Learning to Plaster

The Process of Plastering

No matter how you learn - it definitely is possible to teach yourself to plaster. Plastering is a process that you can learn from this site.

At the same time as being aware of the process: learning about the 'art of plastering' will turn a valuable skill into an enjoyable pastime.

Learning the Art of Plastering

Whilst the process can be learnt through various means, the 'art' of plastering will be something you develop over time.  All the methods I use at this site are tried and tested, during 10 years of running plastering courses,  giving you every chance of achieving surfaces that you can be proud of.

As with anything then it is a case of lots of practice.

The Body

Firm pressure is often needed to resolve issues. Your muscles will strengthen as a result of the stimulation and demands placed upon them during plastering, which will gradually make it easier and enable you to become quicker and plaster larger walls.

Muscle memory takes a while to develop but just as with learning to drive and other skills, this develops rapidly in the initial stages.

The Mind

Having the right mind set can be a great advantage - the similarities between plastering and other physical pursuits such as running can be similar. For example when plastering - your arm may be aching and you may have had enough - but the plaster is setting and if you do not carry on all will be lost. It is at these times when a tenacious quality will help.

Learning how the material works - aids the practical skills that you learn. Plastering materials are all different and all very responsive in their own way. Once you know how the plaster may behave depending upon the many variables that effect it - plastering gets easier and the results get better.

Very soon you'll be able to make sense of all the variables - and experience will assist you in knowing how to respond and 'work' the plaster accordingly.

Learning to plaster puts you in control and gives a great sense of achievement.

A Living (sometimes temperamental) thing!

For the time that you are working with plaster - think of the materials as a living thing that:

  • needs water,
  • needs looking after,
  • cannot be left alone for too long (but sometimes need to be left for a while to firm up).

Working with plaster and giving it what it needs will make your life easier and give good results.

This site endeavours to guide you through the process of understanding and limiting the variables to ensure you slowly become accustomed to the materials and the skills needed to learn the Art of Plastering.

Learning to plaster:

  • puts you in control
  • and gives a great sense of achievement.

Learning the Art of Plastering

Take your time - slow down the movements with your trowel and make each towel stroke count

Enjoy it - basic preparation such as suction control will ensure you have plenty of time and will not be stressed

Feel it - focus on what is happening to the plaster on the other side of your trowel

Read it - before you just take your  trowel over the plaster - quickly evaluate what you want to do, for example if it's too thick - thin it out, if its uneven - flatten it. Then work out what technique will best do this and before long you will be doing it all sub-consciously. 

Stand back - As any artist would it is important to view your work from a different perspective. When you're up close you can get lost with trivial problems, now and again view it from different angles.

Be in Control of the Plaster

Step by Step demonstrations with the focus on the basic principles really does produce results. There are many variables that can also affect how the plaster 'behaves' but once you know them and understand them you can begin to be in control of the plaster.

The success stories testify learning to plaster can be a very rewarding experience.

Learning to plaster puts you in control

and gives a great sense of achievement.

 2 Day Plastering Course - Dean proudly admiring his work

Learning to Plaster

DVD & Video

Good results can be achieved with the DVD or Video by working through the stages of plastering when it suits you. There are a few points to always keep in mind that will help you with you learn to plaster.

Plastering Course

Learn how to plaster and enjoy all the benefits of 1:1 instruction. There are a whole range of plastering courses to suit everyone.

Learning to Plaster Step by Step Guide

DVD Review


I bought your DVD and guide in March. I also asked you about plastering ceilings. Your advice and materials were excellent. I have now completed several ceilings, walls etc with perfect results. I have even done some cement plastering in the bathroom (your tip on plasticizer was great). In the US the plastcizer usually comes in the form of various admixes (usually acrylic) and they are mostly sold as for mortar beds for tile installations and Stucco (our term for render). If you have any follow up videos or materials please let me know.

Thanks for all of your help

Norm Lafond

Video Feedback:

Dear Sir, Thank you for your informative videos.

I “had a go” at plastering some time back and it wasn`t too good .

Your info about 10-15 mm float angle was useful , but the best tip was about

the “ peaking test”

as the “consistency of cream” mix is a bit to vague as I mixed the original too thick

Many thanks

A Jellings (Leeds U.K.)

DVD Feedback:

Hi, I just want to say that after watching your DVD I had a go at skimming over my kitchen chimney breast (1930's semi).

I started with the 'easier' sides and must say that the results were fantastic.

The larger front piece was an exercise in trust, but by following your guidance, I have produced a very, very good finish.

My neighbour, who's been in the building trade a long time was shocked by the results!

He did say that is wasn't "Quite a glass finish", but I told him that decorators prefer an egg-shell finish - That told him!



2 Day Feedback

Hi Paul, Done the first 2 wall in the living room and a small ceiling and everyone comments on how good it looks. Preparing for the big walls and ceiling. Thanks Colin