What is The Best Plaster To Use? A Comparative Guide to Plaster

November 1, 2019

When it comes to building up your interior walls, nothing is better or more versatile than plaster! A durable material that has been trusted for generations of homebuilders, plaster is the primary choice for finishing walls in homes across the UK.

Plastering can be a tricky job for DIY, however. There is a lot of skill involved in the proper application: from determining the right consistency to knowing the proper application methods, it can be daunting! 

Another factor to consider is using the right materials. Different types of plasters have been developed to suit different job types. This means there can be a lot of items out there! For the best success in your plastering project, you’ll need to know what the right products are. So read on to discover what is the best place to use for your improvement.

Then when you're ready to being your plastering project, submit a free request to easily find top plasterers near you!

What is The Best Plaster to Use?

A Comparison of Types of Plaster

With so many different kinds of plaster on the shelf at your local home improvement store, it can be difficult to know which is the right one for your needs. Certain elements will make plaster a great fit with one job but frustrating to use with another. 

Applying Plaster

It certainly makes it easier to know which is the right product to use to ensure you have the materials to begin. So read on for more information about common types to help you make an informed decision for your project.


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Ready Made Plaster

One of the biggest mental barriers to plastering is the idea of mixing the plaster incorrectly. Thankfully, ready made plaster is available to make this a much easier project. The right ratio of plastering sand and other materials is mixed with water, then packaged in bags or pre-mixed buckets. 

It’s also available in a dry format, where all you need to do is add water. This can be convenient if you are only going to need a small amount of plaster and can mix it yourself as required. 

Plastering with ready mix plaster

Ready-mix plaster is the perfect choice for someone who is short on time. Instead of measuring quantities of material, it’s ready for you to use! 

This kind of plaster is great for using to fill small cracks or holes in a previously-plastered wall as well as for new wall plastering on gypsum board seams. Look for a multi-finish variety that is well-suited to a variety of applications. Since it dries quickly, it’s perfect for wall and ceiling projects.


Ready Mix Render

One of the most popular types for DIY projects, ready mix render gives you the perfect ratio of materials. Dry mix render that combines the right amounts of sand and cement. This just needs water added to mix it to the proper consistency, giving you a bit more flexibility in its use. Using a dry mix render makes it easier and take the guesswork out of preparation. 

One Coat Render

Ready mix render can be very helpful in times when the entire project needs to be completed quickly. This can be used for any type of exterior wall covering, as you can layer your plaster right onto the underlying brick, cement, block or other wall materials.

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Plastering Sand

An essential element, plastering sand is combined with cement and water at certain ratios to achieve proper plastering material. When purchasing plastering sand you can either find it as its own separate material as shown below or pre-blended with cement.

Plastering Sand

If you purchase sand which is not already pre-blended, on-site, you’ll add your materials together to create the plaster. For proper adhesion, you’ll need to cure your walls before and after plastering. Use a wet covering or sprinkling method to ensure you have the proper conditions for using plastering sand. 

Plastering sand is a versatile product and can be used on both exterior and interior walls. However, it cannot be applied on smooth surfaces. You’ll need to rough up your walls before application to ensure the project holds. 

Note as well that plastering sand can be prone to cracking or shrinking from the drying and ageing process, so this may require further attention in the future for repair.


Gypsum Plaster

Made up out of gypsum, this plaster is used to build up the finish of your walls to a strong and durable state. You’ll get this plaster in a dry format that, when mixed with water, will set and harden. You won’t need to add sand when using gypsum, making the preparation a little simpler than other materials. 

Since this type of plaster tends to draw moisture, it’s best used only on some interior walls and ceilings. It can be applied to both smooth and rough surfaces.

Avoid using gypsum in bathrooms or kitchens as the higher levels of moisture can cause the gypsum to absorb water and develop issues. 

Gypsum plaster can achieve a fine finish and is often used as a topcoat in plastering projects. It’s less prone to cracking, making it a great choice for your walls’ longevity.


Bonding Plaster

This is a versatile plaster that can be used to create a great first coat, called undercoat, for your project. Also called a scratch coat, bonding is an essential foundation for finishing plaster. It can be applied to concrete or tiling, and you won’t need to rough up these surfaces for bonding to adhere.

Bonding is also used on new walls or those that need patching. It allows upper coats to grip once it is scratched with a nail to create a rough surface for adhesion. It can be used both on the interior and the exterior of your home.   


Whether it’s a new wall or a repair, using plaster is a tried and true method of home improvement. All it takes is some skill and the knowledge of what materials you need. 

After reading your article, you should know what kind of plaster your job needs. Using this will ensure the best results. Now it's time to hire a local plasterer and get your project started!

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