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What Are The Top 5 Plastering Tools I Need As A Beginner?

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What Are The Top 5 Plastering Tools I Need As A Beginner?

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Beginner Advice For Plastering

If you’re starting in the world of plastering, it can be overwhelming to know what tools you need. With so many options available, it can be challenging to figure out which ones are essential and which ones you can do without. Practical skills, attention to detail, and building and construction knowledge are desired when learning the art of plastering and rendering.

To help you get started, our experts at REFINA have compiled a list of the top 5 plastering tools you need as a beginner.

What Equipment Do I Need For Plastering?

1. Plastering Trowels

The most essential tool for any plasterer is a trowel. You’ll use this tool to apply the plaster to the wall or ceiling, and a good trowel should be comfortable to hold and have a flat, smooth surface. With many different plastering trowels available in today’s market, knowing which ones to use and when can be difficult.

A finishing trowel is a great choice for skimming. Refina has a range of finishing trowels. For a non-professional plasterer who might not want to have various trowels for different processes, instead just one ‘all rounder’, a finishing trowel with riveted construction and 0.65mm blade would be a good choice. Alternatively, a flex construction trowel (with intermediate plate) and 0.5mm would be a really good option to cover various different plastering processes.

Different Plastering Trowels & Their Uses:

Traditional plastering trowels – An essential hand tool needed for most Gypsum based plastering installations, these traditional plastering trowels are manufactured with a stiff blade that ultimately helps apply and flatten the plaster. These trowels can be used for finishing plaster too once they are broken in but are not as easy to use as a specialist flexible finishing trowel.

Pro Tip: Traditional plastering trowels can be used in multiple applications outside of gypsum-based plaster installations. Thinking of attempting a sand and cement render on a small garden wall? Our FINATEX-1 plastering trowels are ideal for applying, smoothing and finishing material to the surface. Trying your hand at drylining a garage conversion? Our FINATEX-2 plastering trowels are perfect for finishing joints and achieving a fantastic flat finish.

What We Recommend:

Length: 11″ – 18″
Width: 4.75″
Stainless steel 0.6mm gauge blade
Traditional laying on trowel

Length: 12″ – 16″
Width: 5″
Stainless steel rose gold 0.5mm gauge blade
A more flexible feeling laying on trowel

Medium-flex trowels – Medium-flexible trowels are a favourite in the trade as they’re versatile and can be used on different applications. They feature the benefits of a flexible trowel but with a stiffer blade. They are also referred to as “flexi trowels” and can be used in the earlier stages of plastering, making them great for flattening plaster and going over walls with first and second coats.

A Medium Flexi plastering trowel is an outstanding all-rounder trowel. It can even be used for finishing, we recommend adding these trowels to your toolkit as well as investing in various other high-quality finishing trowels to add to your tool collection so you can achieve almost any desired finish.

Pro Tip: The SUPERFLEX-3 Rose Gold Trowel is considered the most durable flexi trowel on the market by plasterers alike. Manufactured with a stiffer than 0.5mm gauge stainless steel rose gold blade and 5” blade width, these trowels can even be used to apply plaster allowing for one trowel to be used throughout the entire plastering process.

What We Recommend:

Length: 14″ – 18″
Width: 4.75″
Stainless steel rose gold 0.5mm gauge blade
The perfect ‘all-rounder’ trowel

Length: 8″
Width: 4.3″
Stainless steel 0.4mm gauge blade
Ideal for small areas of plastering

Flexible trowels – These are specialist finishing trowels designed with a thinner blade to add greater flexibility which is preferable for the finishing stages of plastering. They provide incredible finishes that are much easier to achieve compared to traditional plastering trowels that have stiff blades.

Flexible trowels offer much more than a simpler and easier plastering experience, they also require far less working pressure to use thanks to their incredibly thin stainless steel trowel blades. The flexible blade helps to remove a lot of the troublesome stress put on your joints and allow for much more pleasurable trowel experience; meaning you can do far more work without feeling the dreaded fatigue. Plastering trowels with a stiff blade help you apply and flatten plaster, thanks to their thicker blades, but this puts far more stress on your joints because there is no movement on the trowel and more working pressure is required to manipulate the plaster.

REFINA’s SUPERFLEX and FINATEX finishing trowels were the first of their kind and are widely used by professional plasterers today. They’re produced with a high quality flexible or semi-flexible stainless steel blade, intermediate plate or rivetted construction and signature moulded soft grip handle. They’re also incredibly lightweight and easy to use on airless plasters, multi-finish plasters and a variety of other applications.

