Plastering is an important part of constriction work. Not only it provides a smooth surface to the walls, but at the same time, it also binds the bricks together making the walls sturdier. In addition, it keeps the masonry surface safe and protected from atmospheric elements like rain, sun, or snow. Basically, plaster is a thin layer of mortar, and plastering is the process of applying the mortar layer over the masonry surface.
There are precise standard specifications used for the plastering process, and those standards may vary with country and state. For example, the American Standards may differ from the European Standards. There is a certain procedure followed to create and apply the plaster. Hence, the plaster or the contractor who is working on this should know about the specific procedures defined by the state and implement the same. An experienced plasterer would know about the same and would follow the right instruction for plaster as per the codes of the state.
Plastering process and technique
The most ideal and commonly used plastering is cement as it is found to be suitable for both external and internal surfaces. The plaster can be applied in a single or double coat based on the needs. Double coat plaster is used where there is a desire for more thickness. Moreover, the double coat ensures that the wall or the surface becomes sturdier.
Steps of plastering:
- Preparation of the surface: The plasterer begins their work by preparing the surface for plastering. This means getting rid of grit, dust or dirt which might impact the process of plastering and at all the joints and surfaces of the wall are cleaned with the help of a wire brush. There should be no grease, oil, or any kind of dirt clinging to the surface. If there are any holes, cracks, or cavities on the surface, they need to be filled up. The entire surfaces if roughened out so that it is able to hold the plaster better.
- Prepare the mortar mix: The next phase of plastering work is to prepare the mortar mix. Preparing the right proportional mix of plastering is imperative as it will determine the strength of the plaster. There are certain specifications and proportions to follow in order to create the right mix. Essentially, one needs to mix three parts of sand and one part of cement together for the basic mortar mix. However, the measurements can vary based on individual needs.
- Applying the mortar mix: Before you go ahead and start the plastering process, it is essential to make sure that you get an even plaster layering across the whole surface of the wall. In order to achieve that, place dots on the wall, which are the patch of plasters. Dots are first placed horizontally and then vertically on the wall at a certain distance. Once the dots are fixed, the vertical strips of plaster are shaped between the dots. The dots serve as a device for preserving even thickness of plastering.
- The base coat and the final coat: The coating of the plaster decides what the final surface would look like. You can begin with its layer to be as thick as 12 mm, but sometimes plasterer also goes ahead with 9mm thick plaster to 15 mm thick. After leveling the first basic layer of plaster, it is allowed to dry and alter roughened with the help of a wire brush. Now, the surface is ready for the next and final coat of plastering. The thickness of the finishing coat may lie between 2 to 3 mm. Before applying the second coat, the underlying coat is dampened with water.
- Curing of Plastering: Once the plastering work is over, it needs care and protection for the best results. For instance, the entire plastered wall has to be kept for at least seven days with the help of sprinkling water. The purpose behind is to let the plaster develop strength and rigidity it needs. Sometimes, gunny bags are used to keep the plastering wet.
Certain tools and equipment are required for the process of plastering. The trowel is an important plastering tool, while a hawk is used to carry the plaster. The less experienced plasterer makes use of a mud pan instead of a hawk. Sponge and sandpaper are needed to clean the wall while a utility knife or scissors are needed to help cut plaster tape. Apart from that, one may need a step ladder to work at the heights and a bucket to carry water.
Final call: To get the best result from plastering, it’s important to hire the best plaster in town who can follow the instruction and give the right result.