Welcome to my blog, where a 30-something couple from the UK renovate and extend an old cottage, build some outbuildings, raise some hens and grow firewood trees and vegetables on our Acre in Hampshire. It's a bit like a smallholding but without too many animals, so we call it a homestead - living within our means, relying on ourselves and having a wonderful life!


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Adventures in Plastering

So, it turns out that plastering is not as impossible as it looks!

We paid to have a few walls plastered in the new bathroom when we bought the house - it made financial and practical sense, as the builders were here and being paid anyway, and a bit of plastering only cost us a slab of beer.

Looking round the house, most walls (all lathe and plaster construction) were in a poor state. The options were to patch and fill with Easyfil, strip the lathe and plaster and start again with plasterboard, or have them skimmed. The latter seemed like the best mix of economy of effort and speed of completion. However, the price was an issue - it seems that most estimates were for £100/wall - when we have five or six to do, it became a big job - particularly when the materials costs are about £5/wall. I decided to do some research!

I stumbled across www.diyplastering.co.uk, which contained some great video clips and instructions. A quick lap to town found me armed with a bag of Multifinish Plaster, a hawk and trowel - there was no stopping me! The first job was a re-skinned airing cupboard, which a previous resident had (for some inexplicable reason) covered in hardboard. The end result was sufficiently good to confirm that I should press on and try a proper wall.

This is a pic of the wall in our living room before I attacked it, with patches filled in with concrete (yup, really) and an odd two tone paint finish;

And after two skim coats of plaster;
The walls had quite high suction - the rate at which the water from the plaster is drawn into the wall. Slower is better, as it gives you more time to work the plaster as it dries. This wall sucked the water out before your very eyes - despite two coats of diluted PVA glue which limits the effect. The second coat was better than the first as it dried more slowly, allowing a better finish.
I'm still learning lots - I end up with lots of little holes and patches which need to be filled after the plaster has dried, but the walls are at least flat and smooth. I've done the airing cupboard, a large wall in the new bathroom, a window reveal and this wall in the sitting room. The best thing is the price - I think a wall takes about 2-3 hours of my time, and a fiver for plaster. This saves about £30 an hour for my time - a worthwile saving.
Any tips for getting a better finish first time round?


1 comment:

  1. When we over coat walls we buy a sealer type stuff thats got grit in it. It seals the walls and gives them a key for the new coat of plaster. Be careful if the walls are pulling too much as your end up with it all cracked.