Internal rendering or plastering is a very difficult DIY task that can easily turn into a nightmare. Plastering seems to be a skill that can only really be mastered with years of practice. Professional plaster is difficult to mix correctly and sets quicker, inexperienced DIY enthusiasts ofen find out just how easy it is to drag it off the wall when attempting a smooth finish! DIY plaster is available and has been specially formulated to make it easier to use, but without the basic plastering skills can still end up an expensive, time consuming mess!
There are a number types of plaster available, and a major part of the job is actually choosing the right type of plaster for the surface at hand. Gypsum Plaster is the most popular choice for professionals, usually applied in two coats, the undercoat and the skim. When working on absorbent surfaces there are special undercoat plasters, plus specially formulated plaster for skimming plasterboards. DIY plaster comes in repair and finish, varieties in pre-mixed tubs or ready-mix bags.
There is also repair plaster, (aka one-coat plaster), this is very easy to apply and can be used for filling wide and deep holes in walls such as those left when a pipe has been removed. Finish plaster is used over repair plaster to give a smooth finish which can be painted, papered or tiled over. The correct preparation of the surfaces for plastering is an essential process and vital to the success of the finish. Surfaces need to be brushed down and then tested for absorbency by splashing water on them. If the water is absorbed quickly you will need to soak the bricks before plastering.
Plasterers offer a broad range of skills and can help build and restore floors, ceilings and walls, but you will often find that plasterers tend to specialise in certain areas, so if choosing a plaster for an internal rendering project, it is important to know what sort of plasterer you are looking for. You will also quickly find that good plasterers are in short supply, so you need to contact them as soon as possible. The two main categories of plastering are solid plastering and fibrous plastering.
Solid plastering is the applying plaster finishes to create a smooth finish on walls and floors, whereas fibrous plastering is essentially ornamental plastering. Most internal rendering work falls into the solid plastering category, but in some period properties decorative plasters may be required. Typical internal rendering jobs include applying a new finish to a ceiling or wall, restoring a ceiling or a wall, having screed laid on a floor or creating decorative finishes, such as cornices and mouldings.
If you only need to apply a small amount of plaster to repair an area, you could do this yourself if you are a competent DIY person. However, more complex tasks such as complete internal walls or floors are normally far beyond the level of expertise of DIY enthusiasts. Plastering is a physically demanding and highly skillful trade, best left to the professionals.
Hiring a professional means a much better finish and will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. In addition, a plasterer with years of expertise will finish a job far quicker than you will. The other main advantage of using a professional plasterer is you will have someone to go back to if something should go wrong down the line. professional plasterers will normally provide a guarantee on all their work.