How to Use One Coat Plaster - The Simple Step by Step Guide

October 25, 2019

Plastering provides your walls and ceiling with a smooth, durable coating. Offering a barrier against sound and protection against temperature, plastering your walls has great benefits for the usefulness of your home. It can also make your walls pleasing to the eye. Even when left unfinished, you can see the advantages of using plaster on your walls. 

But with so many plaster options on the market to help you cover your walls, it can be difficult to know which is the best for your needs. But for repairing or filling in your ceiling and walls, one coat plaster is a perfect choice!

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What is One Coat Plaster 

What is One Coat Plaster?

One coat plaster is a particular kind of plaster created to offer a simpler approach to plastering. It allows for application with fewer steps since this plaster acts as base and finishing coat in one. It’s also a thicker consistency that allows for thicker layers than with other types of wall plaster. 

Made up of the traditional gypsum material, the powder is mixed with the right proportion of water to create a workable consistency. This can be applied with traditional plastering tools, but this type of plaster does not need a scratch coat as your base layer. This will shorten the time of application considerably!

When is it Best to Use One Coat Plaster


When is it Best to Use One Coat Plaster?

With the base and finishing coat in one, this kind of plaster is great for use in repair projects. You can apply your plaster once to obtain a smooth finish and allow it to dry. This will complete repair or patch jobs in a flash! 

It has been noted that some individuals have found it more difficult to get a smooth finish with one coat plaster, especially with a larger area of coverage. However, for smaller repair or patch projects, this is the perfect fix. 

One coat plaster can be applied in thicker layers than traditional plaster, up to a recommended 25 mm thick. This allows you to build up any repair to the right thickness easily. 

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How to Use One Coat Plaster

How to Use One Coat Plaster - Step by Step

Step 1. Preparation

Make sure that your working area is clean before you begin your project. Remove any wall hangings or decorations from the wall so you don’t bump into these as you’re working and cause them to fall. You’ll also want to move any furniture back or into the middle of your room so you have room to work. 

Next, you should inspect the area you are repairing to ensure that there is no deeper cause to be dealt with before you restore your plaster. You may also need to remove old paint from the plaster first.

Renovator Inspecting For Repairs

Next, before you tackle any repairs, such as plasterboard repairs, lay down a dust cloth to protect your flooring and collect any mess that occurs as you’re working. This can include dust from sanding your walls or excess plaster or water. 


Step 2. Smooth any Damage

If you are working on a repair, it’s necessary to start fresh. Remove any loose or flaking plaster from around your working area. This can usually be done with a scraper, but if the plaster is still partially fixed to your surface, you’ll need to chip away at it with a small chisel.


Smooth out old plaster with a plastering tool

Do this carefully to minimize the damage to the underlying lath. This may make the area of coverage larger but will give you a better place to start from to minimize future problems. For cracks, you can apply a plaster tape or mesh to renew the surface. This gives your one coat plaster something to grip for the best results.


Step 3: Mix Plaster

Next, you can get ready to apply the plaster. Be sure to read the specific directions on your plastering product before you begin.

Thistle Brand One Coat Plaster

Working from the directions on your brand of one coat plaster, mix it into cold water until it has a thick but workable consistency without any lumps. Don’t add water to your plaster; instead, add plaster to your water in the pail. 

Mix an amount that will allow you to cover your area, with some excess. This is much easier than trying to mix more in the middle of your project!


Step 4: Apply Plaster

With your plaster prepared, you can now begin the application. You’ll want to have a trowel and hawk to make this simple. Use your trowel to place plaster on the hawk. 

Plasterer using hawk and trowel

Hold your hawk horizontally, and scoop material up with your trowel to place on the wall. Then, smooth it with your float as much as possible. Work until your entire area of patch is covered. If you are covering a mesh or tape, ensure that you are working away from the centres so the edges are not pulled up.


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Step 5: Let Plaster Dry 10 - 15 Minutes, Then Smooth 

After you have applied plaster, wait about ten to fifteen minutes until it has dried slightly. Then, smooth it even more with your float. The drying time allows your plaster to firm up, making it easier to gain a smooth surface. 

Small Clock

Pay close attention to the edges of your repair as these need to be perfectly smooth over the existing plaster. Wet your float if needed for improved results.


Step 6: Sand and Paint

After your plaster has dried thoroughly, you can sand it gently one last time prior to painting. Use a sanding block for the best results, creating a slightly rough surface that helps your paint adhere. Make sure your wall is dust-free and then you are able to paint! 

Painting New Plaster

Keep in mind that new plaster may need to be primed or the absorption rates will be different on previously painted walls compared to new. Read this guide to learn more about painting new plaster.



Are you ready to get your next renovation underway with one coat plaster? Simply submit a free request to get bids from local professionals, then compare reviews to hire the best!

Looking for more information on how much it costs to plaster a room? Check out our comprehensive Plastering Price Guide for full details so you can effectively plan out your renovation budget.

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