Plastering Tools – A Buyer’s Guide

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Best Plastering Tools

If you are going to be completing your own plastering work, then there are certain tools that you are going to need to purchase if you want the job to be completed not only to a good standard, but also in a timely fashion! Plastering can either give you that real sense of satisfaction at a job well done, or end up looking a mess, leaving you frustrated and feeling as though the job needs to be started again! Let’s be honest – plastering is messy enough without having to do it twice – so it’s even more important to get it right the first time! 

That is where this article is here to help….we have compiled a list of all the main plastering tools that you are going to need to get the job done to a professional standard! Many of the tools that you will need for plastering are different to the standard tools that you would expect to find in any toolbox, which means you are probably going to have to make some purchases before you get started – but it will be well worth the money you will save if you complete the job yourself! 

Only Got 5 Minutes? 

If you have knocked all the old plaster off your wall already, have electrics or other piping you need to access (and quick!) or have a home renovation planned, then you are going to need to know the main tools that we would recommend for plastering! Our Only Got 5 Minutes section of the article has all the main tools that you will need to get the job done – and fast! 

Plastering Trowel 

It goes without saying that for plastering you are going to need a plastering trowel! This is what you are going to use to apply the plaster onto the surface, so it is arguably the most important tool of them all. Make sure to opt for one that is going to be heavy duty (we prefer models that are made of metal as they will be longer lasting and easier to chip any dried plaster off). Not only this but it is important to consider the size of your plastering trowel – a finer end of the trowel will allow you to produce smoother lines with finishing the job, but also a larger trowel will allow you to hold more plaster at once! Look out for trowels that are made from hardened stainless steel to ensure strength and durability when you are working. 

Best Plastering Trowel Pick – OX Pro Ultra Flex Finishing Trowel

Sale
OX OX-P530114 Pro Ultra Flex Finishing Trowel - Stainless Steel Concrete Finishing Hand Tool - Plaster Finishing Trowel with Soft Grip Handle - 14 inch
892 Reviews
OX OX-P530114 Pro Ultra Flex Finishing Trowel - Stainless Steel Concrete Finishing Hand Tool - Plaster Finishing Trowel with Soft Grip Handle - 14 inch
  • ULTRA FLEXIBLE TROWEL: The Flat blade of the OX Finishing Hand Trowel is flexible to provide a perfect finish.
  • STAINLESS STEEL BLADE: The Blade of the Finishing Trowel is made using 0.3 mm ultra flexible good quality stainless steel blade.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT FULLY FASTENED SHANK: The stainless steel blade of the OX Finishing Trowel is attached to a fully fastened shank, to provide superior balance and strength while working,
  • UNIQUE TWIN BLADE TECHNOLOGY: The twin blade system of the Finishing Trowel offers flexibility and makes it perfect for concrete smoothening.
  • SOFT GRIP HANDLE: The OX Plaster Trowel is engineered with an ergonomic handle, which reduces hand fatigue and gives a non-slip grip, hence adding both comfort and strength while working.

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Bucket Trowel 

You are also going to need a bucket trowel. Shaped slightly differently to the plastering trowel, the main use of the bucket trowel is to transport the plaster from the bucket (hence the name!) to the hawk. This helps to ensure that you do not end up with too much plaster at once, plus avoids you having to reach into the bucket with every stroke! The bucket trowel has a relatively easy job, so you do not need to think too much about which to purchase, just make sure that it is going to be large enough for the job that you are planning to complete. 

