Ultimate Guide to Plastering a Ceiling

So, are you ready to plaster your ceiling? Whether you have more time than usual on your hands or your spouse is inviting you for a DIY project, plastering a ceiling is one of the easiest projects you can do in the comfort of your home, only if you do it the right way!

Lucky for you, we rounded up the steps and tips to help you perfect your plastering project. Mastering the techniques will take time, but with patience and persistence, you will be well on your way.

Without further ado, here are the step-by-step process of plastering a ceiling:

Gather the right tools

Before anything else, gather all the tools you need. Scour for the needed items on your bodega or buy them if you don’t have them in your possession.

Essential supplies include the following:

  • Ladder
  • Sandpaper
  • Clean water
  • Sponge
  • Mixing stick
  • Plaster
  • Plastering trowel

Once everything is ready, it is about time to get to work.

Prepare the area

Keep in mind that plastering a ceiling is as messy as painting it. Imagine this: you have to balance yourself on a ladder with a plastering trowel on your hand and you have to spread it across the ceiling. Plastering a ceiling means you are risking getting splashes and drip on your floor and your surrounding furniture.

Therefore, remove the furniture from the area to prevent them getting splatters. If you cannot move other furniture, cover them using a plastic sheet or used newspaper. Likewise, cover the entire floor. You do not want to have a plastered floor on your tiles, hardwood, and carpet.

Aside from that, you have to protect yourself as well. Wear a hat, protective mask, old clothes, and gloves so as not to have plaster dripping on your skin.

Prep the ceiling

Now that your tools are ready and the area is fully protected, it is about time to sand uneven patches. This allows you to have a seamless, finished ceiling after your plastering project.

Even if you have a fairly new ceiling, you should not skip this part. Sand and clean it to get rid of imperfections. Cleaning is just a relatively easy task—you see, you will only need a vacuum to suck cobwebs and other dust and then soak a sponge with soapy water to wipe out remaining dust and other remnants. Soak the sponge once again but this time with only tap water to remove any traces of soap.

Consequently, if your ceiling has been exposed to oil, make sure to use a degreaser first since the plaster would not adhere to an oil-soaked ceiling.

If you have holes on your ceiling, make sure to patch them up first before plastering. Not only will it elevate the overall look of your ceiling, but it is also a great way to prevent further ceiling damage.

Mix plaster or use premix plaster

Mix the plaster by using the same water and plaster ratio. Add the plaster to the water and use your mixing stick to create a smooth concoction. Once you reached a consistent texture, or if you already have a premixed plaster, proceed to the next step.

Proceed to plastering the ceiling

Now that your plaster is ready, you are now all ready for the task. With your plaster, a pail of clean water, and plastering trowel, climb the ladder. Make sure to always have someone secure your ladder from the down and that the person is also wearing protective gear. You and your companion’s safety are top priorities in this project.

Skim your ceiling first. To do this, wipe some clean water on the part wherein you are going to add the plaster. Afterward, add a considerable amount of plaster on your trowel’s edge and refine the product to a thin, even later. Apply the plaster in meter-long rows and divide each part of the ceiling in small, manageable steps. Don’t overdo it and take some breaks, especially if your arms are already feeling numb and tired.

Use the rough edge of your trowel to spread the plaster and create scratches or scrapes in the plaster. Once the whole ceiling is covered in plaster, leave it for two days to let it dry. Once dry, apply a second coating using the techniques mentioned above. Let it dry again.

Refine your ceiling

Even the most skilled painter can have mistakes and imperfections in their work. So don’t worry if you have a few bumps on your project. A sandpaper will help you save the day. You just have to sand through the bumps, and with a tad bit of elbow grease, your ceiling should be as smooth as you imagined it to be.


Plastering a ceiling can be a tricky, tedious job. However, with the right information and tools, you can nail this in no time.