The process of plastering goes back millennia. Plastering is the oldest form of wall decoration in history. However, with all the development and technology that has occurred over the years, the art of plastering evolved into a profession that’s present in today’s society. Plastering is a skill that one must master before starting their own business, which means they have to undergo years of intense training under another master plasterer before going out on their own.
Plastering is a job that involves a lot of work these days. Due to its nature as an ancient task, many believe it to be something simple and easy – after all, doesn’t it just involve slapping some wet stuff on the wall and smoothing it over with a trowel? However, there is so much more than meets the eye. Plastering is an art form that requires dedication and patience to ensure that the end look of your work is nothing short of superb.
Plasterers are skilled workers who are responsible for applying plaster on walls, ceilings or any other surface that needs coating. Their task may be simple – but their skills most certainly aren’t! From choosing the right mixture of ingredients to make plaster for a given surface to lay down the first coat of wet plaster smoothly onto the said surface, plasterers truly have their work cut out for them.
Plasterers choose from several materials when doing their work. These materials include:
– Lime (paste and plaster)
– Cement (plaster and mortar)
– Gypsum (drywall, sheetrock, plasters)
Lime was the original material used to coat surfaces in ancient times. It was much harder than cement or gypsum, but it’s much more difficult to utilize today due to sulphur content that causes degradation. Over time, limestone was mixed with clay to create a softer but durable product known as plaster of Paris.
This modified type of lime is still widely in use today by professionals everywhere. Lime can be easily distinguished from other materials because it’s slippery when wet and doesn’t stick to a trowel well at all.
Cement was the next material introduced to plasterers as an alternative to lime. It’s now widely used in plastering because instead of breaking down, blocks of cement expand and strengthen over time. This increase in strength causes it to become harder than normal (though not as hard as Lime), creating a much longer-lasting coating for walls and ceilings alike.
Cement can be mixed with other materials such as limestone and sand to create different kinds of mortars and plasters, each appropriate for its specific purpose or surface.
Gypsum is another material that has been introduced into the world of plastering and wall making thanks to its ability to bond well with mortar due to its watery nature, which makes laying down the first coat of plaster easy. This material is very light and tends to crumble easily if handled inappropriately, meaning that individuals looking to work with it need to follow the correct procedures.
The major types of plasters are:
Rendered or roughcast
This type is made using cement combined with sand, water, lime or egg white as a binder. It’s used for exterior walls because it can scratch easily due to its rough surface. It’s also not suitable for direct exposure to weather elements.
Stucco or render
This kind of plaster mix contains more fine aggregate than other materials, which means that there will be less cracking when exposed to extreme weather conditions. If done, stucco can last for more than 100 years.
Skim coat plastering
Using a thin layer of skim coating allows for easy coverage over uneven surfaces by providing the surface with an even, smooth layer.
Peening or hogging
This is performed to create a scratch-resistant finish on walls that need to be free from any sort of damage or wear and tear. This process combines lime putty with sand into a plaster material that’s then layered onto the wall about 7 cm deep, which is then peened down so it becomes almost paper-thin. Once done, the topmost part of the wall is covered in white paint.
These are commonly referred to as “skim coats”, which are used to give walls their final coating of plaster.
This process is done to fix cracks and/or gaps in a wall or ceiling. It involves the use of special pointing trowels, which allows for a smooth finish so no ridges are felt once it has dried out. Pointing is used as a separate process from normal plastering because it needs to be done properly so that cracking doesn’t occur once the entire thing has dried.
Experts advise that any surface that’s been previously pointed should never be plastered over, as this will cause inconsistencies with the wall’s final appearance.
In terms of repair work, plasterers undertake minor to major repairs depending on how bad the damage is on a particular structure or surface. This means they can deal with issues ranging from cracks in plaster walls to damaged ceilings. This means that they’ll have to prepare the surface by removing loose materials, applying for patching work if needed, filling in holes and brushing down with drywall joint compound were required before they’re finished off with spackling paste.
After letting it all dry up completely, plasterers will then use special finishing tools to remove excess paint or plaster off the wall so that an even coat is left behind.
As for the cost of hiring a professional plasterer in Melbourne, homeowners are advised to get 3 quotes per provider before committing to one specific service provider because this allows them to compare what each company has on offer. Hiring several companies at once helps them choose better since comparing different plastering quotes will allow them to find the best value for money.
The role of a professional plasterer can be an invaluable help to those who need it, but it’s important that homeowners only trust the job to qualified and experienced companies if they don’t want shoddy work done that will end up costing more down the line or require repairs even before the original job was finished.
Plastering is such a complex process due to its delicate nature and should only be done by those who know how to handle this material, so anyone seeking advice about where they can turn to should ask friends and family members for references first before considering other options.
If you’re considering having one, try plaster Melbourne