How to Plaster Basement Walls


Plastering a basement wall will leave the walls free of imperfections, holes, cracks and bumps. A finished plastered wall will be smooth and hard allowing the surface to be ready for paint or wallpaper. Plastering can be difficult to get it to look right the first time applying it and you will want to practice first on a piece of wall board before trying on the actual basement walls.

Things You'll Need

  • Veneer plaster
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Hammer drill
  • Mixing paddle
  • Hawk
  • Trowel
  • Ladder
  • Mix the veneer plaster in the bucket with water according to the mixing ratio on the packaging, as it varies by manufacturer. Use the hammer drill and mixing paddle attachment to make the plaster into a smooth consistency.

  • Pour plaster onto your hawk, to allow you easy access to the plaster. The hawk is a tool that resembles a platform that holds the plaster for you.

  • Scoop some plaster with the trowel, ensuring that the majority of the plaster is in the middle of the trowel.

  • Smear plaster onto the wall with your trowel starting from the middle up in a up-sweeping motion. Then work your way back down to the bottom of the wall. Keep even pressure on the trowel to produce a thin coat of plaster. Work quickly to finish the whole wall as you only have 30 minutes before the plaster sets.

  • Plaster the high areas that you did not reach, using a ladder. Apply the plaster in the top area using a side to side motion with your trowel, and smooth it out in an up and down motion. Once finished, let the first coat of plaster for 24 hours.

  • Apply a second coat of plaster that is even thinner than the first coat. This coat will keep the wall from cracking. Wait 24 hours for the second coat to dry. Apply a third coat of plaster if you still see imperfections in the wall; otherwise you can skip a third coat. If you need to apply a third coat wait 24 hours after the coat drys.

  • Finish the wall using your preferred finish. You can paint the wall or apply wallpaper.

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  • Photo Credit cracked plaster wall image by AGphotographer from
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