How to DIY Ceiling Plastering

If you have a major renovation project looming on the horizon, then you might be tempted to undertake much of the work yourself. That way, you’ll save money – and you’ll have the personal satisfaction of knowing that the building is a product of your own labour.

One thing that you might be tempted to leave to the professionals is plastering. This is a skill that’s built up with practice, and the results you achieve will tend to hinge on your experience. Ceilings are particularly difficult, since you’ll be reaching overhead for hours at a time.

But all of this might simply add to the appeal for those determined to tackle a challenging project. Let’s take a look at some of the tips taken from DIY plastering course that will help you to DIY your ceiling project.

The golden rule of plastering

When you’re plastering a wall, you can afford to load up your trowel and spread it around the surface. In the case of a ceiling, this approach will lead you into problems, because gravity will naturally drag the substance down into your face. The more plaster you’re applying, the greater this effect will be.

Limit the amount you’re applying, and keep plastering.

Getting ready

In most cases, your ceiling will be boarded with plasterboard. In some cases, it’s a wire mesh. Avoid plastering directly onto existing plaster – the weight of it might cause chunks to fall off in the future. You can overboard this for a simple life, but bear in mind that you’ll be sacrificing a little bit of space overhead.

You’ll need to assemble the necessary tools and materials. These might include a hawk and trowel, the plaster itself, and some tape for those joins. You’ll need a spray bottle so that you can smooth out the plaster afterwards.

Mixing yourself or ready-mixed?

Mixing plaster is actually more difficult than it might appear. Add the plaster to the water, rather than the other way around. Clean your tools immediately afterwards, unless you want to buy new tools.

You might be tempted to go for ready-mixed plaster, instead. It’s not quite as cost-effective at scale, but it’s great for smaller jobs. Be aware that it has the potential to dry out very quickly.


Once your plaster is ready in the right quantity and at the right consistency, it’s time to get going. Make sure any joins in the plasterboard are taped over. Then spread the plaster a little bit at a time using broad, smooth strokes. Finding the right angle for the trowel will take time. Once the plaster is applied, you can go over the surface, smoothing and spraying until it’s as smooth as glass and ready to accept a coat of paint.