Keep Plaster Flat for Skirting Line

Hi Paul

I purchased the online course recently and want to thank you for providing this resources. I hope you and your family are well given the  current issues the country is facing.

I’d just like to thank you for the course information. Very detailed and explained in detail. I did a course near me last November which was good but you have explained plastering in a better (for me at least) way.

I’m in the process of refurbishing our home (back to brick and bonding) and whilst my plastering is decent enough I do struggle in one area and I wonder if you have any tips. It’s mainly the skirting board line I struggle to get perfectly straight any suggestions?

Anyway keep up the excellent videos and stay well.




Hi Ste,

The skirting board line!

From your question I wasn't too sure if you were referring to just skim coat or also the backing coat. 

For backing coat - make sure you keep as flat as possible when applying the plaster by starting a few inches up the wall- then when you have a smaller amount on your trowel you can go lower down - but always stay at least an inch or two above floor. Turn trowel through 90 degrees to ensure you keep flat. Then during every process spend plenty of time ensuring this skirting line is flat. I still spend 3 times as long on this edge (and other edges) as i do the rest of the wall - it is the edges that are hardest!

If skimming only - 

When applying the plaster start a few inches up the wall - and don't close your trowel too close to the wall too quick - else it will apply too thickly. Always remember it is a gradual flattening of your trowel into the wall You can go lower down - with a small amount on your trowel - after you have kept it flat everywhere. Turn trowel through 90 degrees to ensure you keep flat. Then during every process spend plenty of time ensuring this skirting line is flat - it is surprising how little plaster you'll need to apply right at the bottom.

Hope that helps



Hi Paul thank you for taking the time to reply. that makes sense. I wonder if i may ask another question? Just how good would a wall normally be when plastered. Let me explain,  my finish is smooth and flat but with slight undulations when you move you hand over it. Not to the point where i think it would be noticeable when painted (doin several rooms so painting them at once). When i put a straight edge on in both horizontal and vertical  plane i'd say for the most part (85-90%) its spot on but the rest you can see small amount of gap maybe a few sheets of paper or so, is this something that you as a professional would deem acceptable? I think im worrying that it wont be good enough when completed/painted but am unsure.



Definitely Yes!

Plasterer's (I do speak for myself her) are generally very happy if it looks good. A few sheets of paper are tolerances that engineers may work to but definitely not plasterer's - unless..

.. where I know something 100% straight and un-flexible will be fitted at a later date. Then I will check, with a straight edge - but still probably very happy with the tolerance of a few sheets of paper!

Other than that - let your eye be your guide. But and a very big but..

If you have a light source - close to the wall such as fluorescent light or a wall light - or even sun shining through an adjacent opening - it does need to be good. Gentle undulations perfectly fine, but if you do feel any bumps when running your hand over - this may show.

The light has caught me out many a time. I have plastered what I thought was a great surface - only to discover a strong light source has made my wall look bad. If I have any inkling there may be a bright light shining along the surface I do take extra care. A bright light pointing at the surface generally does not cause the same problems.