DIY: How to Plaster Corners

Updated February 21, 2017

Plastering a room is not a difficult proposition if you know a few little tricks to help you through. One of the more difficult places to plaster is the corner of a room. The flat rectangular shape of a regular trowel is not conducive to working in corners. There is a specific tool that can be purchased that is designed specifically for this project. The corner trowel's blade is bent in a 90-degree angle and fits perfectly into a corner.

Load a small amount of plaster onto the hawk with the trowel. A hawk is an item that has a flat metal surface and a handle that plaster is placed on. This allows you to climb a ladder and keep a working amount of plaster with you.

Use the corner trowel to place a small amount of the plaster in the corner of the room. It can be difficult for the beginner to use the corner trowel to place the plaster from the hawk to the wall. If you do not feel comfortable using the corner trowel to apply the plaster to the corner to start, you can scoop a little section off of the plaster on the hawk and then set it in the corner with a flat trowel. From here, you can spread the plaster with the corner trowel.

Hold the corner trowel at either the bottom or top of the plaster and gently push up or down, depending on where you start. Make sure the point of the trowel is in the corner. It does not need to be firm since you are going to want to have a thin layer of plaster in the corner. Continue this process until the entire corner is plastered.


Do not have a heavy hand when you using the trowel. The goal is to leave a layer about one eighth of an inch thick on the walls and the corner. Hold the corner trowel in your hand and place it in the corner when it does not have any plaster on it. Move it up and down in the corner this will help you learn how to use the trowel and also give you a feel for it.

Things You'll Need

  • Plaster
  • Hawk
  • Trowel
  • Corner Trowel
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About the Author

Philip Powe started writing in 1987 for St. Louis area newspapers. He has since written for "St. Clair County Historical Society Journal" and the "American Association of State and Local Historians Journal." Concentrations are in home and garden, philosophy and history. Powe holds a Master of Arts in intellectual history from Southern Illinois University.