As skilled tradesmen, you know that plastering not only requires the correct tools, but the knowledge and expertise acquired from years of experience. In fact, the majority of plastering tools have remained unchanged since their inception, several hundred years ago. Advancements in the materials used to make plastering instruments allow acrylic based products to be applied without staining the finished wall or ceiling. However, there are several basic pieces of equipment that are needed for common plastering jobs, in addition to other more advanced equipment to perform advanced plastering jobs.
A basic tool that is considered necessary and important is the float. Without this plastering tool, the smooth application of plaster across the surface of the wall or ceiling cannot be accomplished. Bucket trowels are important because they let you take plaster out of the mixing bucket without damaging the bucket or contaminating the plaster. Moreover, the use of a plastering hawk allows small amounts of plaster to be carried for easy access and continued application of wet plaster.
Another important piece of equipment is the mixing bucket. A quality bucket will not add any type of contaminant into the plaster, and will resist scratching and pitting. Additionally, depending upon the size of the job and the amount of plaster needed, a mixing drill and paddle will ensure a consistent and completely mixed plaster compound.
In order to ensure the surface is straight, level and even across its entirety, it is advisable to incorporate the use of plasterer's beads and a level. This combination will allow one to create sharp edges and corners, as well as flat vertical surfaces. Of course, a proper three-layer plastering job could not be accomplished without the use of a scarifier. This comb like plastering tool is used to make diagonal furrows on the base layer to prepare it for the additional coats of plaster.
Still another necessary instrument is the splash brush. This device, which is also known as a plasterer's brush, is a large brush designed to hold copious amounts of water, which is used to dampen the recently plastered surface so that imperfections can be worked out.
Lastly, but not any less important, is the plastering trowel. These tools come in a variety of sizes and shapes that are specialised depending upon the application requirements. There are variations designed to apply plaster to the inside (internal) or outside (external) side of a corner, and there are variations designed for edging, or adding detail around window frames. Indeed, one can purchase trowels that have pre-worn edges to prevent 'digging in'. These dished edge products produce smooth surfaces without lines or marks.
Plastering can be challenging; however, if you use the proper tools, the outcome of the job will be aesthetically pleasing and a source of joy and pride for many a year to come.