Best Bucket Trowel Pick – Ragni R6165S Stainless Steel Bucket Trowel

Ragni 6 1/2' Stainless Steel Bucket Trowel
244 Reviews
Ragni 6 1/2" Stainless Steel Bucket Trowel
  • Scrapes plaster or mortar from buckets easily
  • Made from Japanese Stainless Steel - wears evenly and doesn't rust
  • Non-slip, soft grip handle
  • Tempered and hardened blade
  • laser marked blades - no sticker residue

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Hand Board (Hawk)

The hand board is the plastering tool that is going to save your back from a lot of effort whilst you are working. A hand board is designed to hold mortar or plaster whilst you are working, so that smaller amounts at a time can be transferred onto the plastering trowel. This saves you having to bend down every few seconds to collect more plaster onto your trowel. Most hand boards are the same in design and size, just make sure that it is big enough to hold a reasonable amount of plaster and made from a material that is going to stop the plaster from slipping off the side of the board whilst you aren’t watching! Look out for hawks with a soft grip rubber or sponge handle as you are going to be holding this for extended periods of time so it will help to reduce blisters and fatigue. 

BEGINNERS TIP: If you are new to plastering then it may be worth purchasing a mud pan instead of a hand board. Admittedly there will be more waste and it is more time consuming scooping the plaster out of the mud pan, but it is much harder to spill the plaster thanks to the raised sides, so avoids any additional mess, which can occur with the hawk if you are not used to using it! 

Best Handboard Pick – Draper 40938 ABS Plasterers Hawk

Draper 40938 ABS Plasterers Hawk, 330mm x 330mm , Blue
1,246 Reviews
Draper 40938 ABS Plasterers Hawk, 330mm x 330mm , Blue
  • Plasterers hawks
  • 330mm x 330mm
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight hawks of rigid polyurethane foam and plastic handle

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Plasterers Float 

The plasterers float is there to be used after the plastering trowel to ensure a smooth and professional finish. After the plastering trowel has covered the area with plaster the float is there to provide you with the perfect, smooth finish! Plasterers floats come in different materials, from sponge and rubber to plastic or wood. A sponge float is better for beginners, as the sponge softens the impact and helps to avoid any of your hard work being ruined, but a plastic or wooden float will last longer as you are not risking the sponge being damaged by dried plaster. The main benefit of a plasterers float is that it can be used to quickly “sweep” over the wall that you are working on, to provide a neat and even finish. 

Best Float Pick – Faithfull Sponge Float

Faithfull FAISPOFLOAT Sponge Float 11In X 4.1/2IN
220 Reviews
Faithfull FAISPOFLOAT Sponge Float 11In X 4.1/2IN
  • High performance for the home or tradesman
  • Lightweight construction at just 0.22 kg
  • Proven reliable Faithfull technology
  • FAISPofLOAT

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Bucket and Mixing Stick/Paddle

Pretty self explanatory – a bucket for mixing the plaster and then holding it whilst you are working (make sure that it is big enough to hold the plaster and has strong, durable handles as plaster can be heavy). Plus the mixing stick or paddle – this comes down to personal preference as to what you would prefer, it is simply there to join the plaster mix and the water together so that you can start working! 

TOP TIP: It is a good idea to have two buckets when you are plastering. One to mix and hold the plaster, and the other to clean the tools whilst you are working. Doing this will avoid any hardened plaster sticking to the tools and damaging them when you try to remove it! 

Best Bucket and Mixing Tools

1600W Portable Electric Concrete Cement Plaster Grout Paint Thinset Mortar Paddle Mixer Pro Drill Mixer Stirring Tool Adjustable 6 Speed Handheld Standard 220V (1600W Red)
115 Reviews
1600W Portable Electric Concrete Cement Plaster Grout Paint Thinset Mortar Paddle Mixer Pro Drill Mixer Stirring Tool Adjustable 6 Speed Handheld Standard 220V (1600W Red)
  • 【Ergonomic Handles】 - Dual ergonomic handle on both sides covered with specially shaped material help to reduce fatigue so you can grape with comfort during long time operation.
  • 【Durable Construction】 - Durable die cast aluminum body is impact resistant and is designed for heavy use.Helical blade easily mixes thick or viscous compounds.
  • 【Adjustable 6 Working Speeds】 - High and low gears features 6 speeds (1、2、3、4、5、MAX) for tackling wide variety of materials(paint, drywall mud, grout, concrete, mortar and more).
  • 【Strong Power Provided】 - Concrete mixer with 1,600-Watt motor, 220V/50HZ with Standard UK plug, powerful enough to mix even the thickest of compounds
  • 【Package Includes】 - 1 x Mortar Mixer ,1 x Mortar Mixer Shaft ,1 x Helical Blade ,2 x Wrench ,2 x Carbon brush ,1 x Instruction Manual

