Cost Guide To Plastering For Wellington Homes (2024)

Cost Guide To Plastering For Wellington Homes (2024)

As we step into 2024, homeowners in Wellington are increasingly seeking ways to enhance the aesthetics and value of their homes. Plastering, a crucial aspect of interior and exterior finishing, plays a significant role in achieving this goal. This comprehensive guide delves into the various facets of plastering for Wellington homes, providing a detailed understanding of the costs involved. From traditional techniques to the latest trends in plaster finishes, we cover the essential elements influencing the price of plastering services in the region. Whether planning a new build, renovating an old charm, or simply giving your walls a fresh face, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions for your plastering projects in Wellington.

What is plaster?

Plaster is a versatile building material widely used for coating, protecting, and decorating walls and ceilings. It typically consists of a mixture of lime, gypsum, water, and sand, forming a smooth paste. This paste is then applied to surfaces where it hardens into a solid, durable finish. Plaster can be used in interior and exterior applications, providing an ideal surface for painting or decorative work. Its use dates back thousands of years, and it remains popular due to its ability to create a seamless, aesthetically pleasing finish that also offers some degree of sound and heat insulation. In modern construction, plaster is often used to create decorative mouldings, cast artistic elements, and provide a smooth, level surface over rough walls or masonry.

Which kind of Plaster should I choose? 

Choosing the right type of plaster for your Wellington home depends on various factors, including the specific application, desired finish, and environmental conditions. Here’s a brief overview of the different kinds of plaster available:

  • Dry Plaster

Ideal for: Quick and efficient work, suitable for dry environments.

Features: Pre-mixed, just requires adding water; great for DIY projects.

  • Lime Plaster 

Ideal for: Historic or traditional buildings, offering breathability.

Features: Made from lime and sand, it is environmentally friendly and prevents moisture buildup.

  • Cement Plaster

Ideal for: Exterior walls, especially in damp conditions.

Features: Mixture of cement, sand, and water; highly durable and weather-resistant.

  • Ornamental Plaster

Ideal for: Decorative interior features like cornices and ceiling roses.

Features: Highly detailed and artistic; can be customised.

  • Gypsum Plaster

Ideal for: Interior walls, quick setting.

Features: Made from calcium sulfate; smooth finish, good for painting over.

  • Wet Plaster

Ideal for: Traditional plastering method, achieving a high-quality finish.

Features: Applied wet and smoothed out; requires skilled labour.

  • Ornamental Plastering

Ideal for: Adding bespoke, decorative elements to interiors.

Features: Involves intricate designs and patterns, often custom-made.

Plastering Costs

Understanding the costs associated with plastering is crucial for budgeting your home renovation or construction project in Wellington. The overall plastering prices per m2 can vary significantly based on the type of plaster used, the job’s complexity, the condition of the walls, and the rates of the tradespeople. Factors like the size of the area to be plastered, whether it’s for interior or exterior application, and any additional finishes or decorative work also play a role in determining the final cost. Considering these variables when planning your project is important to ensure an accurate budget estimation.

Factors which contribute to plastering prices

Several key factors influence the cost of plastering services. Understanding these can help you better estimate the budget for your project:

  • Type of Plaster: Different materials (like gypsum, lime, cement) have varying costs.
  • Condition of Walls: Pre-existing wall conditions may require additional prep work.
  • Size of the Area: Larger areas typically mean higher overall costs.
  • The complexity of the Job: Intricate designs or hard-to-reach areas increase labour time.
  • Labour Rates: Costs vary depending on the skill and experience of the tradespeople.
  • Geographical Location: Prices may vary based on local market rates in Wellington.
  • Additional Finishes: Decorative elements or special finishes can add to the cost.
  • Timeframe: Expedited projects may incur higher costs due to intensive labour.

By considering these factors, you can better understand what your plastering project might cost.

How to plaster a wall?

