Rock lath installation, the base to which wall plaster is applied, is not a difficult task and requires only a few tools. If you can swing a hammer or cut wire with tin snips or read a carpenter ‘s level, you can do your own lathing. Invest in a hatchet for speed and convenience. If you prefer to use your own hammer, you’ll have to score and cut the lath with a knife, which takes longer.
First calculate the square yardage on all surfaces to be covered and order lath accordingly. Buy metal corner stripping for openings and corners through the linear foot. Ten pounds of lathing nails will be needed for each 100 square yards of rock lath.You may find more details about this at R.Kenward Plastering Contractors.
The next step is to set up baseboard grounds-3/4 “wooden strips that allow some foundation to settle down and prevent plaster cracks. Nail them to be plastered along all walls. Then proceed as outlined in the photographs. Remember to keep all laying work smooth and the corners square. The final job will be just as good-or bad-as this essential base job.
How to Plaster a Wall
There’s an art to make a good plaster wall, and it’s essential to use the right tools, including a plasterer’s trowel, a corner-shaped tool, a hawk, a darby, a screeding rod, a heavy brush and a bucket. To order the materials you’ll need, figure out the square feet of the area to be covered.
- Trowel: a plasterer’s trowel is a must. This has a long brace bar on the top side in contrast with the shorter bar on a mason ‘s steel float. It costs several dollars more and is worth the price.
- Hawk: this is the classic mortarboard device. Use one made of aluminum and save wear and tear on yourself. The wooden type weighs a good deal more. Load with plaster and hold in the left hand while the right does the work.
- Darby: a two-handled smoothing tool to level large flat areas. It is held flat against the wall as it is moved along and levels out raised spots.
- Screeding Rod: a straight-edged wood or metal handle to level off uneven plaster applications. One end is typically placed against guides while the other end scrapes extra plaster back into surface for reapplication.
- Spray Brush: this, plus a bucket of clean water, will be held on hand for completing plaster painting. The brush runs evenly across the surface as well as squeezes water.
To mix, use either a wheelbarrow or a shallow wooden box and mix the dry sand and plaster in one end. In the upper end, tilt the mixing box with the dry mixture and put water in the lower end. Draw the mixed sand and plaster into the water a little at a time, constantly mixing. If water is added to the dry mixture or all of it is pulled into the water at once, lumps are formed that can not be easily mixed.
Apply the base coat as shown in the photographs. The final coat of finishing plaster is mixed with water without sand and applied as illustrated. Troweling technique is quickly mastered. Plaster is applied from a full trowel on upward strokes, using light pressure only. The trowel, in finishing, is held at an angle of about 30 ° to the wall. If pressed fiat against the wall, the trowel is held by suction and will pull the plaster off. If the angle is too great, the edge of the trowel will leave wavy lines in the surface.