Monthly Archives: October 2016

Professional Plastering Materials

Any professional plasterer cares about the finish he delivers on his jobs. It’s for this reasonAn electric plaster whisk in a bucket of plaster. that we go out of our way to ensure that we supply the best when it comes to professional plastering materials. After all, it’s the details that make the job great.

There’s not a plasterer in the land who doesn’t stand back to admire his own sharp lines and marvel at the beautiful edges of his walls. It’s what give us plasterers the pride to keep coming back to do more.

Here are some of our professional plastering products that are designed to make the difference when it comes to lines and edges:

Catnic beads are made from a range of materials but the important point is, is that they are made with precision. It’s this that delivers when it comes to the finish. The fellas down at Catnic use PVCu, stainless steel and galvanised to make their beads and they are available in a wide range of sizers.

Once you get into a job, time can go so fast. With a chemical additive to slow down the curing process, it’s possible to be able to complete larger areas without the plaster hardening. Our recommended additive for lengthening the time it takes for plaster to harden is Extratime. Depending on what the climate is like in terms of temperature and humidity, it’s possible to make the best of another 30 to 60 minutes extension onto setting time, and this is particularly useful for large walls and ceilings.

If you’re looking for a good hop-up check out our aluminium square platform that we currently offer for just £48 (inclusive of VAT). It offers that extra height but on a platform that is large enough to be safe. Again, ceilings and tops of walls are easier to reach.

Our range of professional plastering supplies have been designed to save you time and energy whilst producing something that your business is proud of.

Plastering Top Tips

We’ve compiled a list of the best plastering tips that we’ve come across, some of which you2 smiling builders with plastering tools. may already use, and some of which you might not have thought of. We decided to pop them all down here as we’ve shared these with customers only to find that they’ve been useful! If you already know all these, then you’re doing a grand job.

To keep your trowels clean with just a little effort use some fine grade sandpaper (not too fine, just nothing too abrasive) to clean dried plaster off them at the end of the day.  It’s cleaner than using water and getting diluted plaster everywhere and gets all the residue off with minimal fuss.  Another option is to leave them soaking in water and bicarbonate of soda overnight.  The fizzing action of the bicarb will loosen the dried on plaster and make it much easier to wipe off.  This tip only works if the people you live with don’t mind buckets of tools everywhere, or in the bath!

If you’re wetting down a wall a spray bottle is much faster and easier than a brush/sponge and water, and saves your back from constant bending down to re-soak the sponge.

Blue Dolphin brick tapeMasking tape along skirting boards and slightly over-the-top sheeting makes a good impression with domestic customers, even if you are a dab hand at keeping it all tidy!

If you’re new to plastering, or a bit clumsy, plaster opposite walls of a room each day.  That way you avoid damaging one wall with the trowel edge while you’re concentrating on the wall in hand.  Once the plaster is nice and dry on these walls it will be much more resistant to dings and scratches from a trowel than if it’s still wet.

A shovel of sand in the bottom of your mixer cleaning bucket not only helps clean the mixing drill faster, but stops the plaster sinking right to the bottom of the bucket and sticking, making it easier to keep your buckets clean as well as your tools.

In spaces with windows that let in a lot of light across certain walls always aim to plaster those areas while the light hits them. That way you see what the customer will see when the light is in that room, and you can make sure that it looks as good as possible.  Plastering these areas when the light isn’t falling on them means you can overlook even the tiniest trowel mark that will look like a huge scratch in full daylight.

Make sure all your hand tools have a handle that means they can be hung over the side of a bucket.  Plastering trowels come with this kind of handle, but brushes, paint pads and other things you might use don’t.  You can improvise a hanging handle with a screw or even an adhesive hook and this means all your tools will sit neatly on the side of your buckets, and you won’t waste time fishing them out when they fall in.

When you need to leave screw holes in the wall for a customer screw one in where they need it, then mark the floor in line with that screw.  You can plaster over the top and then locate the screw using the line on the floor and a magnet.  Remove the screw and you’re left with the hole you wanted with no messing about.  Similarly, when you remove sockets and switches keep the screws safe somewhere, either in a plastic bottle or taped to the socket itself.  This saves time looking for lost tiny screws, or going to a hardware store to replace them.

Do you have any more plastering tips and tricks to share?  Let us know in the comments section below.


4 Lessons from a Plastering Course

For those of you who are already professional plasterers, you may be wondering why 2 smiling builders with plastering tools.we’re including this type of information in our blog posts.

The answer is this: it’s not so much for you, it’s for those who are looking to learn how to be a plasterer and are wondering what’s involved. If you know of a youngster, or even a mid-life career changer who wants to know what they would learn on a plastering course, direct them to this page.

Some people who opt to become students on a plastering course already have some experience, but want to tighten up their abilities and understanding of the craft. Others may have come straight from a firm who are looking to widen their offerings and want an in-house plasterer who can deliver when it comes to interior finishing. The reasons for taking a course such as this are varied.

To get started on the journey to becoming a professional plasterer, it’s now a key requirement to be in ownership of an NVQ certificate. Courses are run by those with experience of plastering work and you will be taught the majority of what you need to know to deliver work that will satisfy customers.

