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Plastering a large ceiling

When plastering (plasterboards) on a large ceiling. If you want to apply 2 skim coats (is this right?) how do you apply the second coat as the first coat will be almost dry as the ceiling is so large to prevent the first coat from having dried out?

11 Answers from MyBuilder Plasterers

Best Answer

When skimming always use two coats, lay on the first coat as tidy as possible, then close in with top coat, your second coat will only use half the amount of skimming as the first.
Hope this is of some help.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

It sounds like you know how the 2 coats go on, but I think your worried the second will dry out to quick before you 2nd coat it.
Get first coat on, have a labourer on hand to mix and wash kit, get back on ceiling and start flattening, meanwhile your labourer will be mixing your second set.
Get it straight on, in all honestly if you havent done a large ceiling you will be sweating, and your arms getting longer.
If your not confident get another spread to give you a hand.
There are other options I know people use, although I dont, fit a stop bead, with flange on clean part, plaster to it, get second coat on,then remove bead, flatten plaster, while waiting for final trowel ups get 2nd section on, repeat and trowel in 1st part.
This can alson be done by using some joint tape, plaster to and just over as before, then peel back tape, leaves clean joint for 2nd set.
Unless your using stilts, get it all planked out, make it easier for yourself.
Hope this is of some help


Answered 17th Feb 2011

All very good answers depends on your experience, most important I think is don't think you need to get it perfect on the first coat .You get a better coat 2nd time round and will be more manageable as most of the coverage work is done on your first coat.and definitely get help if only with the mixing if the ceiling is your first and it's a big ceiling. airing the room before you start cools the room temp and helps with drying times hope this helps


Answered 17th May 2011

The best bet is to get a pro plasterer in who can do ig celings or chance it on your own. Cream a TarTar which you can get from a supermarket put asprinkle of this in your water and add to your mix works a treat my team of plasterers just done a Very large celing 2 spreads 1 labour. it was 120sqm aisy thay used cream a tar tar and thay said it was hanging around and not drying hope this hlps mate


Answered 17th May 2011

your first coat goes on about 3,4 mm and your secound coat which is wetter (runny) goes on about 1mm and you will use about quarter the amount on the secound coat. just make sure the central heating is turned off. roy.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

Hi there
the first coat as stated before should be put on and smoothed at the same time a good spread will leave the ceiling after the first coat without having to smooth it again if you get into any trouble the use of a spongefloat is a great help as being wet will if used in a figure of eight motion flatten the ceiling and help keep it wet, then smooth the ceiling with a trowel,( you can see what you have missed as the spongefloat leaves a pattern just be sure to remove these marks) apply second coat, a little water or the sponge float again, job done!! I have plastered ceilings bigger than 15/20 metres on stilts admittadly but always used a spongefloat dipped in water to keep it wet
kind regards


Answered 14th Mar 2011

Some good anwers. yeah tricky if not used to it, ceilings are one of the worst areas to plaster. every good plasterer had to go through this horrible, painfull period in there way up the plastering ladder. but as on eof the others mentioned, defo once you have gone over with the first coat, clean your tools, have a quick drink of your brew, then go over all of it again (flatten it out) then mix up again and put a nice tight second coat on (once the 1st coat starts to tighten up a bit, the 2nd will go on a dream. once you get your technique right, you will have bags of time (unless it is a massive ceiling then better with two of you :-)


Answered 18th Feb 2011

I agree with colin but i always tend to flatten the first coat as i'm laying it on so if it does dry out in places you are not fighting with lines when applying the second coat, The second coat will hang a bit longer but if skimming over old cielings and not boarded make sure you p.v.a the ceiling, also make sure it's still tacky where your laying the plaster on if it goes dry re-coat it as this can pull the plaster quicker (dry it out)
Hope this helps


Answered 17th Feb 2011

It may sound stupid but polybond the plaster board first, add a portion of taramosalata sauce to the mix(this will hold it back with out ruining the mix) try it first. Then do a section at a time, after each part is ready to trowel flat mix more using the same technique and carry on.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

I agree with Colin ,plus I also agree on some other little pointers the others said. Making sure you've got a labourer who knows what he's doing,by passing the plaster on to your board .making sure that you have another bucket there ready to mix so that when the first coat is done the 2nd ones ready(only on big ceilings)also flattening out as much as possible or to make it even easier ,get a plasterer to follow you with the 2nd coat


Answered 17th Feb 2011

Proffesional plasterers know how to deal with "suction" on different types of backgrounds and as you,ve mentioned the problem of the 1st coat drying too quickly the remedy is too reduce the background "suction".If u seal your plasterboards prior to skimming (at least 24hrs before) this will effectively reduce the plaster drying in too quick and give you the time u need to flatten your 1st coat and have control of your 2nd coat.To seal your boards use PVAglue dilluted 3to1 ratio . Apply joint tape prior to sealing. Hope this is of some help


Answered 17th Feb 2011

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