The Lost Art of Plastering

Before motorcars were invented, horsehair was the most common binder for plaster. Its role was similar to fiberglass resin: to control small cracks that may occur in mortar, horsehair controls the setting process. The process requires three men to plaster a room. Each member of the crew must be familiar with their job, including the proper tools, safety precautions, and the correct procedures to complete the job.

The Lost Art of Plastering

Historically, plasters were lime-based. People of the ‘Ain Ghazal in Jordan used lime mixed with crushed limestone to cover their walls. It was also used to decorate the floors and ceiling of the ‘Ain Ghazal’. Decorative plasterwork was also popular in ancient India and China. Plastering with gypsum produced smooth surfaces over stone walls. Ancient Egyptian tombs were plastered with lime and gypsum plaster. The finished surfaces were usually painted or covered with decorative patterns.

Stucco Wall, Wall, Stucco, Texture

While most tools and methods of plastering have not changed much, a few changes have been made. The trowels, originally constructed of steel, now feature a polycarbonate handle to prevent staining. Floating surfaces, meanwhile, are generally Best rated plastering company in Chester made of yellow pine and are usually finished with a sponge or expanded polystyrene. Floating surfaces were previously laid on plasterboard or laths.

The second coat of plaster is typically a quarter to three-eighths inch thick, and it involves four operations. First, the wall and ceiling screeds are leveled and plumbed. Then, the plasterer applies a thin layer of plaster with a stock brush, sprinkling water through the work. The plasterer should scour the surface two or three times, leaving a minimum of six to twenty-four hours between each operation. The final step is finishing the ceiling, which can be a lengthy process and requires a lot of skill.


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