5 Things You Need to Know About Plaster

Plaster is a material that most of us associate with older décor styles and traditional homes. Typically, we only think of plaster as a choice for high-end homes too. You know, spaces packed full of antiques passed down through generations or purchased at big ticket prices that make your head spin.

There’s more to plaster than meets the eye though. Keep reading to learn five things you need to know about plaster whether you’re planning a home remodel or you’re an interior designer looking to expand your knowledge of tools and materials.

1 Plaster Used to Be as Common as Drywall

Dating back to the ancient pyramids in Egypt, plaster has long been a go-to building material. Up until about the 1930s when plasterboard was introduced, plaster was typically considered the standard for building.

By the 1950s, plaster had been mostly replaced by drywall except in spaces where the look of plaster was desired by the builder.

2 You Can Use Plaster in Modern Spaces

Most people consider plaster a material that’s only used in traditional spaces. The truth is that plaster can offer a unique textured look in modern spaces, particularly around wet areas, kitchens and fireplace surrounds.

Clean white plaster styles tend to work better in modern spaces than more textured types.

3 Plaster Can Be Waterproof

When you think of plaster you probably imagine a gorgeous Venetian dining room or traditional living room where you could gather friends and family for a cocktail party. You certainly don’t think of your master bathroom, do you? Plaster can be waterproof if you choose the right variation.

Tadelakt, a type of Moroccan lime plaster made with black soap, actually creates a mold, water and mildew-resistant finish that’s perfect for wet spaces. It also has a truly stunning appearance when used in a shower or bath space. You can even use it in the kitchen.

Of course, this type of plaster is quite costly, so you probably won’t want to use it throughout your home. Use tadelakt plaster for wet spaces and switch to another style for surrounding areas.

4 Plaster Can Be Very Expensive

Difficult and time-consuming to install, plaster can be quite costly to work with. On average, you’re looking at a minimum of $50 per square foot, with some projects going as high as $100 per square foot. Spaces that require lots of prep work may push your price even higher.

 The good news about plaster when it comes to cost? It’s significantly cheaper to repair or resurface existing plaster work than it is to start from scratch.

5 Proper Plaster Work Requires Multiple Layers

We all know a good paint job requires a few layers to look it’s best. This principle is doubly-true when it comes to plaster work. In fact, most plaster jobs require at least three coats.

Trouble spots like corners and joists are also quite hard to deal with when working with plaster. That’s why you need to hire plaster pros to do this type of difficult work. If you don’t, you may end up with cold joints that leave weak spots in your new plaster.

Plaster might not be as popular as drywall these days, but it’s a durable, elegant material that’s truly timeless. It also adds a unique look to your home whether you’re going for a traditional, transitional or modern design.

Pair that with the fact that plaster lasts for many years and we think it’s a great choice for any space.

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