How To Do Decorative Plaster Work

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Whether you want your walls to look reminiscent of a certain design style or you want to simply add a decorative coating of plaster to enhance the look of the room, there are many plaster textures to choose from. Some textures are easier to do than others; however, with practice you can master any type of plastering technique. Depending on which texture you want to create, most of the techniques only require a few basic tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Plaster
  • Mixing tub
  • Drill
  • Mixing attachment
  • Trowel
  • Roofing brush
  • Taping knife
  • 30-mesh aggregate
  • Rubber float
  • Mix the plaster according to the manufacturer’s instructions in a mixing tub filled with the directed amount of water. Combine the plaster and water with a cordless drill and mixer attachment. The consistency needs to be lump-free and creamy while still being firm enough to be scooped onto a trowel without dripping off.

  • Apply a coat of plaster to the wall to cover it completely with a uniform thickness of about ¼-inch. Allow the surface of the initial coat to dry before adding the second decorative coat.

  • Add a second layer of plaster and create texture with various tools, depending on the look you want. A basic texture is a lacy appearance: apply a second coat of plaster with a trowel and allow it to dry for 15 minutes then tap the entire wall with the bristles of a roofing brush and smooth it out gently with a taping knife or trowel.

  • Create a textured look for Spanish or Mediterranean architecture. After applying the first coat of plaster, add a second coating with a flat taping knife in random applications back and forth across a wall to overlap. Smooth it out with a clean taping knife to remove any raised edges.

  • Pour 30-mesh aggregate into slightly moistened plaster to create a gritty texture for walls. Mix the materials thoroughly with the drill and mixing attachment, then smooth it onto the walls with a rubber float in a circular pattern.

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