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    Plastering tools

    Spot board

    A large sheet of plywood or hardboard about 1m (39in) square used to mix mortar or plaster on. A spot board can be rested on trestles if you want it at a more convenient height.



    A hawk is more portable than a spot board, but does a similar job. It is a hand-held platform, used whilst applying plaster to a wall. Place a small amount of plaster onto the hawk, and hold close to the wall during application.


    Plastering trowel

    A trowel with a rectangular blade used for applying and spreading plaster and cement renderings from a hawk onto the wall or ceiling.


    External corner trowel

    This trowel is shaped to finish the plaster on an external corner. Grip the handle and run the external trowel down the corner of the wall.


    Internal corner trowel

    The opposite shape to the external trowel, but used in the same way, this trowel is used to finish plaster on internal corners.


    Finger edging trowel

    This small trowel has a narrow blade and is used to achieve a good finish when plastering awkward corners and edges, such as around windows and doors.



    These small tools are used for delicate plaster finishing such as on joints or decorative mouldings.



    This is a long metal strip with a handle at each end, used for levelling large areas of first coat plaster. Having applied the plaster to a section of wall between two vertical battens, the blade edge of the Darby is held horizontally across the battens and moved up the wall in a sawing motion. Any excess plaster collecting on the blade of the Darby can be transferred to the spot to avoid waste. Having reached the top of the wall any low areas should be filled and the levelling process repeated until the area of plaster between the battens is completely level.


    Feather edge

    This is another tool with a long straight edge about 2m (6ft 6in) in length and made of aluminium. It is also used for removing excess plaster and smoothing the surface.


    Plasterer's brush

    A plasterer's brush has a variety of uses such as applying PVA sealant, dampening surfaces and cleaning other plastering tools.



    The plasterer's float used to be made of wood but today they are usually plastic. It is used for finishing render coats.


    Mixer drill

    This is an excellent tool if you have to mix a large quantity of plaster. It is a high-powered electric drill (at least 1050 watt) fitted with a long bit that has a mixing paddle on the end.


    Caulking blade

    A caulking blade is a spatula with a wide blade used to smooth jointing mix when dry lining. They usually come in three sizes: 200mm (8in), 250mm (10in) and 300mm (12in).


    Taping knives

    These tools look similar to wall scrapers, except they are used to press tape into joints between plasterboard when dry lining. Taping knives come in different sizes. The medium sized knife has a 150mm (6in) blade and is used to apply the first coat of jointing compound and to bed the tape into the joint.

    A taping knife with a 300mm (12in) blade is used to apply the final coat of jointing compound over the jointing tape.


    Jointing sponge

    The damp sponge is used to smooth the jointing compound over joint tape when dry lining.


    Deadman prop

    A deadman is a ‘T' shaped timber prop used to support a sheet of plasterboard while it is being fixed to the ceiling joists. It can be easily made to the appropriate floor to ceiling height.


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