|Plastering looks like it ought to be easy
-- and can be if you know the secrets. Here
are a few tips for the novice who wants to
do some plastering:
If you are touching up small cracks, using
"spackle" and a small putty knife
(plastic or metal) are fine.
- Remove and loose plaster.
- If you are repairing a fine crack, you will
need to dig out a trench for the new plaster.
- Dampen the cracked area with water (just
moisten it) so that the spackle grips better.
- Apply the spackle; press the spackle into
the crack and leave a little excess material.
- As the spackle drives, you can smoothe it
with a damp rag or paper towel and
any excess spackle from the surrounding
- When completely dry, use a fine grade sand
paper (150 and above) to smoothe
If you are recoating a large area of wall
with plaster, you will need a wide (at least
6-8") putty knife and a sanding device
in addition to the spackle.
- Apply thin coats; if applying to plaster
or spackle, pre-dampen the surface.
- The smooth finished surface comes from sanding
down rather than from perfectly applying
the spackle, so make sure you apply a little
- Use a hand sander designed for plastering
(looks like a flat trowel except that it
has either a rough sanding surface or allows
the attachment of sand paper) for smoothing.
- As you work, use a wide putty knife to make
sure the patched area is flat; you can use
a straightedge to check your work as you
- Keep applying additional layers (once the
prior layer is dry) until you reach
- Plaster dust can be dangerous, so wear proper