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Sale
OX P110825 Pro Plasterers Bucket, Blue, 25 Litre
1,855 Reviews
OX P110825 Pro Plasterers Bucket, Blue, 25 Litre
  • OX PRO 25 litre plasterers bucket
  • Product dimensions: 355mm x 360mm x 420mm
  • Product code: OX-P110825
  • Model number: OX-P110825

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Floor Screed 

A floor screed is only going to be needed if you are completing any type of plastering on your floor instead of on the walls, but can be handy to have around so that you are prepared for if this job materialises! A floor screed is used to level off the plaster (or other material) that you have applied to the floor, ensuring not only that the floor is level and even, but also that there are no air pockets in the substance that you have laid. This is crucial, as air pockets can cause flooring to crack over time if they are not removed! 

Best Floor Screed Pick – ClausHavn Spiked Screeding Roller

ClausHavn - Spiked Screeding Roller with Plastic Splash Guard 250mm Wide Head with 21mm Spikes for Self Levelling Compound, Comes with 2 Pairs of Single Use Rubber Gloves
79 Reviews
ClausHavn - Spiked Screeding Roller with Plastic Splash Guard 250mm Wide Head with 21mm Spikes for Self Levelling Compound, Comes with 2 Pairs of Single Use Rubber Gloves
  • Dimension: 25cm wide, Roller Diameter (include spikes): 9cm, Spike length: 21mm, Handle Length: 13.5cm, Handle inside diameter 2.5cm, Weight: 0.8kg. This 25cm wide aeration roller head is a must have to achieve a quality smooth and uniform sub floor application including self levelling compounds and latex.
  • The rigid 21mm long plastic spikes help release the air bubbles trapped on the cement surface and control aeration when roll over the new levelling compound, removing trowel marks and giving a smooth and even levelled finish
  • Comes with an aluminum handle that can be attached to a broom handle and secure by screws
  • The splash guard is made up of durable plastic that shields any overspray when applying the flooring compound for a mess-free application. The roller and the splash guard can be disassembled for easy cleaning
  • Comes with two pairs of rubber gloves (single use) for basic hand protection during preparation and application of flooring compounds

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Putty Knife

A putty knife is only a cheap tool – but it really is one that you cannot do without if you are planning on plastering, as there are so many ways in which it will help to make your life easier! Whether you are using it to scrape excess material from the wall you are plastering, chipping away bits of grit, or using it to level more hard to reach places, you can’t get the job done without a putty knife! Not only this, but if you have been a little lazy and left the cleaning of your tools too late (let’s be honest we’ve all done it from time to time!) then a putty knife will be there to help save the day in chipping away dried plaster from your other tools! 

Best Putty Knife Kit – ROLLINGDOG 6″ Wall Putty Knife

ROLLINGDOG 6' (152mm) Flexible Joint Knife-Flexible Wall Putty Knife-Drywall Scraper Tool with Ergonomic Robust Rubber Coated Handle
34 Reviews
ROLLINGDOG 6" (152mm) Flexible Joint Knife-Flexible Wall Putty Knife-Drywall Scraper Tool with Ergonomic Robust Rubber Coated Handle
  • Joint knife Sized 6" With Flexible Carbon Steel(NOT stainless steel)
  • Ergonomic handles with rubber grip for easy control and comfortable use.
  • Handles have hanging hole for easy storage.
  • Great for scraping and cleaning surfaces, applying and smoothing compound.

