Plaster Application

 

Applying our plasters at the correct thickness is important to achieving a proper and durable finish. Applying the plaster too thick can lead to cracking and / or complete delamination from the surface. Applying the plaster too thin will leave the final finish brittle, causing it to be more prone to damage and making any repairs to the area difficult and more visible.

 

Original finishes:

  • You must use Loma plaster for your base coat.

  • If using Enjarre for a single coat plaster application, a base coat is not necessary.

  • Enjarre plaster is also suitable as a base coat. If your surface is

highly textured (more than 1/16"), Enjarrewill cover the surface more evenly and aid in making the finish coat application step easier.

 

Forté finishes:

  • You must use Forté Base plaster for your base coat.

 

 

Plaster Thickness Guide

 

Apply our plasters at the following thicknesses:

  • Loma as thin as one CREDIT CARD

  • Lomalina a bit thinner than one CREDIT CARD

  • Porcelina as thin as one BUSINESS CARD

  • Marittimo between one and two CREDIT CARDS thin

  • Enjarre as thin as two CREDIT CARDS

  • Forté Base a bit thicker than one CREDIT CARD

  • Forté Finish as thin as one CREDIT CARD

  • Forté White a bit thinner than one CREDIT CARD

 

 

 

Hawk and Trowel Skills

 

Using a hawk, trowel the material as evenly as possible. Apply plaster in vertical strips with irregular edges. Maintain a wet edge at all times and go from one edge of the wall to the other without breaking. Clean up all edges (around floors, ceilings, etc.) with a trowel to leave a finished edge.

 

A helpful tip before you get started: When starting, load material onto your hawk, and then scrape it back into the bucket. This will "prime" the hawk to better hold material and reduce the likelihood that your plaster will slide off onto the floor.

 

1.  Once the plaster hawk is primed, load it with a reasonable amount of material while holding the hawk in your non-dominant hand. This is the hand that will hold the hawk throughout the process.

2.  There are several ways to remove material off the hawk. A skilled plaster applicator will remove material from the front edge of the pile of plaster, but this takes practice and is challenging. An alternative method is

to hold the loaded hawk against the wall and push the material to the wall and spread it upward directly off the hawk.

3.  While spreading the plaster on the wall, the trowel will slowly move from a larger angle away from the wall to a shallow angle. Repeat this process two or three times.

4.  At this point you must spread the material to an even thickness by moving excess from one area to an area that does not have any plaster. Once again, the trowel will start at a steeper angle to move the excess material, and then once over the area without plaster slowly reduce the angle to deposit the plaster onto the surface.

5.  As you collect material on your trowel you will occasionally need to remove this by pulling the trowel against the edge of the hawk. This material at the edge of the hawk can be pushed to the middle and gathered with the other material in the center ready for the next pass onto the wall. Continue the application process until the entire wall is evenly covered.

6.  When working into an inside corner, it is important to start about an inch from the corner, spread toward the center of the wall and then take the trowel back into the corner.

 

 

Visual Clues for Proper Application

 

During application the visual appearance of the surface can provide clues to proper thickness. Each of our plasters is applied at different thicknesses, please see guides to proper thickness above.

  • If the surface is applied too thin there will be chatter or lines. There can also be sand drags. This can be remedied by applying additional material in these areas with a shallow trowel angle to the wall.

  • If the trowel is held at too large of an angle it will remove more plaster and maintain the thin coverage on the wall.

  • If the plaster was left alone and not trowelled back across you will see a surface that has bubbles or has a sloppy trowel edge. These need to be smoothed over and the excess plaster moved to new areas or removed back to the hawk.

 

Once you have achieved a reasonable surface stop and move to the next wall. Your base coat does not need to be perfect. You will need to achieve a more even finish, if desired, on your finish coat.

 

The less you trowel the material across the surface the better: over-working can cause problems!

 

 

Plaster Drying Time

 

Let your plaster dry completely prior to applying the finish coat. Drying time will vary between a couple hours to one day depending on air circulation, temperature and humidity. The plaster will visually let you know when it has dried completely. The original dark, wet look of the plaster will obviously fade to a lighter shade.

 

 

Finish Coat Application

 

Original finishes:

  • You may use Loma, Lomalina, Marittimo, or Porcelina plaster for your finish coat over a Loma base coat.
    OR

  • You may use Enjarre for a single coat plaster application over a properly prepared substrate.

 

Forté finishes:

  • You may use Forté Base, Forté Finish, or Forté White plaster for your finish coat over a Forté Base base coat.

 

 

Begin by lightly wetting the surface prior to applying the finish plaster over the base coat. Misting the wall lightly prior to applying the second coat will give you more working time because it slows the plasters drying speed.

 

Note: Do not pre-wet the primed surface if using Enjarre in a single coat plaster application.

 

The key is to mist lightly: over-wetting will cause problems! There should not be drips or runs of water on your surface and the color should be splotchy and uneven. If your wall color is dark and uniform, you have probably over-wet some areas of the plaster.

 

Follow application steps above (Hawk and Trowel Skills section) to apply the finish coat. Your finish coat should be applied more evenly, if desired, than the base coat. See below for techniques to achieve different types of finishes.

 

 

Adjusting the Texture

 

You can adjust the texture of your surface after you have applied plaster to the wall. While the plaster is still wet, you may:

  • Create an evenly rough surface by rubbing the entire wall with a slightly damp tile sponge. This is perfect for a sand finish. This can be achieved by using varying circular-like strokes utilizing a slight amount of pressure. This will also help to remove unwanted trowel marks.

  • Create an evenly smooth finish by first completing the sponging steps described above. Next, you will want to trowel over the plaster. Use a light amount of pressure while keeping your trowel at a slight angle from the surface. The key is to trowel lightly because overworking the plaster will cause problems leading to cracking.

 

If your plaster crazes (spider checks) as it dries, re-troweling lightly while the plaster is leather hard (still damp, but no longer tacky) will reduce this. The final step of compression will remove any residual cracking.

 

Let your plaster dry completely prior to moving on to compression.

 

 

Please continue with the guided Online Workshop steps below:

Please note: The guidelines outlined in these instructions are provided as a source for general application procedures. We are not responsible for the results of your project. The only way to ensure a proper application is with due diligence on your part. If you have questions or are unsure of anything, please call 1-866-404-1634 (toll-free technical support line) for further information.

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Email

info@americanclay.com

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