Wet plaster is a mix of plaster and water which is spread onto brickwork, masonary or wooden lathes, usually applied in 1 or 2 layers before leveling and setting, to give walls and ceilings a hard flat, smooth surface ready for decorating. Plaster also aids fire resistance.
Skim coating is using a mix of lime putty and sugar sand to produce a thin plaster layer on top of a normal plaster to make an even smoother surface. Skimming is very difficult and requires great skill to get a smooth surface.
Artexing is a textured spiky finish applied mainly to ceilings, eassier than skimming and does not require painting so it is a low cost option.
Screed is a form of concrete used to make floors level before laying other surface materials such as tiling or on top of underfloor heating systems.
Good quality plasterwork lasts for years, and can handle several coats of paint and being wallpapered more than once, but hasty repairs when they are needed can leave you out of pocket in the long run. If you’re unsure whether your walls need to be plastered, or your plasterwork needs to be repaired, the best course of action is to speak to someone in the know.
If you’re renovating a property or have found old or damaged plaster when decorating your own home, chances are your walls will be in need of plastering. This might mean fully re-plastering the wall or just ‘skimming’ it or a plasterboard lining with a 2mm coat of plaster to provide a new, perfectly flat surface. If in doubt, speak to a professional.
Plastering gives your walls as smooth and durable finish, and while it’s relatively simple to understand, if somewhat difficult to execute, there may be more to it than meets the eye.
If you require an undercoat of plaster, which can be as thick as 11mm, the kind of plaster required depends on the wall. Your plasterer can advise you on what they use, or the pros and cons if you need to make a decision on the kind of plaster needed. For most jobs undercoats will require browning plaster or bonding plaster, though in some cases a hard wall plaster will be preferable. On top of plaster, or alternatives like plasterboard a thin later or finishing plaster is applied.