Plastering a Wall

This does require a degree of skill, but if you never try new DIY projects you never get any new skills that can be used again in the future. Plastering a wall is as good a place as any to begin.

Pour water into multi-finish plaster, mixing in a bucket extremely thoroughly until you have a nice creamy sludge – no lumps and not too runny, please.

Next slap some of the plaster onto a flat platform called a hawk, tilt the hawk toward the plastering float and transfer a good blob of plaster onto the float (as you get more practised, you’ll be able to do this in a flicking motion).

Press the plaster onto the wall, holding the float at an angle of about 30 degrees. Make sweeping upward movements, narrowing the angle the float as you reach the top of the arc (but don’t flatten the float against the wall – it’ll just pull plaster away). Aim for a 2mm thick basecoat – and don’t worry at this stage about ridges and unevenness.

Wait between 15-20 minutes until the plaster has hardened slightly but still remains pliable. Use the clean hawk to smooth over the ridges and bumps, keeping the angle very shallow.

Wait a further 40 or so minutes, then start polishing: flick water onto the walls with a paintbrush and wet the cleaned float thoroughly, working in sweeping strokes.

Acquiring a skill like this not only adds to your painting and decorating repertoire, it can save you a lot of money, too.

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