Last update on 2022-06-22 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Other Plastering Tools 

You should now have a good idea of the main tools that you are going to need to complete a plastering job that any professional would be proud of! However, there are some additional tools that are worth considering if you are wanting to make your life easier when plastering or are wanting a particularly high quality finish – or both!

  • Corner Trowel – A corner trowel is an essential purchase if you want to make your life easier when plastering the corners of rooms, or if you are new to plastering! A corner trowel is shaped differently to “normal” plastering trowels to allow you to neatly skim over more hard to reach areas. Some can even be adjusted so that you can be sure they will be able to access those hard to reach places! 
  • Sandpaper – You will need different types of sandpaper to smooth over the wall and prepare it for the plastering that you are about to complete. Sandpaper can also come in handy to smooth out any bits of grit that have become stuck in the new plaster that you have applied (once the wall is dry enough of course!).
  • Step ladder – Hopefully this one is obvious!…..you are going to need a stepladder to make it easier to access those higher parts of the wall that you are working on. Make sure to choose one that is A frame in design, so that you are not relying on the other walls around for support when you are working! 
  • Mist spray gun – If your walls are particularly porous then they will be inclined to soak up the water from the plaster too quickly, which will make it impossible to work with the plaster and create smooth, clean walls before the plaster dries. It is a good idea to use a mist spray gun to slightly wet the walls and avoid the issue of the walls sucking the moisture from the plaster. 
  • Paint brush – If you don’t want to purchase a mist spray gun, or just know that you have harder to reach areas, then something as simple as a paint brush can make it easier to access these areas. You can buy special plastering brushes if you would rather, as these will be more accurate in the way that they apply water evenly. 
  • Multi-tool – A multi-tool can prove to be incredibly handy when you are plastering! Although we wouldn’t recommend using the tool on larger areas of walls, they can be particularly handy if you are trying to access tighter areas of the wall! 
  • Spirit level – There to make sure that your walls are perfectly straight with a professional finish. 
  • Dust sheets – There to protect your flooring and furnishings from any debris or spilt plaster. Even the greatest, most experienced plasterer will drop some when they are working and it can be very difficult to remove from certain floorings! 
  • Jointing knife – Perfect for harder to reach places, corners, or making sure your lines are straight and accurate. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long does plaster last? 

Plaster mix can last for between 3-6 months once the bag has been opened – providing you make sure to store it in a cool and dry location that is away from direct sunlight. The exact times will depend on a variety of factors so it is worth checking on each individual product’s details. 

How soon can I paint on new plaster? 

Different people will give you different answers to this question – varying from a couple of days all the way up to four weeks! It also depends on how humid and warm the air is around the wall that you have plastered, and how thick the plaster is etc. We would never recommend painting a wall less than a week after plastering, otherwise you could quickly find damp and stained patches coming through your paint or wallpaper. 

How quickly do I have to use mixed plaster? 

For most mixed plasters, you will have about 45 minutes to use it before it becomes too hard to plaster effectively! This means that it is important to not make too much when you are preparing to plaster, otherwise you could find yourself with a lot of wait. This time does depend on the conditions that you are working in – if it is particularly cold and damp your plaster may last longer, but if it is warm and dry then you may have as little as 30 minutes. 

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About Mike Jones 193 Articles
I have been a keen DIY enthusiast for over 15 years, I’m constantly tinkering in my garage, taking things apart and building things. Along the way, I seem to have acquired a bit of a tool collection, as you do. The issue I found was that the information online when it comes to finding out what you need to know when buying new tools was somewhat limited. I didn’t necessarily need to know which tool to buy, but more what was important when making that buying decision. Also, a bit like a child in a sweet shop when I see new tools and things I can do with them I find it hard to resist. I started this blog back in 2017 to try and put together some buying guides, not really reviews but more what you may want to know before going and deciding on a new tool. I’m also a keen gardener and if there is a tool or gadget that helps me in the garden I’m going to let you know. I hope these musings and buyers guides are of use to you in some way. All the best, Mike.

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