There is a certain process that a lot of homeowners, do-it-yourselfers, and beginning remodelers go through when buying certain types of tools. The first time they tackle a different type of project, let’s take plastering or drywall, they run down to the store and buy a bunch of inexpensive tools to do the job. There are a few reasons for this, one, they aren’t really sure of all the sizes and shapes of tools they’re going to need, and they aren’t sure if they’re ever going to do another similar project. After they finish up the first time they’ll realize they should have bought higher quality tools that would last a lifetime instead of the cheap ones that are now junk after the first job.
How Do You Know What To Buy?
Thanks to the internet you can now go on YouTube and watch endless videos of guys doing the exact type of projects that you’ll be doing. They’ll talk tools and show you the tools they use to do all of the different angles, corners, textures, and tasks that are involved in plastering. Then all you have to do is head down to the store with a carefully thought out list and buy the right tools the first time.
First, you’ll need a mixing bucket that you’ll be able to put your mixer into and reach all the corners of the bucket without any trouble. Many people use old 5-gallon paint tubs since they are easy to clean and plaster doesn’t stick to them. If it gets too ugly you can always find another one since they are all over the place during painting season.
Next, a good high-quality trowel is in order. You’ll want to find one that is comfortable in your hand since you’ll be using it often. It should also be made of a rust-proof metal, aluminium, stainless steel, or magnesium are all pretty good and won’t rust. The lighter metals will be less tiresome on your wrist and hand so keep that in mind if you haven’t built up the muscles yet by doing lots of these projects.
The next most important is what is called a Drywall Hawk that is used to pile the plaster on straight from the mixing tub and then you hold it in your other hand to resupply your other tools so you don’t have to constantly bend down to the bucket. This is not only a back saver but a time saver as well. The straight edge of the hawk is commonly also used to scrape dried plaster off of other tools so that you don’t have to wash them in the water several times per day. A strong aluminium hawk is most common since it’s rigid, won’t rust, and still light in the hand.
There are also several sizes of feathering knives that you’ll need. These are used to get a nice smooth transition around the edge of the plaster or drywall patch. You’ll need several sizes from a very wide 11″ down to a small 2″ in order to do all the different tough spots you’ll encounter.
If you’re just getting started with your first drywall or plastering job it wouldn’t hurt to watch some of the pros do it on video, it will help with your learning curve. Plus, whenever possible buy the highest quality, long-lasting plastering tools you can afford, your future self will thank you for that one.