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Avoid Spending Too Much Time on the First Plaster Coating


Don’t get caught up in making the first layer of plaster flawless. The purpose of the first layer is to create a foundation for the second layer. When the second layer of plaster is applied, it will go on more smoothly, and the trowel will almost glide across the wall. This will create a much better result than if you had tried to make the first coat perfect.

The Main Goal of the First Layer of Plaster

The main goal of the first layer of plaster is to create a secure, even, and smooth surface for further plastering. This layer is often referred to as the “scratch coat” or “brown coat”, which is the first step in plastering a wall or ceiling. The first layer of plaster serves a few key purposes, including providing an even base that other layers of plaster will adhere to. It also helps to prevent cracking, shrinking, and warping of the plaster as it dries.

How to Efficiently Apply the First Layer

The first layer of plaster should be applied in thin layers, typically around one-eighth of an inch thick. This layer should be applied smoothly and evenly to the wall or ceiling to create a level surface. If the wall or ceiling is not level, the plaster may not adhere properly and could cause cracking or other issues. Once the first layer of plaster has been applied, it should be allowed to dry completely before any further plastering is done.

Timing the Second Layer

The timing of the second coat of plaster is very important. If the first coat dries too quickly due to improper suction control or if it is left to dry for too long, the second coat of plaster will not adhere as well. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the first coat of plaster is not dried too quickly or left to dry for too long in order to get a good finish with the second coat.

The second layer of plaster should be applied onto the first coat that is slightly tacky and thick, like putty. You should be able to press your fingers into the plaster and leave an indent without the plaster coming off onto your fingers. If the plaster does come off on your fingers, it means it is too wet and needs more time to harden. However, it is best to check in a few different areas to get an average.

If the first layer of paint is too thick and not easy to work with, don’t worry. Apply the second layer a bit thicker than normal and work it into the surface to get a smooth, even finish with a few holes or dips.

Exceptions to the above Rule

When plastering onto a plasterboard wall, the initial coat can be almost as effective as the second coat only if the surface is even. Sometimes a full second coat is necessary, but other times it can be just a slight layer troweled across the first coat to flatten it out and smooth it.

Of course, if you’re unsure, you can’t go wrong applying a full second coating. If it all does go wrong, then apply a third coating rather than just trying ages to get the second coating done right!


Overall, don’t sweat on the first coating. More often than not, it is the base of the second coating. But of course, make sure to time your second coating right, as this ensures that the final result is flawless and stunning. If in doubt, always reach out to a professional to come plaster for you. They’ll ensure a great job without you having to break a sweat!

We Plaster & Recruit is a registered plastering company offering the best plastering services you can find in Australia. If you are looking for plasterers near you in Brisbane, get in touch with us today.

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