Noobie, looking for tool advice

Zackey

New Member
I'm a DIYer (why do I feel like I'm in an AA meeting)....anyways I've just bought an old Victorian house of my Mum, thats still got the original lime plaster. Over the years its had umpteen coats of paper, most of which has been removed (I think the worst room had about 16 layers). There's now only one or two layers but mostly woodchip or annaglypta. The old lime plaster beneath is sound but rough.

I'm reasonably proficient for a DIYer, but in the past I always left electrics and plastering to the pros. That said I've done some small walls (nothing larger than 2 or 3sq m) of plastering in my time and been satisfied with the results despite using just a forge steel laying on trowel.

I've watched a lot of plastering videos and realised that a) I made a lot of errors and b) I could have made my life a lot easier (and results better) with a better selection of tools.

I have so much work to get done here and budgets are so tight that my only options are lining paper or to have a go at proper plastering myself, so I aim to spend the next few years skimming all the walls, starting small in the porch and slowly building up to the bigger areas.

I'll be back for more advice as the projects progress, but I'm hoping for some advice on tools to make my life easier and hopefully improve the quality of the finish. I always look after my tools (I still have my late dads planes and chisles that are over 50 years old and in still in regular use), and have quite a bit to do in the next few years so I'm happy to spend a bit to get some decent tools, but as I'm only doing my own house, I don't want to go silly.

I'm kind of drawn to sponge trowelling plastering as although it seems to require more tools, it also seems to be more forgiving for the skill deprived.

So far I have:
Big mixing bucket, lots of small buckets, drill mixer attachment and bucket trowel
OX Stainless steel 11 inch plasters trowel
OX 900mm Speed skim (plastic)
Plastic hawk
Not much skill, but lots of patience, enthusiasm and a bookmark folder full of vids (particularly the skillbuilder and plastering for beginners ones are whats guidingme at the mooment)

From what I've seen a fexi trowel and a sponge trowel would be a benefit so was thinking of a :

Refina Supaflex (v1) or a Nela Flex 2 (gold edition for about £40)
A fine sponge trowel (something like the amazon Connex one)
and maybe a plastic trowel (14, 16 or 18 OX Pro Semi flex, Nela Max or Refina plasiflex)

I see the whole Nela/refina thing has been done to death here, but I would really appreciate your advice and opinions on sizes of finishing trowels and whether a plastic trowl in addition to the steel flexi would benefit a noob like me.
Also considering my use and skill, the greater flex of the supaflex or better stiffness of the v2.

Cheers in advance!
 

johnzo

Active Member
Brilliant buy the tools thinks he’s a spread,the amount of Time and effort to learn to be a plasterer takes ,and time and time again newbies come on here after buying a trowel and think yea I can do it I have a bucket I have a drill Jesus I have a set of spanner’s I can’t change a gearbox having a trowel is the easy part it’s the knowledge and experience to use it is the hard part I think it belittles the trade with lads thinking yea I’ll do it myself now I’m done rant over
 

carl-the-plasterer

Well-Known Member
if you seriously want to get into this trade pal first rule is don't over-complicate it....... and that's exactly what you've done with that list of stupid fkin tools

that's what youtube does for you...fills you will unnecessary useless rubbish

as @ChrispyUK has just said one trowel is all you need....chuck that fkin list in the bin.
 
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ChrispyUK

Well-Known Member
One of my sisters ex’s had grand designs on being a woodworker. Talking about all these projects he was going to do while I was round there doing up each room of her house when I had a bit of spare time.
Each week, he’d show me all these new tools he’d bought and first project was this fancy spice rack he was going to make for the the kitchen which I’d recently done a makeover on. Made out of exotic woods, all fancy dovetail joints, was going to be a nice little show piece. Fair enough, but the talk went on for f**k**g weeks. Said to him, get down the local diy shop, get some off cuts out of the bargain box and practice cutting dovetails on some cheap pine. Make the f**k**g rack, before practicing in your expensive exotic woods...just f**k**g make it. Anyway he eventually did. Couldn’t even cut a plank of wood square bless him, looked so awkward that I thought he was going to chop his bloody hand off. Think penny dropped then.
 

Zackey

New Member
Thanks for the advice all. Much appreciated.

Johnzo, whose bed did you get out the wrong side of this morning? Throughout my post I said I didn't have the skills. I wanted some tools to make my life easier, not make me an expert. I want to learn through practise, starting small and getting experience but because of limited funds the only other option I have is lining paper. I'm not going down that route till I've given plastering a damn good try. I don't expect my work to be as good as any professional plasterer, but I hope, with practise, I can improve what I have now and do a better job than lining paper. If I could afford a plasterer I would do, without a second thought, but all my budget is going on sparkies and gas work, so please don't think I'm taking anything away from your skill (nor doing you out of a job). Its one of the few trades I've had a go at that really is an art.

