Overview: All 13 Plaster Types And 17 Plaster Techniques

Overview: All 13 Plaster Types And 17 Plaster Techniques

Plaster is one of the essential coverings of interior walls, facades and ceilings. A whole range of plastering techniques and types are available, providing the final look to the surface or providing a base for other wall coverings. Due to their focus, it is important to differentiate between the individual plaster types and techniques. This way you can choose exactly the ones you need.

Plasters are versatile. There are not only the classic cement plaster or the bonding agent, but the most diverse variants for every purpose. It does not matter whether you are renovating a house or plastering a new building. They use certain types of plaster for precisely defined areas, for example the base plaster as a primer on the masonry or the sacrificial plaster, which is only needed temporarily. The different plastering techniques are just as versatile because you cannot apply every plaster in the same way. For example, the mass for a decorative surface treatment is not just spread out. This overview introduces you to all 30 cleaning techniques and types.

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13 types of plaster at a glance

Numerous types of plaster have been developed over the millennia, which are either suitable for different purposes or are mixed from specific materials. The types of plaster are determined by the following components:

  • binder
  • additives
  • mixing ratio
  • plaster thickness

Mineral, organic, inorganic and synthetic binders and additives ensure the respective properties of the plaster types, for example lime-based ones. Of the twelve variants presented here, seven belong to the group that is divided according to the materials used:

1. Cotton plaster: An interior plaster made from cotton fibers mixed with cellulose as a binder. Also known as liquid wallpaper, it is applied seamlessly and is often used as an alternative to woodchip wallpaper due to its rough surface. Can be easily colored with additives and used decoratively. The plaster has a climate and moisture-regulating effect.

2. Gypsum Plaster: A classic substrate that is mainly used indoors. It consists of gypsum, water and sand and is often used as a base for wallpaper due to its biologically harmless and flame-retardant properties. If lime is added to the mixture, it is gypsum-lime plaster. This is used as a moisture-regulating substrate for filling or a covering plaster.


3. Lime plaster: As the name suggests, this plaster is based on lime. The pure white plaster made of lime mortar (calcium hydroxide) and water is used indoors to suppress mold growth, improve the indoor climate and drain excess moisture. Outdoors, lime plaster is popular for facades of historic buildings because they are not prone to stress. Lime plaster is quite expensive and can only be mixed with protective clothing. There are a large number of variants of lime plaster, which are used for different purposes:

  • Lime-cement plaster: Mixture of lime and cement. Extremely weather-resistant and breathable due to the components. Therefore well suited for facades, wet rooms and basements.
  • Air lime plaster : This type of plaster uses air lime on a non-hydraulic basis. It is softer and is often used for stucco work or interior walls or ceilings that are subject to little wear. Due to its low hardness, air lime plaster is also used as a sacrificial plaster, a subspecies. Sacrificial plaster serves as a restoration plaster after water damage in the masonry in order to dehumidify it and reduce the salt content. After that, they are removed and replaced.
  • Putty lime plaster : Is mixed like conventional lime plaster, but not fired. It is slaughtered over a long period of time.

4. Plastic plaster: They are based on artificial binders, including acrylic acid esters, and harden significantly faster than other types of plaster. Most commonly used outdoors when a thin and easy to apply plaster is required. A variant of the plastic plaster is the silicone resin plaster. It conducts moisture much better and is used specifically for weather-prone facades, but it is quite expensive.

5. Light plaster: Light plaster is a special plaster based on cement or lime, which uses significantly lighter additives, such as expanded clay. They are an effective thermal insulation for masonry made of porous materials such as lightweight concrete.

6. Clay plaster: Clay-based plaster mixed with clay and silt. It dissipates moisture well and can be used as a base or top coat. It is often used indoors to filter pollutants such as cigarette smoke from the air. Hardens quickly due to moisture loss in air.

7. Cement plaster: Cement forms the basis for this plaster, which is used especially outdoors. The typical areas of application are house bases, exterior walls of basement rooms and for laying tiles when the thin-bed method is used. Another advantage is the efficient insulation and weather protection of facades.

Cement plaster

The remaining six within this list, on the other hand, are not defined solely by their composition, but rather by their function or strength. They have a specific purpose and are therefore better suited to certain applications than others. An overview of these plaster types:

8. Insulating plaster: Plasters for thermal insulation indoors and outdoors. Due to modern materials such as thermoplastic variants with a significantly better effect than air lime plaster.

9. Thick layer plaster: The most well-known sealing layer plaster is the base plaster, which is used to level out unevenness in the masonry or subsurface. Therefore, they serve as a carrier for the exterior plaster, paint and wallpaper. Another thick-layer plaster is the finishing plaster, which is recognizable as the last layer of plaster and can be processed in a variety of ways. They contain large grain sizes and can have different components.

10. Thin-layer plaster: Thin-layer plasters can be applied extremely thinly, for which synthetic components are often used. For this reason, certain types of plaster are included.