What We Recommend:

Length: 12″ – 18″
Width: 5″
Stainless steel 0.4mm gauge blade
The original flexible trowel

Length: 14″ – 18″
Width: 4.75″
Stainless steel 0.4mm gauge blade
Slightly stiffer flexible trowel

Length: 14″ – 18″
Width: 4.75″
Stainless steel rose gold 0.5mm gauge blade
The perfect ‘all-rounder’ trowel

Length: 8″
Width: 3.15″
Stainless steel 0.4mm gauge blade
Ideal for small areas of plastering

The FINATEX flexible midget trowel is great for small and intricate areas thanks to its compact size. The Wide version features a unique 4.3″ wide blade that offers an exceptional level of flexibility to the blade allowing you to finish small areas of plastering with ease – ideal for window reveals, kitchens, bathrooms and media wall installations.

Investing in high-quality trowels is paramount as it will make a big difference in the outcome of your plastering projects.

2. Mixing Buckets

Mixing buckets, often also called mixing tubs, are required to mix plaster. We highly recommend investing in rigid and heavy-duty mixing buckets for long-lasting use. Generally, you’ll find mixing tubs available from 35 litres up to 100 litres for larger plastering projects.

As plaster is a flowable material, using a tall high-sided tub minimises splashing and helps to produce the perfect, lump-free mix.

What We Recommend:

Capacity: 35L – 100L
Thick gauge walls
Food-grade rated virgin HDPE

Capacity: 35L – 100L
Heavy duty gauge walls

Durable moulded recycled plastic

3. Bucket Trowels

Bucket trowels and scoops are great tools that help you scoop plaster from your mixing bucket. These trowels generally have long, straight, or square sides, which help you load the plaster mix onto the trowel and clean the bucket of residue. Thanks to their durability and rigidity, we recommend investing in stainless steel bucket trowels to reliably speed up the overall plastering application.

What We Recommend:

Size: 8″ – 10″
Heavy duty gauge stainless steel
High quality fusion welded bracket

Size: 8″ – 10″
Heavy duty gauge stainless steel
High quality fusion welded bracket

Size: 10″
Heavy duty gauge stainless steel
High quality fusion welded bracket

Size: 7″
Bent blade design to aid material pick-up
Reach the bottom of the bucket with ease

4. Hawks & Handboards

An essential plastering tool is a hawk otherwise known as a handboard. A hawk is a flat, square-shaped tool that holds the plaster as you apply it with your trowel. The hawk should have a comfortable handle, be manufactured from a lightweight material and feature a smooth, flat surface that allows you to spread the plaster evenly.

What We Recommend:

Size: 13″
Smooth faced plastic hawk
Incredibly lightweight

Size: 7″
Smooth faced plastic hawk
Ideal for smaller applications

5. Water Brushes

Water brushes in plastering are used for flicking water on the wall or wetting down your trowel as you work. The water stops the plaster from pulling and, in return, leaves an excellent finish when combined with an even pressured pass with a suitable REFINA plastering trowel.

They are essential for your toolkit, REFINA’s brushes feature premium hardwood handles and natural, mixed s or synthetic bristles.

Pro Tip: Professional water brushes vary in brush bristle type which contributes to holding more or less water and improving durability throughout the range. They’re also fitted with ergonomic handles, an adjustable bucket clip, profiled bristle heads for corner work, and a stainless steel ferrule that reduces unsightly rush and helps to prolong the life of the bristles by significantly reducing dropout. Water brushes are easily paired with the REFINA PLAZIFLEX Plastering Trowel that contributes to achieving a perfectly flat finish with minimal stress on the arms and joints.

What We Recommend:

Sizes: 4″ – 7″
EVO™ advanced filament bristle
Excellent water retention & durability

Sizes: 4″ – 7″
Pure & advanced filament bristles
Superior water retention & durability

Sizes: 4″ – 7″
Natural pure bristles
Ultimate water retention & durability

Sizes: 12″ – 24″
Excellent finish on Multi-FInish plaster
Innovative flexible plastic blade

Learn More With REFINA

As the leading manufacturer of plastering tools and equipment, REFINA is proud to stock an exceptional range of products suitable for both beginners and trade professionals. Explore our content hub for further tips and tricks, technical information and more. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a REFINA catalogue for further information.

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