Plastering is considered to be one of the oldest building handcrafts and there is evidence to suggest that it was used by the earliest civilisations. For example, the builders of pyramids in Egypt used plaster 2,000 years before Christ. This same plaster is still to be found in the pyramids and they were made from lime mixed with crushed limestone. Massive vats were made of this mixture for it to be added to both walls and floors. It was around this point that people first experimented by adding a red dye to the mixture.
The word ‘plastering’ can be simply defined as the action of putting a type of plaster onto a structure. The plaster will usually be prepared by adding sand, water, lime and sometimes other fibre. The process of adding the plaster to the structure is also known as ‘pargeting’ which is thought to be based on the word ‘porgeter’ which is a French word meaning to ‘roughcast a wall’. When it comes to ornamental plastering used in homes between exposed wooden frames, the term pargenting is usually used.
When it comes to plastering tools – they haven’t changed much, although the manufacturing process to make these tools has. Hammers, trowels, scratching tools and floats are the most commonly used tools for plastering. In addition to steel trowels, there are now polycarbonate tools available on the market which some professional believe can produce a slight better finish in some instances.
When it comes to types of plaster, this has also evolved with browning plaster and bonding plaster being available in addition to finishing plaster.
Plastering is performed by professionals who will generally have years of training and experience under their belts. It’s the use of good plastering that provides the finishing touches to any well done reconstruction or building project.