Plasterer work has been around for centuries and is as durable and long-lasting as the ancient pyramids and can also serve as a delicate and decorative ornamental cornice in a museum. During the early years, gypsum and hair (normally horse hair) was introduced to add strength and endurance to plaster. Research shows that many of the modern tools in the present day are not far from the design, shape and intention of those early tools for plastering techniques. Today’s Plaster and its related products are more refined and resilient than ever and are used as a building material for interior and exterior applications.
Plasterers are inspired creative artisans in the true sense of the word, and their work is not repetitive, dull or boring. Plaster today is used to provide sound proofing, insulation properties, fire resistance and decorative ornamentation. The Plasterer must be knowledgeable and able to adapt to meet the challenges of the daily demands for the varied plaster jobsites and atypical applications on each project.
In order to have a lasting and long-term result, the interior plastering process starts with the correct preparation of the plastering materials for the walls or ceilings. This is followed by the prep of the surface for the plaster application. The method of applying the plaster must be maintained in order for the final product to be plumb and level. The tool called a hawk is used to hold the plaster that is for immediate use and the trowel is used for the actual application of the product. The Plasterer applies the product according to specifications and blueprints for the projects. What was old is new again with the revival of techniques to impart visual interest and textures producing faux brick, stone and wood which may be used for both interior and exterior applications. Plasterers may use specialty finishes such as colored plaster and venetian plaster for design aesthetic and visual interest. Plasters also add the finish coat to the surfaces of swimming pools.
For exterior work, Portland cement is among the most enduring and widely used material due to its strength, durability and weather resistant properties. Another system that is used especially in warmer climates is Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems (EIFS) is also known as synthetic stucco. It is used for the outside face of structures and must be architecturally designed and installed as a system with the installer trained and sometimes even certified in its’ properties. EIFS is appealing for customers due to the ability to add architectural detail in any project using the EIFS itself to mold and shape into any configuration.
Through the years, Plaster was recognized as a protection from fires, and its shielding value was demonstrated in the many fires throughout the early years in Europe. Today, fire insulation is a mill mixed material that is sprayed on using a plastering gun. Using a Fireproofing system allows a better fire resistant rating, but does not necessarily deem the structure fireproof.
As in many choices in the construction arena, finishing concrete can be both challenging and rewarding. A Plasterer must be able to tolerate exposure to all type of conditions and be physically able to tolerate repetitive motions for this occupation. It is also a satisfying and worthwhile career that offers you a respectful living wage, health insurance for you and your family and a pension plan for a comfortable and respectable retirement.
Additionally, many of the projects that Plasterers work on are renovations and restorations of old buildings that were crafted hundreds of years ago. The Plasterers enjoy bringing these projects back to life with the same skill, expertise and workmanship as their ancestors. The Plasterers artistic and inventive vocation will surely be here to be enjoyed by the many generations yet to come.