How to Rough Plaster a Wall

Written by darla ferrara
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Rough plastering is a texturing technique that can help change the look of a room. Plastering is the same, whether you add texture or not. Rough plastering just means that you use a tool to make ridges in the plaster after application. Prior to plastering you should prep the wall, covering joints with tape and adding a base coat over the tape to smooth the surface. Once prep is complete, you can have some fun and create different textures in the plaster.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Mixing bucket
  • Plaster compound
  • Stir stick
  • Bucket with water
  • Hawk
  • Trowel
  • Notched trowel
  • Aluminium foil
  • Hand broom

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  1. 1

    Mix your plaster compound, following the instructions provided with the product. The plaster should be thick for proper application.

  2. 2

    Fill the top of a hawk with the plaster. A hawk is a large, flat tool used for plastering, similar to a paint palette. Wet the surface of the hawk prior to adding the plaster. This will keep the compound from sticking.

  3. 3

    Apply the plaster to the wall. Scoop compound from the hawk onto a trowel, then slide the trowel over the wall, moving from the bottom upward. Apply just one trowel full to experiment with texturing.

  4. 4

    Run a trowel with teeth over the applied plaster to make ridges in the surface. Crumble up aluminium foil and dab it over the wet plaster. This will make ridges and peaks. Experiment with various tools to get the look you want. For example, use a small hand broom to build fine line. A sea sponge can create a pattern. Any material or tool can work.

  5. 5

    Finish plastering the wall and apply the texture of your choice.

Tips and warnings

  • Allow 24 hours for the plaster to thoroughly dry once texturing is complete. Keep the layer of plaster thin, approximately a quarter-inch. Thick plaster is more likely to crack. As you texture, you may thin some areas and need to add more plaster.

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