Getting the finish right when plastering

When you’re doing any plastering job, getting the finish right is absolutely critical. And you can’t get the finish right unless you get the right plastering equipment. A well-worked trowel with a finely honed edge will help you to achieve that smooth eggshell finish. A lightweight hawk with an ergonomic handle will stay comfortable all day, allowing you to get the job done without fatigue, and so on.

Doing your research, asking for recommendations and trying equipment out for yourself are all key to getting plastering equipment that can stand up to the job and produce that great result that gets you a great reputation as a skilled plasterer.

Choosing the Best Equipment for the Job

Getting a personal recommendation is usually a great way to get the best tool for the job, but plastering equipment can be a little different. After all, what feels comfortable for one person won’t necessarily suit you. If you’re just starting out, then a 14-inch trowel might feel heavy and uncomfortable, even though your mate swears by one. However, if you get comfortable with a 12-inch trowel, you may find it hard to make the switch, and you’ll find you’re not getting projects finished as quickly as you could be. These are all things to think about.

Likewise, they might prefer a particular brand that feels heavy and uncomfortable in your hand. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take recommendations into account, but the plasterer’s trowel and hawk are such personal pieces of equipment that you really do need to try them out for yourself.

Having said that, you should definitely read reviews and take notice of equipment that’s highly rated by the professionals. Your core equipment, including your trowels and hawk, should ideally be robust, long-lasting and resistant to corrosion.

Obviously, it’s worth spending as much as you can afford on your plastering trowel, as it’s the fundamental tool of your trade, and it’s worth investing in one that has been pre-broken in. This will eliminate ripple marks and lines from the moment you start to use it, so you’ll be productive faster. That sharp edge is well worth the extra money when you create the perfect finish time after time with ease.

Getting the Mix Right

Your plastering tools are only part of the equation, however. Just as important will be what you actually put on the walls, and getting the mix right is crucial to getting a great finished result.
The first thing to do is get yourself a powerful mixer like one of the models available here at Although you can mix by hand, you’ll soon find out that you really don’t want to when you’re skimming wall after wall.

The dedicated mixers are ideal for getting your plaster mix smooth and creamy in no time, but you can also use a paddle attachment for a drill. These are considerably cheaper, though obviously not as powerful as the dedicated mixers and will take that bit longer to create the ideal mix.

So why is getting the mix right so important? This really is the key to that polished eggshell finish that is so desirable and that will get you work once the word gets out about your abilities. Being able to get your mix done and ready to go as quickly as possible also means you’ll power through a big project that much faster.

Remember that once you’ve got your mix done you only have around 40 minutes to get the job done, because once it starts to go off you won’t be able to use it. Having the ability to get the job done quickly and efficiently will lead to less waste and more walls covered.

Just a note on keeping your equipment clean: obviously, it’s easier to get any plaster off your mixer blade while it’s still wet, but it’s also absolutely key to creating the perfect skimming mix. Any bits of old plaster can radically alter the texture and consistency of your skimming plaster, making the entire batch unusable. For the same reason, you’ll need to keep your mixing and water buckets scrupulously clean so you don’t run into any problems. The humble bucket may only cost a few pounds, but it’s another piece in the jigsaw puzzle that adds up to a perfect result.

Why Plastering Kit Is Key to Success

A great plastering job depends on preparation, polish and knowing when to leave well alone. The right tools will help you to mix, apply and finish to the highest standard, leaving a plastered wall that’s ready to be painted. Get your plastering kit spot on and you’ll improve your technique and learn the real art of how to plaster.