Thursday, 22 August 2013

A Guide To Plastering A Concrete Wall

If you are sick of looking at four bare concrete walls, you’re not alone. We can understand how you feel – they’re not exactly the height of architectural aesthetics, are they? To put it bluntly, they ain’t particularly attractive, so we can sympathise if you’re hoping to change things up a bit.

However, don’t think you can simply nip down to B&Q, grab a can of French Vanilla [or whatever colour you fancy] and just slap it on the walls – like life itself, nothing is ever quite that simple.

Bare concrete is pretty much unusable – it is uneven, and it’s not exactly what you would call “moisture resistant”. That’s why you have to crack out the plaster.

Why Do You Have to Plaster?

By plastering over those bare concrete walls, you make them look rather a lot nicer. Also, you make them more resistant to any sorts of moisture, and you level out the surface, meaning you can paint over it, or hang up paintings and so on.

Sadly, applying plaster to your walls is not a quick job – if you want to make sure it’s done right, you’ll have to put in a bit of time and effort. Don’t worry: it’s not particularly laborious or difficult; the longest part is simply waiting for the plaster to dry.

What Do You Need?

You’ll need to get hold of a big old sandblaster, as well as a pretty sizeable amount of caulk. Also, make sure you grab some mould killer and a nice wire brush.

You will, of course, need some plaster, as well as a trowel to actually slap it on with. You should also make sure you get some Portland cement and some masonry sand too.

How Do You Start?

You’ll have to do a bit of prep – if your concrete wall has already been sullied by paint [whether it’s a nice colour or not], you’ll have to go round getting rid of it all.

This is why we mentioned the sandblaster; there is no easier way to scrub the walls of paint than using one. You won’t need to get hold of it if the concrete is bare!

How Do You Actually Plaster?

First of all, get the caulk and fill in any wall cracks, no matter what size they are. If you can see even the tiniest bit of mildew or mould, start scrubbing away using the mould killer.

Next, grab the wire brush and get to work on the mortar joints – make them nice and clean!

Now you have to apply a slurry coat. If you’re unsure about how to go about this, we find The DIY School is a great place to learn the ins and outs of the trade.

Two parts masonry sand should be mixed with one part cement, with water being added until it gets pretty runny. Then just use a brush and layer about an eighth of an inch on the wall.

Leave it for 24 hours, then make up the plaster. Grab the trowel and slap on a quarter-inch layer of plaster, smoothing as you go. Leave for another day, then put on a second coat. Leave for one last 24-hour period, then once it’s nice and dry you can paint it, or hang pictures on it, or do whatever you want to do with it!

Nice work, Sir/Lady Plasterer!

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