The article “How to plaster walls yourself” will tell you how to properly carry out plastering work and perform high-quality lighthouse plaster. This article describes in detail all the stages of plastering, and possible nuances that will help a beginner to independently master the laborious and responsible process of plastering.
Many people, even quite sophisticated people in the matter of repair, powerlessly give up before the upcoming plastering of the walls. And no wonder, because plaster is the basis of all repairs, and the result of all subsequent work depends on its quality. In this article I want to tell you in detail and step by step how to make high-quality lighthouse plaster yourself.
Tools and materials for plastering
To carry out plastering work, we need the following tool:
- Concrete mixer (subject to large volumes, it is simply necessary);
- Plaster bucket (for small volumes it can be replaced with a trowel);
- Rule-level 2m long;
- Trapezoidal rule (I recommend 1.2m);
- Slicer and trowel for plastering.
From materials for plaster we need:
- Plaster lighthouses;
- Nylon thread about 1mm thick.
I would like to draw attention to the correct choice of tool, since the quality of the work done, as well as its productivity, depends on it. The bucket should be quite tough, it is also advisable to choose a half-grater and a grater from a harder material (there are polystyrene foam that wear out quickly), as a rule, the level should correctly show the vertical – this is easy to check by leaning it against the wall along the level and drawing a line. Flip the level rule upside down and align it with the drawn line, it should still show the correct level.
The rule is a flat bar made primarily of aluminum alloy. This is a kind of standard, by attaching it to the wall, we can make sure of its evenness. Also, using the rule, you can remove excess glue protruding beyond the lighthouses.
Lighthouses are thin profiled two to three meter long galvanized steel slats that serve as guides and the basis for the future plane of the wall.
First of all, before starting work, it is necessary to prepare the surface. If you have fresh brickwork, then no preparatory work is required. But if you have to plaster a wall of an old building, with peeling lime plaster, several layers of paint, and other “delights of life” – then additional work will have to be done to remove old paint and plaster.
It so happens that the previous plaster is strong enough, and it is very difficult to remove it – then you just need to make a frequent notch on its surface in order to increase the surface roughness. Do the same with a firmly adhering paint. Notches can be made using different tools – an ax, a perforator, and a grinder with a diamond circle will do. Here, as the saying goes, “all methods are good.” The main thing is that the prepared surface is hard, uniformly rough, and durable..
Well, we have prepared the surface – it’s time to get to work. We mix the cement-sand mortar, in a ratio of 1: 3 – 1: 4. To display beacons, it is advisable to add a plasticizer to the solution. I usually use a small amount of tile glue for this purpose (about one part glue for three parts mortar). Correctly exposed beacons are a 50% guarantee of the quality of the future plaster, this is the base of the wall surface, and if you expose at least one beacon incorrectly, then you will no longer get a smooth wall.
First, the extreme beacons are exhibited from opposite ends of the wall. In order to fix the lighthouse on the wall, you must first moisten the place where it will be mounted on the wall, and using a bucket (or a trowel), throw the solution onto the wall with brisk movements to form a vertical strip. Then we lean the lighthouse on this place, and press it using a two-meter level rule, while simultaneously controlling the verticality of its position. The two-meter rule will not allow the beacon to bend, and will give it the necessary straightness. Two opposite vertical beacons can already give an idea of the future plane of the wall – for this, it is enough to pull a nylon thread between them.
If you do not use a thread, then the surface of the wall can go in waves, or a “belly” is formed – and you want to see your wall certainly even. The thread is stretched as follows: A hole is drilled between the beacon and the corner, and a dowel is inserted. A self-tapping screw is screwed into the dowel so that its cap is slightly higher than the level of the expected future plane of the wall. In the same way, a self-tapping screw is screwed on the other side, and the thread is pulled between them in such a way that a gap of about 1 mm is formed between the thread and the extreme beacons. It is enough to pull two threads – above and below, they will already give an idea of the plane.
The rest of the beacons are set in the same way as the previous ones, but in addition to the rule for control, a thread is also added. Ultimately, all beacons must create the same gap with the thread, and the contact of the thread with the beacon is unacceptable, as this will lead to a deviation from the plane. The distance between neighboring beacons should be such that the trapezoidal rule freely overlaps it, does not jump off.
The lighthouses are on display, the next day you can start directly plastering the wall. The solution is mixed in the same way, in a ratio of 1: 3 – 1: 4, but without a plasticizer. The consistency of the finished solution should be such that it is both plastic and at the same time does not “slide” off the wall. The wall is abundantly wetted with water – so that the solution does not give moisture to the wall so quickly, and so that cracks do not form.
To irrigate the wall, you can use a bristle brush or a plastic bottle with a pre-drilled hole in the lid. A solution is poured onto the wetted wall with a bucket (or trowel) with a layer protruding beyond the future surface of the wall. After a while, when some of the moisture has left the solution, the excess is cut off with a trapezoidal rule, passing it from the bottom up along the lighthouses. A plane is formed, but there are still a lot of potholes and irregularities in it that need to be leveled.
To do this, the solution is again poured into the voids, and smoothed with a grater or half-grater. The plane, which formed after the first coat of the solution, already serves as a reference point. The surplus is cut off in the same way with the rule, and the surface is again rubbed with a float and a polish.
And this continues until the surface is perfectly flat, and the rule will not slide freely along the beacons, and there will be no gap between it and the wall.
It happens that the wall to be plastered is so curved that a very thick layer of plaster forms, which settles under its own weight. Then you need to throw the solution onto the wall in several stages, waiting for the solution to set. Plastering such a wall can take several days..
Many “experts” do not consider it necessary to bring the wall to the ideal, if in the future it is to be tiled – this is a common misconception! The smoother the wall surface is, the lower the glue consumption will be, and the better the quality of the tiled masonry will be. And the same is the case with wall putty: The smoother the wall after plastering, the less putty will go to bring it to perfection, and the better various finishing materials will look on it .
This is how, at first glance, incomprehensible science begins to become more and more understandable. And this is not such a difficult matter – plastering the walls. All you need is skill and experience, and you have already received the necessary knowledge of how to plaster walls. In the section Finishing materials: floors, ceilings, walls, you can learn for yourself knowledge about other building technologies, learn a lot of new and useful things for yourself. So go for it.