Q: I have gotten a lot of readers asking: "How do you deal with lumpy base coat?"

A: Lumps in base coat are something we come across many times during a project.

Sometimes they’re in the mix right at the start. Or, it may be that we are working with the base coat for an extended time. At the end of the batch it may be that lumps start to form. No matter the cause, when they show up, it’s a frustration!

It happened to me two times in a row very recently. In both situations I had mixed up a big barrel and was on the last bucket that I had dipped out. I needed that mud to finish a critical area. I had been slowed down by some detail work, and now I was in a bad spot, as the lumps made it impossible to finish out the area I needed to base. Here’s the “answer” or tip I think you’ll appreciate.

I just happened to have a piece of 3 x 3-foot field mesh in the area I was mixing. In desperation, I grabbed it and put it into an empty 5-gallon bucket. I dipped out the lumpy bucket into this and pulled the mesh through it. It worked! Not only did it give me a lump-free mix to finish the job out with, I believe it also extended the life of the base so that I had more time with it.

It was just what I needed to get the job done. It happened again and I had the same results.

Lumps are not a friend of any plasterer, and they can really make a disaster of a mix. I hope that if you run into any lumps in your job you can use this trick to good effect. ‘Plaster On!’

Have a Question for Plaster Man? Send it to him in care of this magazine, or e-mail it to: Robin@plasterzone.com. He’ll be happy to answer it for you.