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Apply rubbing plaster: You have to take this into account
Apply rubbing plaster: You have to take this into account

Video: Apply rubbing plaster: You have to take this into account

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Applying a rubbing plaster is an activity that you can do perfectly on your own. Previous knowledge of plastering walls is helpful, but is by no means absolutely necessary to achieve a satisfactory result. Because: If you follow the following step-by-step instructions, you don't give the devil a chance and ensure that your home gets a fresh look in no time and - in the truest sense of the word - is spruced up.

Apply rubbing plaster: You have to take this into account

Before you apply a grating plaster, you should know a few things: Grinding plaster is available in hardware stores in various grain sizes - from fine to coarse - and is one of the decorative plasters that you can apply in living rooms as well as on house facades.

Decorative plasters are always used when walls or ceilings are to be optically upgraded. Inside a house, walls and ceilings, as the dominant areas, offer plenty of scope to allow creativity to run free. The special attraction of designing with plaster on the inside certainly lies in the wide range of possible combinations of structure and color. A lively play of light and shadow arises all by itself and quickly makes the old floral wallpaper fall into oblivion. Even rooms that have always been painted the same way over the years are given a real rejuvenation. On the outside, plastering plaster takes on a multitude of additional functions: there, a plaster layer not only protects against the weather, but can also reduce the risk of algae growth and improve the insulation of the facade.

No matter whether in your own four walls or under the open sky: wall surfaces are not only embellished, but also effectively protected due to their high abrasion resistance. In addition, small scratches or scratches go almost unnoticed.

Mineral plaster versus synthetic resin plaster

You can use a mineral plaster or synthetic plaster to create a rubbing plaster. These differ in their properties, which is why it has to be decided on a case-by-case basis which plaster is the right choice. Mineral-based plaster contains lime and cement. If it is processed inside the house, this has the positive side effect that it is breathable, i.e. it absorbs and releases moisture. This automatically regulates the room air and keeps it balanced. The wall covering also absorbs heat and releases it gradually, which can reduce heating costs. Mineral plaster is now also available as a ready-to-use version, but you often have to mix mineral plaster first before you can apply it as a rubbing plaster.

Resin plaster, on the other hand, is ready to use without exception. The wall covering also consists of lime and cement, but also contains so-called polyester resins. It has crack-bridging properties and is also extremely durable. Especially practical for use in rental apartments: Some manufacturers offer synthetic resin plaster that can be easily removed from the room walls and ceilings with a little water and a spatula. Mineral-based plaster and synthetic resin plaster do not differ from one another when it comes to applicability indoors or outdoors. The same applies to the processing method.

Reibeputz ist variabel einsetzbar und kann sowohl im Außen- als auch im Innenbereich aufgetragen werden
Reibeputz ist variabel einsetzbar und kann sowohl im Außen- als auch im Innenbereich aufgetragen werden

Rubbing plaster can be used variably and can be applied both outdoors and indoors.

Photo: iStock / alexandrumagurean

Bring color into play

If the rubbing plaster is to be given a color, this can be done in two ways. So-called mineral plasters and synthetic resin-based plasters can be painted over with emulsion paint after application. But be careful: with some plasters you have to wait a few weeks before you can safely apply the paint. The second option to bring color into play is to first color the rubbing plaster with tinting paint - which you can get as a paste or granulate from the hardware store - and then bring it to the wall or the ceiling. The latter procedure has the advantage that if the wall is damaged, no white plaster will appear. On top of that, working with already colored plaster saves time in contrast to subsequent painting.

Prepare the surface for rubbing plaster step by step

Rubbing plaster can be used variably, because it can be applied both outdoors and in a wide variety of rooms: whether it is redesigning the living room, converting the kitchen or renovating the bathroom. This allows it to be modeled on plasterboard, paints, concrete walls and even tiles. However, you should remove old wallpaper, as they often react poorly to the wet plaster and do not guarantee sufficient adhesion. If the rubbing plaster is to be applied to an existing decorative plaster, the existing layer must of course be leveled off beforehand.

