Airless application - pros and cons

Chazzz801

New Member
Hi there all!

I am a property developer, and I was hoping to cut costs by doing plastering myself. I already do my own decorating (using airless sprayer mostly) and carpeting.

Plastering has always seemed a stretch too far as I have been told many times how it takes years to master the art and get a nice smooth finish.

But then I discovered that plaster can be applied using am airless sprayer, and I started to reconsider. My current model wouldn't be powerful enough, so it would mean a very expensive unit equipped to handle the material.

The expense is an obvious disadvantage, but in terms of a direct comparison between the usual application of skim plaster on to plaster board and using an airless sprayer, what are the main differences and pros and cons?

I usually see directly after the plaster has been sprayed, the plaster is leveled with a long board. It looks simple in the videos but then so does the ordinary approach....until you try it aha.

Many, many thanks in advance!!!

Charles
 

raggles

Private Member
You will need
Graco airless set up
Trowel
Speed skim or spat
Drywall sander and vacuum
And if going into boards be able to Ames tape or similar to a descent standard
Then have the time, patience and energy to learn the new skill.

Probably left a good bit off but, there's a start for you.
 

Chazzz801

New Member
Thank you that's helpful!!

How much time does it take to learn the skills applicable to the airless application method (bearing in mind I would say I am very familiar with using airless machines for decorating)? How does this compare with the ordinary method of application - does it take longer to master the skill without the aid of airless application?

I guess what I am trying to get to the bottom of is what is the main advantage of using airless? Is it the speed of application and/or the ease of application (less skill required), or is there some other advantage?

Many thanks guys I appreciate the help

Charles
 

Chazzz801

New Member
Drywall sander and vacuum
Regarding sanding, would I be correct in saying that this is NOT something that is nornally done in the traditional method of application?

Why is it you use sanding with the airless method? Do you have to sand?

Btw regarding equipment I was thinking Graco Mark V + possibly Mirka Leros if required (and obviously extraction).
 

Nath80

Well-Known Member
Hi there all!

I am a property developer, and I was hoping to cut costs by doing plastering myself. I already do my own decorating (using airless sprayer mostly) and carpeting.

Plastering has always seemed a stretch too far as I have been told many times how it takes years to master the art and get a nice smooth finish.

But then I discovered that plaster can be applied using am airless sprayer, and I started to reconsider. My current model wouldn't be powerful enough, so it would mean a very expensive unit equipped to handle the material.

The expense is an obvious disadvantage, but in terms of a direct comparison between the usual application of skim plaster on to plaster board and using an airless sprayer, what are the main differences and pros and cons?

I usually see directly after the plaster has been sprayed, the plaster is leveled with a long board. It looks simple in the videos but then so does the ordinary approach....until you try it aha.

Many, many thanks in advance!!!

Charles
Airless plaster is extremely easy. But your prep work and boarding needs to be immaculate. If you feel you can do the latter then you won't have any problems with the application, and even if you do, worst case it sands a dream.
Not many can board and prep a room to the standard needed though tbh
 

TonyM

Private Member
The material is twice the price of multi finish. The whole process is labour intensive.
The finish if done properly is superb.
It is great for critical light areas
 

Stewie03

Well-Known Member
You play stupid games and you win stupid prizes just get a tradesman into skim the lot to a perfect finish yes will cost a few bob but you don't have the Ball ache of trying to airless plaster and spending more on materials plus you dont have to do the graft just paint it up once its all finished no sanding and filling
 

Chazzz801

New Member
Your not a property developer then more a general builder. I’ve never met a property developer yet that does any physical graft themselves.
you're right. I know quite a few other property developers, and especially the big boys would consider it unnecessary, for reasons that aren't important.
 

Cockney1

Well-Known Member
You play stupid games and you win stupid prizes just get a tradesman into skim the lot to a perfect finish yes will cost a few bob but you don't have the Ball ache of trying to airless plaster and spending more on materials plus you dont have to do the graft just paint it up once its all finished no sanding and filling
Ain’t gonna happen.
He’s a tight f**k*r mate.
 

Chazzz801

New Member
Airless plaster is extremely easy. But your prep work and boarding needs to be immaculate. If you feel you can do the latter then you won't have any problems with the application, and even if you do, worst case it sands a dream.
Not many can board and prep a room to the standard needed though tbh
Okay that's interesting. What inparticular is difficult about the prep work and boarding? Is it getting it level?
 