Serving time as an apprentice will also help immensely as there are some things that you simply cannot learn from a course. It takes lots of experience and extensive training (in addition to a great personality!!) to reach the stage where you’ll be popular enough with clients for them to want to recommend you to their friends, family and contacts.

Young apprentice with professional plasterer.Your teachers will have had a lot of experience in plastering and will share with you what they’ve learnt over the years. They’ll also give you some tips and tricks that cannot be found in books, but sourced only from those who have had years of experience. You’ll walk away confident that you have the knowledge required to apply your new skill.

Trade training courses are geared around teaching exact skills and increasing credibility for potential employers and future clients. As with any long term course, not only is there a demonstration of application involved in security a certificate of this nature, but also of commitment. You’ll also most likely be required to purchase a book or two on the topic of plastering in addition to being expected to master the practical skills required.

But what will you learn on the plastering course?

  1. Preparation

A critical part of any plastering job is to prepare both your environment and your materials. It’s important to remove any previous plaster that could have been used on the wall of your job, to clean the area and to mix your render and plaster ready for use. The plastering course will give you the skills required to do this. It’s not enough to know how to plaster these days, you also need to know how to remove the old wall coverings.

  1. The Tools of the Trade

There is far more to plastering than many people realise, it is a skillful job that might even be considered an art. It’s intricate, and requires the use of complex tools such as bell cast beads which are used to provide protection from the elements when plastering around windows.

  1. Plaster and Render

The actual process of applying plasterwork is the main focus of any plastering course. Students will learn that there is a need to render walls prior to applying plaster. How to do this from start to finish along with the theory on how it’s done will be the backbone of your classes.

In addition to knowing how to plaster a wall, you’ll be given information and skills to deliver repair work on damaged walls.

You will not only learn how to plaster a brand new wall, but will be given an education on repair work to damaged walls; a different skill set entirely.

  1. Finishing

Customers don’t want to pay out for a job that isn’t done properly. Learning how to deliver a smooth finish through the process of skimming is critical to a successful project. A lot of time is spent learning how to do this as part of the plastering course.

Those who want to become a plasterer should take an NVQ or a recognised plastering course to help learn the trade – but to become a really good plasterer, you then need to couple that with experience…..lots and lots of experience!

Use Knauf Airless Finish Spray with Your Plastering Spray Machine

Please note that Knauf Airless Finish Spray can be used with all spray plastering machines A close up of a bag of knauf airless plastering spray against a white backgroundincluding the EZE 24.

The popularity of spray plastering machines is increasing as a result of their ability to significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to complete projects. Combining the use of a plastering spray machine with factory produced panels, it’s possible to shorten the duration of project work decidedly. Whether you’re working with concrete panels or plasterboards, Knauf Airless Finish delivers ready-mixed plaster by spray. It’s fast and it’s easy to use.

Something else that makes using Knauf Airless Finish so easy is that it doesn’t need to be applied to a bonding agent, as would be the case with traditional plastering methods. It can be applied directly to the concrete or plasterboard.

We’ve recently heard from one of our customers. They recently bought a load of Knauf Airless Finish from us and reported back with some exciting results. They were working as a two-man team and they managed to get 55 metres of ceilings done in just over 10 minutes. For those working in feet, that’s over 600 square feet.

What our customers said that they loved is that they can also spray the walls. Working from floor level and go 10 feet up and they don’t have to put any scaffolding up, ladders, steps or anything else. This is a bonus when it comes to time, and energy. It’s also good news from a health and safety point of view. This makes it possible to avoid the whole legal area of health safety by not even using a ladder.

Get the competitive advantage

Those who invest in a plastering spraying machine have a great advantage. The delivery times of projects means that they have something very appealing to offer over their competitors. Not only can the Knauf Airless Finish be delivered by using the faster and less hassle spray method, but the resulting finish is excellent.

Applied in two coats at a thickness of just 1-2mm, the Knauf dries faster than you’d expect from an application of traditional plaster. The finish produced by this modern and The EZE K4 plastering maching against a white backgroundadvanced technology Knauf product is smooth, white and consistent enough to make the life of a plasterer more enjoyable.

Another benefit of the Knauf Airless Finish Spray is that it’s ready mixed. This means that you don’t need to bring along all the equipment and materials to the site to do the mixing. You can rely on the product being of a consistent quality as its factory mixed. Any excess material left over during the skimming can be added back to the hopper. This lowers product waste and keeps it at a range of around 1%. Not bad!

Airless Finish Spray Plaster has been developed using a mix of polymers. Some say that the result is similar to paint, but it’s plaster. There’s no need to even spray it again, so from your point of view, less mess and less work.

Our guys who reported in said that they were amazed about how little mess there was in fact. One of them even wore some of their good clothes to work one day – not through choice, and found that they could do some spraying without needing to worry too much. It was a very clean affair to spray the finish onto the walls.

If you do decide to give Knauf Airless Finish a go, remember that you may also want to give Knauf Fill and Finish Light a whirl too. They can be used over the joints of the plasterboard. Although you may not find these products mentioned in our shop, we can source any Knauf plastering products at competitive prices.

