How to Create Rough Plaster Walls

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Rough plaster walls add timeless beauty to a room.
Rough plaster walls add timeless beauty to a room. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Rough plaster walls add rich detail to a room. They are traditionally found in historic homes from the 1920s and '30s. If you live in an historic home with plaster walls, you may want to restore them or add the plaster treatment to a new addition or remodel. Even if you don't live in an historic home, you can use this wall treatment to add visual interest to your home. The rough texture of plaster can set a mood of the room as the light rests on it throughout the day and evening that many homeowners appreciate.

Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic bonding agent, can
  • Paintbrush
  • Powdered lime
  • Sand
  • Trowel
  • Mixing trough
  • Water
  • Wooden float

Apply a coat of acrylic bonding agent to the wall with a paintbrush. Allow the bonding agent to dry 24 to 48 hours.

Mix 1 part powdered lime and 2 1/2 parts sand in a mixing trough with a trowel. Form a cone shape with the lime and sand mixture.

Make a hole the depth of the cone in the center of the cone of lime and sand with the handle of the trowel.

Fill the hole with water and mix the lime and sand with the water. Add water slowly until you achieve a pancake batter consistency. Use a trowel to mix the lime, sand and water. Allow it to thicken for approximately 15 minutes. This is the plaster mixture.

Spread an approximately 3/8-inch thick coat of the plaster mix onto the wall with a trowel. Even out the coat with a wooden float by rubbing it across the surface of the wall. Allow the plaster coat to dry for 24 hours.

Mix a second batch of plaster in the same manner as the first batch only this time, use 1 1/2 parts sand to 1 part lime.

Apply the second batch of plaster onto the wall by dragging a trowel over the surface intermittently to add patches of texture over the wall until you achieve the desired rough effect.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment with other items such as a stiff brush to create different rough textures onto the wall with the second batch of plaster mix.
  • Wear eye, hand and face protection when working with plaster.

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