Essential Tools for Plastering Walls: The Ultimate Guide

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A coat of plaster makes a wall surface smooth and covers rough edges. It also adds durability to your wall surface and makes your home interior look more appealing. Plastering can be applied to ceilings, columns, and other structural components. 

However, the accuracy, durability, and overall smooth finish depend on what plastering tools you have used. Without the right tools, you cannot properly apply plaster to a wall. 

This guide will explore different types of tools for plastering walls.

Types of Plaster

applying plaster on the wall

Plasters come in many different forms. There are special plasters used for restricting shrinkage, water-proofing, and other unique purposes. Stucco plaster is another type of plaster used for decorative needs, while lime plaster has a combination of sand and lime. You can also use composite plaster with varying levels of thickness. 

Essential Tools for Plastering Walls

Gauging Trowel

Gauging Trowel

A gauging trowel is one of the important tools for measuring materials you need for a plastering project. While applying cement mortar to moldings and corners, you can use this trowel. The tool may be bull-nosed or pointed on one end.

Bucket Trowel

bucket trowel

It can be messy dealing with a big bucket of plaster, so angled handles of bucket trowels are highly convenient. They also have wide surfaces to help you scoop out the mixture. These bucket trowels are also useful for mixing the plaster.

Window Trowel

Window trowels are used around windows. Since the blade face on this type of trowel is comparatively small, you get better maneuverability in the tightest spaces. A window trowel can replace other large trowels.

Spackle Knife

spackle knife

A small knife plays an important role in your plastering work. Before using this tool, however, ensure that the knife can be run on uneven surfaces and cracks. A spackle knife is best for removing chips from old plaster or making surfaces smooth.

Utility Knife

utility knife

A utility knife is a high-quality tool used for cutting bags of plaster and other general purposes. The knife is also effective for cutting patches of drywall sheets. A good utility knife with a sharp blade is often useful in plastering projects.

Spirit Level

spirit level

Another essential tool for plastering contractors is a spirit level. The tool can be used to create a flat finish on a surface. A water tube integrated into a spirit level allows you to know the surface level, which helps to improve the quality of your plastering.


man using sponge while plastering wall

A sponge is another essential tool used to make a plastered surface smoother. Professional plasterers always have a square-shaped wet sponge at their disposal. If you are looking for a substitute for a sponge, you may need to buy a water brush.



You can use floats to apply and spread mortar on a wall surface. A flat metal or wooden board has a handle on the surface. Floats are available in two types based on the material they are made of.

Also referred to as a laying trowel, the metal float is designed with thin tempered steel. You can use it to trowel the plaster and achieve the best finish. A wooden float is also called a skimming float, and is used to apply the finishing coat of plaster.

Straight Edge

Straight Edge ruler

To make rendered floors even, you can use a straight edge. To level up a large plaster or concrete surface quickly, you may want to consider using a straight edge tool. Most commonly, straight edges are made of aluminum, so they have a lightweight design and do not have a corrosion risk.


hawk for plastering walls

With a flat surface and a handle, a plastic hawk helps you carry wet plaster. You can get the muddy mix onto the trowel. Hawks are generally easy to clean and butter the plaster. However, beginners may struggle to manage the flow.


dry wall hammer

Novice plasterers need to use a well-designed hammer to accomplish their plastering project. Drywall hammers and claw hammers are the two most common models available on the market. You can choose either of them to remove chunks of plaster from the surface. The hatchet-style ends make drywall hammers easily identifiable because their surfaces are slightly curved to manage high spots.

Paddle Mixer

paddle mixer

A paddle mixer is one of the essential tools you’ll need for regular plastering work. You can clamp a paddle mixer into the drill chucks and it will be easy to mix several buckets of plaster quickly. These tools have a special design which means you can use them with dry plaster and other aggregates. Buy a paddle mixer to break up plaster clumps and be able to control the consistency of the plaster. 


Threads are simply accessories to measure the plaster level of various structures.

Plumb Bob

plumb bob

To check a wall’s vertical levels, you can use the plumb bob. The level-checking tool has a solid cone-shaped bob. While one end is pointed, another end is thread tied.

Automatic Taping Tool

A taping tool is useful for taping compounding to flat joints and applying the joint tape. An automatic taping tool ensures that you have chosen the right quantity of compound. You can also avoid wastage and avoid sanding by using an automatic taping tool. 

It is safe to use automatic tools because they can reach high on the walls, so there is no need to climb up a ladder and you can accomplish your project quickly. Although the initial cost of an innovative automatic taping tool is high, you will get value in the long run.


Professional plasterers need to have a stock of different tools for plastering. Regardless of the types of plaster you use, it is important to buy these essential tools. For your DIY plastering projects, you should consider investing in quality kits, and always check the quality of the tools before making a purchase.

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