Plastering a wall is a skilful task that involves several key steps, which are given below:

Step-To-Step Guide to Plastering a Wall

  1. Preparation

Before beginning the plastering process, preparing the wall and surrounding area is crucial. Start by thoroughly cleaning the wall to remove dust, dirt, and loose material. These should be stripped off if old wallpaper or flaking paint layers exist. Next, attend to any visible cracks or holes in the wall by filling them with a suitable filler and allowing them to dry completely. It’s also important to protect the floor and any nearby furniture by covering them with dust sheets or plastic covers. This step ensures a clean working environment and prevents damage from plaster spills or splashes.

  1. Apply PVA to walls

Once the wall is prepped, apply a PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) solution to the wall. This adhesive helps the plaster adhere better and provides a more even surface for application. Mix the PVA with water as directed and apply it evenly across the wall with a brush or roller. Allow it to become tacky before proceeding to the next step. The tackiness indicates that the wall is ready for plastering.

  1. Mix plaster

Mixing plaster correctly is key to achieving a good finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the right consistency – it should be lump-free and have the consistency of thick cream. Use clean water and mix thoroughly, ideally with a mechanical mixer, to ensure evenness. Be mindful of the working time of the plaster as it begins to set once mixed.

  1. Practice plaster

If you’re new to plastering, practising your technique is advisable. You can use a spare piece of board to get a feel for the application process. Use a plastering trowel to apply the plaster, spreading it evenly and smoothly. Practice achieving a consistent thickness and smooth finish. Remember, plastering requires a certain level of skill and patience, so take your time to perfect your technique before applying it to the actual wall.

  1. Skim & Smooth

After the initial layers of plaster are applied, the next crucial step is skimming and smoothing. This involves applying a final, thin layer of plaster over the surface to achieve a smooth, even finish. Use a clean, slightly wet trowel for this process. Move the trowel in smooth, sweeping motions to spread the plaster thinly and evenly over the wall. The aim is to fill any small indentations and create a flat surface. Regularly clean your trowel during this process to avoid dragging dried plaster across the fresh surface.

  1. Scrape

Once the skim layer is set but not completely dry, gently scrape the surface. This step involves lightly running a clean trowel or specific scraping tool over the plaster to remove small imperfections or ridges. It’s a delicate process that helps in achieving a perfectly smooth finish. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as it marbles the surface.

  1. Apply plaster

Now, apply the plaster to the wall. Begin at the bottom corner and work your way up and across smoothly and consistently. Load the trowel with adequate plaster and use firm, steady strokes. Keep the angle of the trowel consistent to ensure an even application. Overlap each pass slightly to avoid missing spots. After covering the entire area, go back over any areas that might need additional plaster to achieve an even thickness and smooth out any lines or marks left by the trowel.

  1. Finishing touches

After the plaster has dried completely, which can take several days, it’s time for the finishing touches. This stage involves sanding the plastered surface to achieve an ultra-smooth finish. Use fine-grit sandpaper and gently sand the surface in a circular motion, being careful not to apply too much pressure that might damage the plaster. This step is essential for preparing the wall for painting or wallpapering, ensuring that the final decorative layer adheres properly and looks its best.

  1. Painting and wallpapering

Once the plaster is smooth and dust-free (ensure to clean the wall after sanding), it’s ready for painting or wallpapering. If painting, apply a primer or sealer specifically designed for new plaster to ensure the paint adheres well and the finish is even. For wallpapering, choose a suitable adhesive and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Both painting and wallpapering should be done carefully to avoid damaging the newly plastered surface.


Plastering is key in renovating and decorating homes, offering a solid and smooth foundation for further aesthetic enhancements. This guide has walked you through the various aspects of plastering, from preparation to the finishing touches, providing insights into the process and the factors that influence the cost and quality of the work. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast looking to tackle a plastering project yourself or a homeowner seeking professional services, understanding these steps ensures that your Wellington home receives the best possible treatment, resulting in beautiful, long-lasting walls. Choose a plasterer in Wellington who is best for your home.

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