stir to ensure it’s smooth and lump-free.

  1. If you’re using plaster powder, mix it with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The consistency should be similar to thick cream—not too watery but easily spreadable.

  1. A mixing paddle attached to a drill thoroughly combines the plaster and water, ensuring a smooth and lump-free mixture.

Applying the Plaster

Now that your wall is prepared, and your plaster is mixed, it’s time to start plastering!

  1. Start by applying a thin layer of plaster to the wall using your plastering trowel. Hold the trowel to the wall at a 20-30 degree angle and work from the bottom up, spreading the plaster in smooth, even strokes.

  1. As you apply the plaster, be sure to fill any holes or imperfections in the wall. You may need more plaster in these areas to ensure a smooth finish.

  1. Once you’ve covered the entire wall, use your trowel to smooth out any ridges or uneven areas in the plaster. This is known as “floating” the plaster, which is essential for achieving a professional-looking finish.

  1. Allow the plaster to dry for the recommended time specified on the packaging (usually around 24 hours).

Sanding and Finishing

The final step in plastering a wall is sanding and finishing:

  1. Once the plaster is completely dry, use fine sandpaper (around 240 grit) to sand the entire wall lightly. This will remove any small imperfections and ensure a smooth finish.

  1. Wipe the wall with a damp cloth to remove dust, then allow it to dry completely.

  1. Your wall is now ready for painting or wallpapering! Be sure to use a high-quality primer before applying your chosen finish, which will help achieve a professional and long-lasting result.


Learning how to plaster a wall is valuable for any DIY enthusiast. With the right tools, materials, and techniques, you can transform any room in your home by creating smooth, even surfaces ready for painting or wallpapering. 

Just remember to follow the directions we discussed here. You can plaster walls and confidently tackle more ambitious home improvement projects with patience. 

We Plaster & Recruit provide the best plastering services with operations throughout Brisbane, Gold Coast and Queensland areas. We are fully licensed and insured. If you’re looking for plastering services, we can help you. Contact us today to learn more and get started!

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