Chazzz801

New Member
You play stupid games and you win stupid prizes just get a tradesman into skim the lot to a perfect finish yes will cost a few bob but you don't have the Ball ache of trying to airless plaster and spending more on materials plus you dont have to do the graft just paint it up once its all finished no sanding and filling
That comes down to my own calculations used in a development appraisal. And from the figures I have run so far, if I can be time efficient, and I have with decorating, then it is favourable in terms of profit margin. The constraining factor seems to be; is it achievable to become as efficient using airless plaster, in a realistic time frame?
 

Nath80

Well-Known Member
Okay that's interesting. What inparticular is difficult about the prep work and boarding? Is it getting it level?
Well it's applied 1mm thick so everything has to be bang on. It has to be taped and beaded to a very high standard before application in my opinion
 

Stewie03

Well-Known Member
I ain’t got any time for tight customers mate, even the slightest mention of budget proper winds me up.
:LOL: Winds me up sometimes ill give them a quote there and then and then they pull the face like i wasn't expecting that for spreading slop over the walls had one last week the customer had dabbed the walls and boarded the ceiling of a medium sized bedroom give him his dues he did a decent job of the boarding and he stapled the beads on ready just needed scrim and skimming I priced him 480 for the labour was probably a 5 bag job at best a days work or day and a half if u want to make it easier,straight away he said thats way to much the first one quoted me £200 quid i said OK mate good luck with that
 

Kinkyboy

Well-Known Member
:LOL: Winds me up sometimes ill give them a quote there and then and then they pull the face like i wasn't expecting that for spreading slop over the walls had one last week the customer had dabbed the walls and boarded the ceiling of a medium sized bedroom give him his dues he did a decent job of the boarding and he stapled the beads on ready just needed scrim and skimming I priced him 480 for the labour was probably a 5 bag job at best a days work or day and a half if u want to make it easier,straight away he said thats way to much the first one quoted me £200 quid i said OK mate good luck with that
Our trade is full of baboons matey,always will be
 

Cockney1

Well-Known Member
:LOL: Winds me up sometimes ill give them a quote there and then and then they pull the face like i wasn't expecting that for spreading slop over the walls had one last week the customer had dabbed the walls and boarded the ceiling of a medium sized bedroom give him his dues he did a decent job of the boarding and he stapled the beads on ready just needed scrim and skimming I priced him 480 for the labour was probably a 5 bag job at best a days work or day and a half if u want to make it easier,straight away he said thats way to much the first one quoted me £200 quid i said OK mate good luck with that
f**k**g bottom feeders mate, let them have it, their welcome.
 

Bigstevehammer

Active Member
That comes down to my own calculations used in a development appraisal. And from the figures I have run so far, if I can be time efficient, and I have with decorating, then it is favourable in terms of profit margin. The constraining factor seems to be; is it achievable to become as efficient using airless plaster, in a realistic time frame?

f**k working for this geezer!!
 

quinns

Member
Hi there all!

I am a property developer, and I was hoping to cut costs by doing plastering myself. I already do my own decorating (using airless sprayer mostly) and carpeting.

Plastering has always seemed a stretch too far as I have been told many times how it takes years to master the art and get a nice smooth finish.

But then I discovered that plaster can be applied using am airless sprayer, and I started to reconsider. My current model wouldn't be powerful enough, so it would mean a very expensive unit equipped to handle the material.

The expense is an obvious disadvantage, but in terms of a direct comparison between the usual application of skim plaster on to plaster board and using an airless sprayer, what are the main differences and pros and cons?

I usually see directly after the plaster has been sprayed, the plaster is leveled with a long board. It looks simple in the videos but then so does the ordinary approach....until you try it aha.

Many, many thanks in advance!!!

Charles
Okay that's interesting. What inparticular is difficult about the prep work and boarding? Is it getting it level?
Charles, Knauf provide training in the Airless Spray plaster system, contact our office for details of courses if you would like to know more. The machine you will need, which you could hire initially to see if it is right for you, is a Graco MK5 Pro with hopper and bag roller. If you have skill in Tape & Jointing then you will probably pick up the application technique reasonably quickly. Whilst the system is different it is not more labour intensive and the productivity gain more than offsets the 3 visits to the surface, 1 prep and 2 plaster passes. Sanding is very easy and the better you are in the leveling process sanding can be minimal. We recommend sanding via a mechanical sander with dust extraction for speed using a 180 grit paper. We have consistently found the system is competitive against traditional methods when water saving, waste savings and clean up time is all taken into account, its not just the cost of putting plaster on the wall its a full cost saving.
 