In order to achieve flawless results, you must remove all impurities. Outside, this is usually associated with a little more effort if dirt on the facade and adhering moss have to be removed. Here it is sometimes advisable to clean with a high-pressure cleaner or a sandblaster. It is also important to level out any unevenness with a leveling compound whose drying time must be observed. You can work with plaster filler on the inside of the building, for example, cement-based products are suitable outdoors.

Otherwise, the following applies: You should carefully prepare any surface. Also check whether it is sanding or chalking. If this is the case, you must prepare the surface with deep ground, a primer that strengthens the surface and counteracts its unwanted absorbency. Then note the manufacturer's information on the drying time of the deep ground.

Tesa test ensures the load-bearing capacity

You can check the load-bearing capacity of the surfaces to be processed using the so-called Tesa test: Here you use the cutter knife to carve a cutting grid into the ground, press an adhesive strip onto it and pull it off again. If there are no residues on the strip, the surface is stable. Firmly adhering coatings are now sanded or roughened. To improve the adhesion of the plaster and also to create a uniform white surface, you should apply a primer. As a result, the result is usually higher quality in the end. Please note: This pretreatment must also dry thoroughly before continuing.

In addition - as it would also be the case with painting work - you should cover all surfaces and furniture that should not come into contact with the rubbing plaster with painting film and masking tape. The same applies to door frames, skirting boards and light switches. Before working with plaster, you should bear in mind that some of the material usually falls to the floor during application. For this reason, it is advisable to provide the floor - inside with foil and outside with boards. This not only protects the subsurface, but also has the advantage that plaster that has fallen off the wall or facade can be easily picked up again and reused.

Mix mineral plaster with a drill

If you want to benefit from the properties of mineral rubbing plaster, you often have to mix it before use. At the hardware store, dry mortar is offered either in a bag or in a bucket. Buckets have the practical advantage that the ready mix can be mixed with water right away. Otherwise, a clean mortar trough is recommended as a mixing vessel. Mixing should be carried out entirely according to the manufacturer's instructions and with the help of a powerful drill and a robust whisk. If you prefer to “protect” your drill, you can rent an agitator from the tool rental. If the plaster is to be colored, add the desired tinting color. A tip: Make sure not to apply more plaster than you can process in the "open time" specified by the manufacturer.

Beim Anrühren des Putzes sollten Sie sich an die Herstellerangaben halten
Beim Anrühren des Putzes sollten Sie sich an die Herstellerangaben halten

When mixing the plaster, you should follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Photo: iStock / Gogiya

Apply rubbing plaster: an even layer is required

Now apply the plaster with a masonry or smoothing trowel to the surfaces you want to “clean out”. If your smoothing trowel is made of plastic, very few residues will stick to it. Otherwise a steel trowel does the same. The applied layer should have a uniform thickness in terms of aesthetics.

Warning: Do not provide walls and ceilings with more plaster than you are able to structure in a quarter of an hour. This way you avoid that it gets too dry and can no longer be rubbed as desired. Working in a duo is recommended in order to be able to cover more space in a shorter time. Then it says: smooth the plaster.

The friction technology determines the desired structure

This is followed by the creative part and at the same time the highlight of the project: the structuring of the plaster, which is slightly tightened but still damp. With a plastic writing board you can now put your very personal vision into practice. You can create your desired surface structure using various rubbing techniques, for example diagonal, crosswise or circular. Keep calm in mind that in future this will be further enhanced by incident sunlight and artificial lighting.

Before the wall covering has hardened, you should definitely remove the masking tape that protects the door frame, skirting boards and light switch. Otherwise, it can happen that parts of the dry plaster are accidentally torn off the wall or ceiling when the tape is pulled off. And that would be annoying because it would mean that the rubbing plaster needs to be repaired.

Touch up plaster easily

It is easily possible to repair the rubbing plaster. All you have to do is inspect the surface again and prepare it as described above. This means that dirt and crumbling plaster residues must be removed thoroughly. Now you can apply a primer. After drying, apply the plaster and smooth it. A tip: the transitions between old and fresh plaster can be adjusted particularly precisely with a simple brush. This is followed by structuring with the plastic trowel. You should be careful to incorporate the new surface structure into the existing one, so that once it has dried off, it is ideally impossible to even guess how it will be repaired.

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