And for the record (Johnzo), I have a set of spanners and can (and have) changed a gearbox (and stripped down an engine). I have a drill (and a saw and a multitude of other ww tools) and made furniture, shutters, windows, etc, that impressed a professional joiner. I spent the best part of 5 years slowly rennovating a 300 year old cottage including masonry, roofing, leadwork, glazing, drainage, landscaping, etc etc. I fitted (including plumbing and tiling) a kitchen and bathroom to a higher standard than friends have paid tradesmen for. None of it was as good as a quality craftsmen would produce, but it was better than some professionals work I've seen. None of this is close to my day job (a qualified civil engineer managing motorway projects) but its a helluv a lot more satisfying.

All of this because I learnt from my Dad (who was hands on) that if you're prepared to learn, practise and fail, you can do pretty much anything. Apart from the time I tried open heart surgery, its been pretty damn good advice!

I've learnt (the hard way) on top of that that good tools often help speed up the learning process and in many situations help a good job to be done by an amateur. ofc a craftsman would be able to do better, even with crappy tools.

re the plastering tools it just seemed that lots of these videos swear by using a flexi trowel and or plastic trowell for smoothing and finishing which was my issue when I last plastered, albeit with lime plaster, so I thought I'd come here to get a second opinion....I reckon I have it now. :)

Thx again for the advice, will stick with what I have and take it from there.

ps apologies for second wall of text.
 
Last edited:

Kasper

Active Member
Thanks for the advice all. Much appreciated.

Johnzo, whose bed did you get out the wrong side of this morning? Throughout my post I said I didn't have the skills. I wanted some tools to make my life easier, not make me an expert. I want to learn through practise, starting small and getting experience but because of limited funds the only other option I have is lining paper. I'm not going down that route till I've given plastering a damn good try. I don't expect my work to be as good as any professional plasterer, but I hope, with practise, I can improve what I have now and do a better job than lining paper. If I could afford a plasterer I would do, without a second thought, but all my budget is going on sparkies and gas work, so please don't think I'm taking anything away from your skill (nor doing you out of a job). Its one of the few trades I've had a go at that really is an art.

And for the record (Johnzo), I have a set of spanners and can (and have) changed a gearbox (and stripped down an engine). I have a drill (and a saw and a multitude of other ww tools) and made furniture, shutters, windows, etc, that impressed a professional joiner. I spent the best part of 5 years slowly rennovating a 300 year old cottage including masonry, roofing, leadwork, glazing, drainage, landscaping, etc etc. I fitted (including plumbing and tiling) a kitchen and bathroom to a higher standard than friends have paid tradesmen for. None of it was as good as a quality craftsmen would produce, but it was better than some professionals work I've seen. None of this is close to my day job (a qualified civil engineer managing motorway projects) but its a helluv a lot more satisfying.

All of this because I learnt from my Dad (who was hands on) that if you're prepared to learn, practise and fail, you can do pretty much anything. Apart from the time I tried open heart surgery, its been pretty damn good advice!

I've learnt (the hard way) on top of that that good tools often help speed up the learning process and in many situations help a good job to be done by an amateur. ofc a craftsman would be able to do better, even with crappy tools.

re the plastering tools it just seemed that lots of these videos swear by using a flexi trowel and or plastic trowell for smoothing and finishing which was my issue when I last plastered, albeit with lime plaster, so I thought I'd come here to get a second opinion....I reckon I have it now. :)

Thx again for the advice, will stick with what I have and take it from there.

ps apologies for second wall of text.
Fair play to you for trying. Post some pictures as you go so we might be able to give you some tips etc.
 

Stevieo

Royal Spin Doctor
Thanks for the advice all. Much appreciated.

Johnzo, whose bed did you get out the wrong side of this morning? Throughout my post I said I didn't have the skills. I wanted some tools to make my life easier, not make me an expert. I want to learn through practise, starting small and getting experience but because of limited funds the only other option I have is lining paper. I'm not going down that route till I've given plastering a damn good try. I don't expect my work to be as good as any professional plasterer, but I hope, with practise, I can improve what I have now and do a better job than lining paper. If I could afford a plasterer I would do, without a second thought, but all my budget is going on sparkies and gas work, so please don't think I'm taking anything away from your skill (nor doing you out of a job). Its one of the few trades I've had a go at that really is an art.

And for the record (Johnzo), I have a set of spanners and can (and have) changed a gearbox (and stripped down an engine). I have a drill (and a saw and a multitude of other ww tools) and made furniture, shutters, windows, etc, that impressed a professional joiner. I spent the best part of 5 years slowly rennovating a 300 year old cottage including masonry, roofing, leadwork, glazing, drainage, landscaping, etc etc. I fitted (including plumbing and tiling) a kitchen and bathroom to a higher standard than friends have paid tradesmen for. None of it was as good as a quality craftsmen would produce, but it was better than some professionals work I've seen. None of this is close to my day job (a qualified civil engineer managing motorway projects) but its a helluv a lot more satisfying.

All of this because I learnt from my Dad (who was hands on) that if you're prepared to learn, practise and fail, you can do pretty much anything. Apart from the time I tried open heart surgery, its been pretty damn good advice!