  • Spray plaster: Is sprayed onto the surface by machine (sound-insulating properties) or thrown with a trowel (decorative plaster).
  • Bonding layer: Smooth and absorbent surfaces need a bonding layer in order to be able to use gypsum plaster. Based on plastics.
  • Fine plaster: Fine grains and lime or cement form this plaster, which is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It forms a pleasantly fine-rough surface.
  • Plaster base: colored plasters mixed with sand, used to even out stains on substrates. Serve as an intermediate layer for decorative plaster so that no colored impurities show through.
  • can also be used as a finishing plaster, e.g. as a decorative finishing coat

11. Moisture storage plaster: plaster for damp rooms that absorbs a lot of humidity and releases it slowly. Based on mineral components.

12. Silicate plaster: Modern mixtures based on silicate and synthetic resin, which are used as an optimal finish for masonry. Are water-resistant and permanently protect against mold. However, the costs are very high and, as a precaution, a professional should undertake the plastering with silicate plaster.

13. Barrier plaster: Mineral plaster used indoors on masonry with existing water damage. Serves as a renovation plaster.

If you encounter the term wall plaster, it is not really a separate species, but a category. They are so called by the manufacturers or suppliers because of their decorative design possibilities, although it can be a classic lime-based plaster. Therefore, find out before you buy what is hidden behind the wall plaster.

Tip: Another sacrificial plaster is the compress plaster, which is mainly used to extract natural salts from substrates of mineral origin. It is used particularly frequently with natural stones or masonry made of bricks.

17 cleaning techniques

Mit Kelle

Plaster is applied to the substrate in the most original sense with a trowel and spread over it. Plastering techniques represent special forms of application. The majority of the plasters presented are applied using these techniques if they are not special types.

In total, there are 6 basic brushing techniques that you can use:

1. Smooth plaster: This plaster is applied as thinly as possible, but covering it. There should be a smooth surface that is glossy or matt depending on the components. The plaster is spread with a smoothing trowel or iron until a completely filled and even surface is created. Because they set slowly, you have plenty of time to use this grooming technique.

2. Felt plaster: Within the plastering techniques, felt plaster is a bit more complex. The lime mortar contains sand and is leveled after application. A felt board is used for this, in the past brooms were used, which enables an even structure. Not suitable for large walls as fine cracks can form easily.

3. Trowel plaster: With this plaster, the tightened material is simply thrown against the wall. For this reason it is popular as a plaster for decorative finishes. After throwing it is spread over the bricklayer’s trowel in order to obtain the desired structure.

4. Rubbing plaster: After the plaster has been applied, it is worked on with a trowel. It can be structured, modeled or smoothed.

Rubbing plaster

5. Roller plaster: Suitable types of plaster such as decorative plaster are simply applied with a paint roller. The process is similar to applying wall paint.

6. Painted plaster: Is applied with a brush like wall paint. Like the roller plaster technique, it is therefore much more suitable for beginners. Both plastering techniques are for indoor use.

Decorative plaster

In addition to the basic plastering techniques, mixed variants also exist. These are mainly used to design the visible plaster surfaces. Other additional materials are often used for these, which support the decorative effect. A total of 11 techniques for decorative plaster are available to you, with which you can design the surfaces according to your taste:

7. Colored stone plaster: Also referred to as mosaic plaster. Contains colored granules of natural stone and is applied by hand with a trowel.

8. Decorative plaster: Colored plasters that have different structures and shades of color due to the different components. Often available already mixed.

9. Scratched plaster: Is enriched with marble and a nail board, the hedgehog, is removed. This creates the characteristic structure.

10. Modeling plaster: Light-colored plaster that can be decoratively adjusted using various tools (sponge wheel, trowel).

Modeling plaster

11. Natural stone plaster: Decorative plaster that is additionally mixed with colored sediments. Double applied and can even be used on surfaces within high traffic areas.

12. Rough plaster: These are plasters with a rough surface, most commonly found in the following variants:

  • Rappputz: Used in roof trusses and cellars. Thrown with a trowel and then swept away.
  • Rustic plaster: applied with a sponge wheel. Grains with a diameter of more than five millimeters give it a rough structure.

13. Grooved Plaster: Is honed with certain tools, creating decorative grooves.

Grooved Plaster

14. Disk plaster: Used indoors or for thermal insulation composite system facades. Based on mineral or synthetic components with a coarse grain.

15. Slurry plaster: This plaster is used when the substrate, for example bricks, should shine through. Must be applied thinly.

16. Weld Plaster: Creates a felted surface. Is applied with a trowel and felted off with a broom. Used for sanitation and not removed.

17. Textured plaster: The opposite of smooth plaster. Thin mineral or plastic plasters are designed as desired using tools and modeling techniques.

Tip: With a little practice, you can implement designs that you want to present with the plaster yourself. If they are complicated or very unusual, there is a specialist company that can implement your wishes effectively and creatively.