Question: What types of trowels do you recommend for use in plastering?

J. Kang,
Ohio


Answer: I am talking personal preference here, as each plasterer has his or her own preferences. I break up the types of trowels into four categories: those for base coat, sand finish work, smooth coat finishing and repair.

For basecoat, finish and repair work, I use stainless steel trowels. For sand finish I use a carbon steel trowel, as it holds up better in using this rougher material. For the basecoat, I use a 14- or 16-inch-by-43/4-inch trowel. This works well for use in new basecoat work and in resurfacing older walls and ceilings, as it lays the basecoat on in a very even coat.

Marshalltown has a “broken-in” trowel line that is stainless steel and that has a curved shape that helps keep lines from forming when troweling. It’s worked well for me.

For smooth coat work and repair work, I really have liked using the Italian Venetian “type” trowels that are stainless steel with rounded edges. You can put a lot of pressure on them and feather well with them for smooth repairs that are done.

Hope this helps and much success on your projects that you do!

Send your questions to this magazine or e-mail Plaster Man at robin@plasterzone.com.

Robin is a 20-year veteran of the plastering trade and has produced a series of videos on the subject. Write to the Plaster Man, Walls & Ceilings, 2401 W. Big Beaver, Suite 700, Troy, Mich. 48084.