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Applying Plaster to Drywall: A Step-by-Step Guide

When it comes to finishing the interior walls of your home, drywall and plaster are the dynamic duo that can transform rough, unfinished surfaces into smooth, elegant walls. Applying plaster to drywall is a skill that every DIY enthusiast or professional should have in their toolkit. Not only does it enhance the aesthetics of your space, but it also adds durability and longevity to your walls. In this blog post, we will take you through the step-by-step process of applying plaster to drywall, sharing tips and tricks that will help you achieve a flawless finish. Materials You'll Need

Before you begin, gather the necessary materials and tools:

  1. Drywall sheets

  2. Joint compound (mud)

  3. Plastering trowels (a 4-inch and 12-inch trowel)

  4. Sandpaper (various grits)

  5. Utility knife

  6. Corner beads (if needed)

  7. Mixing bucket and paddle

  8. Sanding block or sanding pole

  9. Safety goggles and dust mask

  10. Drop cloths

  11. Primer and paint (for finishing)

Step 1: Prepare the Drywall

Before applying plaster, ensure the drywall is properly installed and free from any imperfections. Repair any cracks, holes, or protruding screws by patching them with joint compound. Sand the surface smooth and wipe away any dust.

Step 2: Mix the Plaster

Mixing plaster is a critical step in the process. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for mixing the plaster compound. It should have a creamy consistency, free from lumps. A mixing paddle attached to an electric drill can make this process easier and quicker.

Step 3: Apply the First Coat

Using a 4-inch trowel, apply the first coat of plaster evenly to the drywall. Start in the center of the wall and work your way out in broad, overlapping strokes. Ensure that the layer is relatively thin and uniform.

Step 4: Smooth the Surface

With a clean, damp sponge, gently smooth the plaster. This step helps remove any irregularities and ensures a more even finish. Let it dry for at least 24 hours.

Step 5: Apply Subsequent Coats

For a perfectly smooth finish, you'll likely need to apply multiple coats of plaster. Each coat should be thinner than the previous one. After each coat, sand the surface lightly to remove imperfections, wipe it down, and then apply the next layer. Repeat this process until you achieve the desired smoothness.

Step 6: Address Corners and Edges

For corners and edges, you'll need to use corner beads or apply plaster at a slight angle to create a smooth transition. This will prevent any sharp edges and provide a seamless look.

Step 7: Sand and Finish

Once the final coat is dry, use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the entire surface until it's perfectly smooth. Wipe away dust and apply a primer to the plastered surface. After the primer dries, you can paint your newly plastered drywall in your desired color.


Applying plaster to drywall is an art that can transform your interior space from ordinary to extraordinary. While it may take some practice to master, following these steps and being patient will lead to a professional-quality finish. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, this skill is invaluable for achieving the perfect walls you've always dreamed of. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your materials, and start creating smooth, elegant walls that will enhance the beauty and durability of your home.

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