Getting render flat

I was wondering if you could give me advice on backing coats. I set up vertical battens used a darby, I applied a 12mm coat of render went over with a darby but I couldn't seem to get it completly flat there were pockets from 2mm to 7mm all over and it wasn't straight on the level. its the only thing in plastering I can't master and its frustrating. If you could help me with it I would much appreciate it

The first time you go over with a darby or straight edge you will be lucky to get it flat. View this initial pass over as a way of taking off the high spots and indicating where the low spots are.

You should notice a different texture from where the darby has scraped plaster to areas not touched by it. All you need do is fill the areas that are untouched by the darby - but avoid going over the surrounding area that has been successfully flattened already. Then just complete this process, until when you run the darby over, it is in contact with all areas of the wall.
If your guides are level and you are always working to the guides then the wall should be level once this process has been carried out.

In the 'Online Guide' details of horizontal guides formed from plaster are described which may be an option to consider.

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