There tends to be a bit of mystery surrounding plaster walls. As a less popular material today, the act of plastering has become somewhat of a forgotten art. Skilled contractors are in relatively short supply compared to their drywalling competition, and they can essentially write their ticket when it comes to price. If you’re looking to tackle your own plaster installation or patch job, you can save quite a bit of money. Here are 10 wall installation and repairing tools that you’ll need to smooth out the process.
To have a trusty hammer on hand, would-be plasterers would do well. Claw and drywall hammers are the two most useful hammer types. Any type can assist in chipping out pieces of plaster and resecuring or removing problem pieces of lath. Drywall hammers for high dimpling spots have hatchet-style ends and curved faces, making them particularly useful for a plastering job.
For generations of plasterers, wooden lath was used. A sharp handsaw will be needed to follow the old ways to cut the thin, narrow strips of wood that serve as a base for plaster. It can also come in handy when cutting out pieces of old plaster for door installations or other retrofit jobs.
3. Spackle Knife
For a large plaster job, spackle knives can seem too small, but they can serve an essential purpose. Until repair, ensure that a rugged spackle knife runs over cracks and rough surfaces. Before you start to add the fresh mud, it knocks down the old plaster’s high points or chips. A far more smooth and consistent finish would be the result.
Although it seems clear, for plasterwork, a good quality five-gallon bucket is a must. Several times in the same bucket, you will be mixing plaster. After a few good cleanings and job-site-related bumps and bangs, cheap, brittle buckets can break. Plaster, mainly when it is in a wet, muddy form, is also very strong. Only a full bucket will do it.
5. Utility Knife
The usefulness of a high-quality utility knife can’t be overstated. You’ll use it to cut bags of plaster mix open on a plastering job, score the existing wall, and cut patches from drywall sheets. It’s necessary to have a good utility knife in your pocket. Just remember always to use a sharp blade. It is better to use a sharp blade, making it safer than a dull or chipped blade.
6. Paddle Mixer
A paddle mixer is the unsung hero of any mud job. Paddle mixers clamp into a drill chuck and produce a much smoother, less back-breaking job of mixing bucket after bucket of plaster. Their nature enables them to combine dry plaster, water, and other aggregates easily. Paddle mixers break up clumps and allow plasterers and DIYers to change their mix’s consistency easily.
7. Bucket Trowel
It can be a messy challenge to get damp, soupy plaster out of a deep 5-gallon bucket. For scooping the mix out, bucket trowels have angled handles and broad surfaces. During the mixing process, they are also useful as bucket trowels can run them around the bucket’s sides to loosen the dry mix.
A plaster hawk is a dead-flat surface meant for carrying wet plaster with a handle in the middle. It helps the plasterer to get the mud evenly and cleanly onto a trowel. The act of buttering and cleaning their trowel by an experienced plasterer may look effortless, but at first, beginners may struggle to develop that flow for themselves.
It takes an excellent trowel to apply and smooth the plaster. Plaster-pros will have many stage-specific trowels, but with one sturdy rectangular trowel, beginners can get away. It should do the trick with a 12-inch model. Sanding the corners so that they are not at such sharp angles, break your trowel in. This will result in fewer lines between ends and trowel marks left on the wall.
10. Paint Brush
During the final smoothing stage of your plasterwork, a dense, heavy-bristled 4-inch paintbrush will be helpful. A clean trowel will glide across it by dampening the wall’s surface, smoothing out the final product. The difficult-to-reach nooks of a mixing paddle or trowel can also be useful for cleaning.