I've learnt (the hard way) on top of that that good tools often help speed up the learning process and in many situations help a good job to be done by an amateur. ofc a craftsman would be able to do better, even with crappy tools.

re the plastering tools it just seemed that lots of these videos swear by using a flexi trowel and or plastic trowell for smoothing and finishing which was my issue when I last plastered, albeit with lime plaster, so I thought I'd come here to get a second opinion....I reckon I have it now. :)

Thx again for the advice, will stick with what I have and take it from there.

ps apologies for second wall of text.
I worked for a civil engineer once. By f**k he could talk.

Gladcibwas on day rate.
 

BryanJ

Well-Known Member
I'm a DIYer (why do I feel like I'm in an AA meeting)....anyways I've just bought an old Victorian house of my Mum, thats still got the original lime plaster. Over the years its had umpteen coats of paper, most of which has been removed (I think the worst room had about 16 layers). There's now only one or two layers but mostly woodchip or annaglypta. The old lime plaster beneath is sound but rough.

I'm reasonably proficient for a DIYer, but in the past I always left electrics and plastering to the pros. That said I've done some small walls (nothing larger than 2 or 3sq m) of plastering in my time and been satisfied with the results despite using just a forge steel laying on trowel.

I've watched a lot of plastering videos and realised that a) I made a lot of errors and b) I could have made my life a lot easier (and results better) with a better selection of tools.

I have so much work to get done here and budgets are so tight that my only options are lining paper or to have a go at proper plastering myself, so I aim to spend the next few years skimming all the walls, starting small in the porch and slowly building up to the bigger areas.

I'll be back for more advice as the projects progress, but I'm hoping for some advice on tools to make my life easier and hopefully improve the quality of the finish. I always look after my tools (I still have my late dads planes and chisles that are over 50 years old and in still in regular use), and have quite a bit to do in the next few years so I'm happy to spend a bit to get some decent tools, but as I'm only doing my own house, I don't want to go silly.

I'm kind of drawn to sponge trowelling plastering as although it seems to require more tools, it also seems to be more forgiving for the skill deprived.

So far I have:
Big mixing bucket, lots of small buckets, drill mixer attachment and bucket trowel
OX Stainless steel 11 inch plasters trowel
OX 900mm Speed skim (plastic)
Plastic hawk
Not much skill, but lots of patience, enthusiasm and a bookmark folder full of vids (particularly the skillbuilder and plastering for beginners ones are whats guidingme at the mooment)

From what I've seen a fexi trowel and a sponge trowel would be a benefit so was thinking of a :

Refina Supaflex (v1) or a Nela Flex 2 (gold edition for about £40)
A fine sponge trowel (something like the amazon Connex one)
and maybe a plastic trowel (14, 16 or 18 OX Pro Semi flex, Nela Max or Refina plasiflex)

I see the whole Nela/refina thing has been done to death here, but I would really appreciate your advice and opinions on sizes of finishing trowels and whether a plastic trowl in addition to the steel flexi would benefit a noob like me.
Also considering my use and skill, the greater flex of the supaflex or better stiffness of the v2.

Cheers in advance!
Get some sand paper and sand paper and sand paper and get some sand paper and more sand paper .then go and get some sand paper. P.S. get some sand paper.
 

superspread

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the advice all. Much appreciated.

Johnzo, whose bed did you get out the wrong side of this morning? Throughout my post I said I didn't have the skills. I wanted some tools to make my life easier, not make me an expert. I want to learn through practise, starting small and getting experience but because of limited funds the only other option I have is lining paper. I'm not going down that route till I've given plastering a damn good try. I don't expect my work to be as good as any professional plasterer, but I hope, with practise, I can improve what I have now and do a better job than lining paper. If I could afford a plasterer I would do, without a second thought, but all my budget is going on sparkies and gas work, so please don't think I'm taking anything away from your skill (nor doing you out of a job). Its one of the few trades I've had a go at that really is an art.

And for the record (Johnzo), I have a set of spanners and can (and have) changed a gearbox (and stripped down an engine). I have a drill (and a saw and a multitude of other ww tools) and made furniture, shutters, windows, etc, that impressed a professional joiner. I spent the best part of 5 years slowly rennovating a 300 year old cottage including masonry, roofing, leadwork, glazing, drainage, landscaping, etc etc. I fitted (including plumbing and tiling) a kitchen and bathroom to a higher standard than friends have paid tradesmen for. None of it was as good as a quality craftsmen would produce, but it was better than some professionals work I've seen. None of this is close to my day job (a qualified civil engineer managing motorway projects) but its a helluv a lot more satisfying.

All of this because I learnt from my Dad (who was hands on) that if you're prepared to learn, practise and fail, you can do pretty much anything. Apart from the time I tried open heart surgery, its been pretty damn good advice!

I've learnt (the hard way) on top of that that good tools often help speed up the learning process and in many situations help a good job to be done by an amateur. ofc a craftsman would be able to do better, even with crappy tools.

re the plastering tools it just seemed that lots of these videos swear by using a flexi trowel and or plastic trowell for smoothing and finishing which was my issue when I last plastered, albeit with lime plaster, so I thought I'd come here to get a second opinion....I reckon I have it now. :)

Thx again for the advice, will stick with what I have and take it from there.

ps apologies for second wall of text.
I can guarantee your work is better than most on here :ROFLMAO:
 
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