Chazzz801

New Member
Whilst the system is different it is not more labour intensive and the productivity gain more than offsets the 3 visits to the surface, 1 prep and 2 plaster passes.
Okay sure, but in terms of the level of difficulty (and consequently time taken to perfect), how does airless application compare with traditional application. I have already run the numbers and I know it most certainly saves in costs, and as you say should save time as well. But if it takes months/years of experience to get that perfect finish like ordinary plastering then it would obviously be a bad investment for me. Also Nath80 pointed out that:
Chazzz801 said:


Okay that's interesting. What inparticular is difficult about the prep work and boarding? Is it getting it level?
Well it's applied 1mm thick so everything has to be bang on. It has to be taped and beaded to a very high standard before application in my opinion
 
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Chazzz801

New Member
Thanks ever so much for all of your help so far guys it is helping make some big decisions going forward.

The general impression I have so far from you all is as follows:

  1. Airless saves on costs and time (especially costs for me as the alternative is to get a subcontractor to do it)
  2. The ability to get a smooth level finish is somewhat easier than the traditional method. From what has been said so far it seems the main difficulty lies in the prep work of fitting and jointing plasterboard.
  3. The process of skimming with airless plaster is easier than traditional skimming? As Nath80 said "airless plaster is extremely easy", providing plaster board prep is done well.
Am I right in saying that the ability to achieve a smooth finish with airless plaster is easier because the material is different, and because it has a consistent depth (as a result of being sprayed on)?
 

Chazzz801

New Member
Also, if I went ahead and bought an airless sprayer capable of spraying plaster, for the interior of external walls, what would be quicker/easier to learn for a beginner?

  1. Fixing plasterboard, and proceeding as already discussed above
  2. Using various airless plaster products, such as those available from Knauff, to achieve the same result?
Again, many thanks in advance guys.
 

TonyM

Private Member
Thanks ever so much for all of your help so far guys it is helping make some big decisions going forward.

The general impression I have so far from you all is as follows:

  1. Airless saves on costs and time (especially costs for me as the alternative is to get a subcontractor to do it)
  2. The ability to get a smooth level finish is somewhat easier than the traditional method. From what has been said so far it seems the main difficulty lies in the prep work of fitting and jointing plasterboard.
  3. The process of skimming with airless plaster is easier than traditional skimming? As Nath80 said "airless plaster is extremely easy", providing plaster board prep is done well.
Am I right in saying that the ability to achieve a smooth finish with airless plaster is easier because the material is different, and because it has a consistent depth (as a result of being sprayed on)?
How is it cheaper? Machine will set you back at least £5k with a hopper, a grand and a half for a sander and hoover, and the gear is more expensive. Learning is going to take time, and you’re going to f**k up things initially for sure.
Going to take a while to get your money back.
 

Chazzz801

New Member
The alternative is hiring plasteres in to do the job for me. I build around 4 houses (usually 3 beds) per site at the moment, per year, and I am building more every year. So the costs of plastering for that is quite a considerable. The equipment costs are certainly a consideration, but not as significant as you are making out. TonyM - do you use this method yourself?
 

TonyM

Private Member
The alternative is hiring plasteres in to do the job for me. I build around 4 houses (usually 3 beds) per site at the moment, per year, and I am building more every year. So the costs of plastering for that is quite a considerable. The equipment costs are certainly a consideration, but not as significant as you are making out. TonyM - do you use this method yourself?
Yes. A machine powerful enough ( 5-6 litres a minute) to spray airless plaster will be £4K if you’re lucky. You take a chance by buying secondhand. A hopper and bag roller is nearly a grand. Needed unless you want to faff around scraping out buckets or manually squeezing bags. A cheap drywall sander won’t last very long. It isn’t hard to do and if there are any areas you aren’t happy with, you can always spray more on and sand it back. All depends if you have the time to throw at it.
 

bof

Well-Known Member
Based in East of England
I applaud your enthusiasm but the wage you would save is imo limited for the financial outlay and your time unless you were thinking about it as a career
I'd advise taking on the first fix electrics and plumbing , but I suspect that you already do that lol
 

Kinkyboy

Well-Known Member
Noted. What is your opinion? I notice you have posted replies, but I can't see how they relate.
Right tight arse heres my relevant input...how much on average does a little 3 bed semi cost to get plasterers in? Im taking there doing it on m2 rate? You've got tight arse written all over you,your a builder
 

Chazzz801

New Member
Yes. A machine powerful enough ( 5-6 litres a minute) to spray airless plaster will be £4K if you’re lucky. You take a chance by buying secondhand. A hopper and bag roller is nearly a grand. Needed unless you want to faff around scraping out buckets or manually squeezing bags. A cheap drywall sander won’t last very long. It isn’t hard to do and if there are any areas you aren’t happy with, you can always spray more on and sand it back. All depends if you have the time to throw at it.
Thanks for that. When you say it isn't hard to do, do you mean it isn't hard to do for somebody who has been in the trade for a year or so? Or do you mean isn't hard to do, regardless of experience?
 
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