Theatrical Plastering

Plaster is a very versatile material, used in applications from interior finishing and Two people wearing theatrical masks depicting the sun and the moon.decorating to dental moulds and orthopaedics.  It can be moulded into virtually any shape, and used in conjunction with fabrics and underlying structures it can create theatrical and film props such as scenery and buildings that are easy to move, quick to produce and light in weight.  Theatrical plastering is a different skill to that of interior or exterior wall plastering, but similar in terms of  finish to the skill of venetian plastering.  Although film and theatre props are painted to create the impression of marble, rock or other surfaces it is important for the texture of the plaster to be as realistic as possible, especially for film props that are going to feature quite close up and be shot in high definition.  For interior walls on sets traditional plastering skills are needed to create the realistic internal wall finish that is desired for interiors.

It is commonplace to use polystyrene as well as plaster to create theatrical props, with large shapes carved out of light weight polystyrene blocks that are then finished with plaster to leave a textured, non-porous surface that can be painted and decorated to look realistic.  A theatrical plasterer doesn’t just work on the plaster finish, but will be involved with the carving as well.  They may also be involved in some of the carpentry where plaster will be used as a finish, and they often paint the finished plaster as well.  However, in large companies and movie studios these jobs will often be done by dedicated craftspeople, with each person responsible for one aspect of the set building process.

Hessian backed plaster is one of the more common plaster products used to build stone, brick and rock surfaces.  The base plaster is often coloured to provide a backing colour for further decoration, and to ensure that should any damage happen to the prop there will be a similar colour showing through other than the stark white of the plaster.

Plaster props feature heavily in films that are set in historical times or in fictional settings, or where filming on location is not possible due to special effects and stunts.  Whole streets can be created and set up for explosions, car chases and fight scenes where the a fake old town used as a movie stage in a westernprop scenery is integral to the action but needs to be destroyed because of it.  A theatrical plasterer may have to build several of the same prop, each identical, in case of extra takes and mistakes during filming, and they may need to be on set to repair any damage that can be fixed.

If you fancied a slight change of career you could consider getting into prop and scenery building; the skills of a commercial plasterer can be transferred to this line of work quite easily.  It can be quite an exciting job at times, working on the sets of some of the biggest feature films alongside high profile actors, but there is also a large proportion of hard graft in a workshop preparing for the rare days spent on set.  The satisfaction of seeing your work on screen in a film or television production is hard to match compared to driving past a house where you once plastered the dining room, and seeing your name scroll past on the credits of a blockbuster must be quite a thrill.  It also explains why some people stay in the cinema right until the end of the credits – they must be waiting to see their name as a scenery maker, lighting technician or one of the hundreds of other roles involved in producing a successful film.

Plastering and Halloween

Halloween masks and costumes have been an old tradition on every Halloween day. Thelittle girl with plaster mask showing stop desire for individuals, young and old, to get a unique and ‘attention-catching’ mask forces people to search from one store to the other. This problem can be easily solved by making your Halloween mask with plaster. This will allow you the possibility to get a mask that is designed purposely for your face, and it will fit on your face perfectly.

The plaster allows you to design the mask just as you want it. This gives you the possibility to wear a mask on Halloween day worn by no one else. With other machine-made masks, it will be hard to see a manufacturer who spends much on design and produces a limited number of masks with his design. This means that it will be far more expensive for you to get a customised mask to wear on Halloween day if you intend to use factory produced mask. But this is possible on the cheap side if you choose masks made from plaster.

Using a plaster mask for Halloween is also ideal because it does not only give you the choice to choose the design for your mask, but it also allows you to choose the colours you like on the mask. There is no better way to celebrate Halloween than wearing your dream mask, painted in your favourite colours or the colours you think will make it look scarier or funnier. Halloween masks made from plaster will, therefore, give you more confidence as you step out of your house on Halloween day. With a plaster mask, you are not intimidated by anyone’s mask because you feel confident that you are the scariest ‘creature’ out there with no other like you.

Making your own mask also allows you to choose the type of mask your children can wear easily. Considering that you know your kids better than anyone else, you can design face masks of the animals each of them like and blend them with their favourite colours and other attachments. There is no doubt this will make your entire family enjoy a great Halloween day with everyone having the mask of their dreams.

With the use of plaster sculptures and other internal decorations on walls, you can create a Halloween theatre that will be full of fun and surprises for both adults and kids. The plaster allows those designing sculptures with the ability to produce different types of sculptures year after year without waste of investment in abandoning old design as when compared to other sculptures produced with machines. Using sculptures made from plaster will, therefore, allow a full-packed surprise theatre for families to visit. This is due to the flexibility involved in making sculpture from plaster; the only limitation you may get is your imagination when you work with plaster.

Your Halloween will be incredibly amazing if you consider making use of masks made from plaster, designed to meet your expectations. This is because, with just as few as two people, you can make a mask or sculpture for yourself if you know how to make one. Making masks with your family will be a special moment to treasure. If you want to know more about making your own mask, there is a wealth of information out there on the internet…and you don’t need to be that “crafty” either to get good results!