Plastering: An art of finesse

Happy couple carrying boxes moving into new home apartment house

We are all aware of the basic steps of constructing a house. They start with cleaning the site, putting the base, framing the walls, structuring the roof. Then addition of door, windows, plumbing, piping, and as we reach towards the end, before the paint-job, we have plastering. The plasterer is the person who does the job of plastering.

How do you define plastering?

In layman terms, the process of covering rough patches on walls and uncovered or uneven walls. It consist of appropriate ratio of cement, limestone, and water. It hardens on drying on walls, therefore once the plaster is prepared, it should be coated on the wall within the span of 15-30mins.

Types of plaster

It widely known there are 4 different forms of plaster, depending on the architectural need and the various binding agents. Let’s go about one by one-

  1. The normal cement plaster as the cement is used as the binding material. It is mostly done in damp places.
  2.  The lime plaster is made of sand, water and non-hydraulic hydrated lime. Also known as slaked lime or calcium air. Here, lime is used as a binding agent instead of cement. The lime plaster is less prone to damp areas and salts than cement plaster. But can still get affected by the same.
  3. The mud plaster, or earthen plaster or clay plaster is the most inexpensive form of plastering. It is simply sand and clay in appropriate proportions. Chopped straw of 10cm and rice husks combined with main ingredients in the ratio of 4:1:1. The wall should be wet before applying this plaster and then washed with lime water to make it waterproof. Here, mud is used as a binding agent.
  4. The Stucco plaster is most commonly known as the gypsum plaster. This type of plaster gives a very definite smooth finish. It a dry Plaster of Paris mixed with water. It can be applied directly to any brick or uneven surfaces. Here, gypsum or Calcium sulfate dehydrate is used as a binding agent.

Each, of these are used with different thickness to decide the texture and finish of the wall.

Wall finishing

Plaster finishes are of different types, they are used both indoors and outdoors. Such plasters as lime plaster are mold resistant and it can be used indoors. Thus there are 5 different types of finishes.

  1. Smooth cast made by mixing of cement and fine sand in the ratio of 1:3
  2. Pebble finish or dash is where small uneven size pebbles and stones are left on the fresh plaster to create the middle- age look.
  3. Rough cast in which the final look has big size of coarse aggregates. Cement, fine sand and coarse particles are seen in the ratio of 1:1/2:3.
  4. Textured finish where different patterns are made with different tools on fresh plaster.
  5. Scrapped finish is made by scrapping the thick material of plaster with a steel blade or plate.

This art is very common among the plasterers, including in Andover. There are sites that lead us directly to them.