I love watching videos and tuning in podcasts on home refurbishments to get project ideas for myself. Perhaps, one of my favourite episodes is a Rick Otton podcast on Fixing and Flipping property, because they talk about low-cost renos that can be done quickly, whilst improving the value of the property.
And when you have hyperactive kids you quickly learn to appreciate the value of knowing quick and low cost fixer uppers…such as plastering walls. One morning you will wake up, leave the house and go about your day only to return and find a huge gaping hole in your living room wall. Just above the TV, no less. Somewhere where you will be unable to ignore it. Those are kids for you. In their quest to impress me by hanging a picture of me on the wall behind the TV, they got overzealous with the nail and hammer. Suffice it to say, the end result wasn’t as envisioned.
In these cases, you have three options:
Plastering, however, is not just about sealing holes and cracks in your walls. It is also about improving the aesthetic value of the rooms within your home. If you know how to plaster well, you can transform the walls in any room into simple masterpieces that will increase the value of your home. Here are some simple tips about plastering that should get you started:
1. Make sure the wall isn’t too dry. Should it be too dry, it will suck the moister out of the plaster and this will prevent it from working properly because it will firm up too fast.
2. Use a sand based cement with a plasticiser. As a beginner, this would be perfect because the combination takes a long time to set thus giving you time to work on the whole project.
3. Apply two coats. The first coat should be very thin. Make sure to apply the second coat whilst the first coat is still wet. You can make the second coat as thick as you want.
4. Keep the backing coat flat. Most people get engrossed in making sure that the backing coat is smooth rather than focusing on it being flat. Your job is to ensure that the backing coat is as flat as can be. Leave the smoothness to the skim coat.
5. Use a very flat trowel to test the flatness of your plastered wall. This is the ultimate test for flatness. Run a flat trowel over a firmed wall. Make sure that the corners of your trowel runs through to all edges on the wall and trim off any bulges along the way.
Plastering isn’t that difficult once you get the hang of it. You simply must remember to check for flatness first, then fill in any holes and trowel marks before signing off. Learning how to do some of these things yourself will not only save you a bundle in handyman fees, but it will also gradually increase the value of your home. The better you get at plastering the more elaborate your DIY plastering projects will be.