How to plaster a brick wall properly to get good looking and long-lasting covering

How to plaster a brick wallThe homeowners who live in brick houses sooner or later make wonder on how to plaster a brick wall. Actually, plaster is one of the most popular coatings for the walls of any type. Stucco offers additional insulation. From an aesthetic standpoint, the plastered brick wall looks quite good; besides that, stucco gives good bonding, so you can apply any decorative coating on it.

Plastering a brick wall is not an uphill task, especially if you have all necessary tools and ready-to-use stucco mix. Just follow the below-listed instructions and you will renew your brick walls without spending too much time, money and efforts.

Preparing wall surface

Before you start working on brick wall plastering, make sure you have all the tools and materials listed below:

  • ready-to-use plaster mix and ground coating mix;
  • liquid soap, table salt for cleansing mixture;
  • water;
  • clean cloths;
  • two buckets (large and smaller) and stirring stick;
  • caulking gun;
  • two steel trowels (small and middle-sized or large);
  • priming brush;
  • wire brush;
  • stiff cleaning brush;
  • plumb-bob;
  • flat wooden floats and straight edges;
  • scratching tool;
  • ladder;
  • a pair of safety goggles.

Cleaning the wall

A set of professional plastererThe wall has to be clean and smooth to give a good bonding that will hold the plaster properly. So first of all, you have to prepare brick wall surface for plastering by purification and sleeking.

Use a wire brush to scrub the wall and remove concrete drops, finishing coats, etc. Then prepare a special mixture of liquid soap and table soap (1:1) and add a bit of water until the mixture gets creamy in its consistency. Apply it to the wall using a cloth and left for 10-20 minutes. Then rub the wall with a stiff cleaning brush to remove grease, dust, dirt, and other impurities.

If there are any cracks on the brick bonding material, holes, cavities, wide splits, etc. on the wall, you have to fill them in with special mortar. Use a caulking gun to fill in small and deep holes.

Grounding the wall and making screeds

Plaster can be quite heavy, especially if you put two or more layers of it on the wall. It is required to apply the grounding to strengthen the bounding. You can buy ready-to-use ground coating mix. Cover the brick wall with this coating using a priming brush. After the ground work is done, you have to make screeds – it is a special marking that helps to maintain the thickness of a plaster layer.

First you have to apply the dots, i.e. the patches of plaster of approximate size 20 mm * 20 mm and approximate thickness of 10-15 mm placed at a distance of about two meters. Fix the dots first horizontally and then vertically. Use plumb-bob to check the verticality of the dots.

Form screed strips using a small trowel. Apply vertical strips of the plaster between the dots. Make sure that all screed strips are the same in their thickness.

Applying the plaster

Apply the plaster properlyStart this step with preparing the plaster. It is recommended to use special masonry-based or standard cement-based stucco for the brick wall. Proper plaster mix should be thick, but at the same time spreadable, so you can easily put it on the wall with the trowel. Prepare stucco in accordance with the instructions printed on its package.

The walls are plastered from the bottom up or the top down, depending on your choice of the starting point. Use a large or middle-sized trowel (at your convenience) to apply the stucco to the brick wall. Flat wooden floats and straight edges will help to level the plastered wall. After the first layer sets, roughen it slightly with scratching tool. This measure helps to enhance the bonding between two layers.

Damp the first layer of the plaster evenly and then apply the second layer. If possible, put this layer on the wall from the top down and try to complete this process in one operation, so that you will be able to eliminate joining marks. Use steel trowel and wooden floats to level and smooth the wall covering.

The thickness of the first layer has to be approx. 12 mm for masonry-based stucco and 10-15 mm for cement-based one. Second layer thickness has to be approx. 2-3 mm for masonry-based stucco and 3-5 mm for cement-based one.

To strengthen and harden the wall covering, spray it with water 1 or 2 times per day during one week.

Tips and Advice

Preparation of mortar for plasteringMake sure that grounding coat has dried out completely before you apply the plaster.

There are two separate types of plaster for internal and external walls that differ in their properties. Check that you use an appropriate one.

Note that some plaster mixes require limestone or sand to be added and some need water only. Read manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow them strictly.

Add the water to the mixture little by little and stir it carefully. It’s quite important to obtain an even consistency.

It’s quite inconvenient to put up and down a large bucket with the plaster mix. So you can put a portion of the plaster into a smaller bucket and carry it easily on the ladder while covering the top of the wall. 

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