Cost Guide to Plastering for New Zealand Homes

Cost Guide to Plastering for New Zealand Homes

Embarking on home improvement projects often involves considering aesthetics and functionality. Plastering is one key element that significantly influences your home’s visual appeal. Whether you’re renovating or building anew in Auckland, understanding the nuances of plastering is essential for achieving a polished and durable finish. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on the world of plastering, from the various types of plaster available to the associated costs and the steps involved in achieving a professionally plastered wall.

What is Plaster?

Plaster, in the context of construction and home improvement, refers to a versatile material applied to walls and ceilings to create a smooth and even surface. It plays a crucial role in enhancing the aesthetic appeal of a space while providing durability and protection to underlying structures. Auckland plasterers use the best quality plaster to provide your homes with a smooth finish.

Which kind of plaster should I choose?

When choosing the right plaster for your project, it’s essential to consider each type’s specific needs and characteristics. Here’s an overview of some common types of plaster:

Dry Plaster

Dry plaster is a popular choice for interior walls and ceilings. It comes in powder form and requires mixing with water before application. This type of plaster sets through a chemical reaction, providing a robust and smooth finish.

Lime Plaster

Lime plaster is known for its breathability and flexibility, making it suitable for historic or older homes. It allows for moisture evaporation, preventing damage to the underlying structure. Lime plaster is often chosen for its eco-friendly and natural composition.

Cement Plaster

Cement plaster is a durable and versatile option suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces. It provides a strong and resilient finish, making it resistant to weather conditions and wear. Cement plaster is often chosen for its longevity and low maintenance.

Ornamental Plaster

For those looking to add decorative elements to their homes, ornamental plaster is an excellent choice. It allows for intricate designs and patterns, enhancing the visual appeal of walls and ceilings. Ornamental plaster is often used for architectural detailing.

Gypsum Plaster

Gypsum plaster, also known as plaster of Paris, is a quick-setting and versatile option. It is commonly used for interior walls and ceilings, providing a smooth and white finish. Gypsum plaster is valued for its ease of application and drying time.

Wet Plaster

Wet plaster, or wet finish plaster, is typically applied by professionals. It involves a wet mix of plaster being applied to the wall, providing a smooth and uniform surface. Wet plaster is often chosen for its professional finish and suitability for various surfaces.

Factors Contributing to Plastering Costs

Surface Condition

The initial condition of the surface to be plastered significantly determines costs. It may incur additional charges if the wall requires extensive preparation, such as cleaning, repairing cracks, or addressing imperfections. Smoother, well-maintained surfaces typically demand less preparation work.

Type of Finish

The finish you desire for your walls contributes to the overall cost. Different finishes, such as a smooth surface or a textured design, may require varying expertise and effort. Ornamental plaster, involving intricate designs, may demand more labour and, consequently, higher costs.


Regional variations can impact the pricing of plastering services. Labour costs, materials, and accessibility to the site can differ between urban and rural areas. Generally, urban locations tend to have higher labour costs, which can influence the overall budget for your project.

Project Size

The size of your plastering project is a key determinant of costs. Larger projects often benefit from economies of scale, potentially leading to lower costs per square meter. On the other hand, smaller projects may have a higher cost per unit area due to the fixed costs associated with setting up and preparing for the work.

Type of Plaster Used

The choice of plaster material contributes to the overall cost. Different types of plaster, such as dry plaster, lime plaster, cement plaster, ornamental plaster, gypsum plaster, and wet plaster, come with varying price points. The material cost, coupled with its application requirements, influences the overall expenditure.

Things To Buy Before Plastering

Before you begin, ensure you have the following necessary materials.

  • Plaster of your chosen type
  • Mixing tools
  • Trowel
  • Hawk or board for holding plaster
  • Water
  • Protective gear (gloves, goggles)


Step-by-Step Guide to Plastering a Wall

Plastering a wall involves a systematic process to achieve a smooth and professional finish. Here’s a step-by-step guide to plastering a wall.

  • Prepare the Surface: Clean the wall surface, removing dust, debris, or loose particles. If necessary, repair any cracks or imperfections in the wall.
  • Mix the Plaster: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix the plaster to the desired consistency. Use a clean container and mixing tools to ensure a smooth mixture.
  • Apply the Base Coat: Apply the first coat of plaster evenly over the wall using a trowel. Use long, sweeping motions to achieve a consistent thickness.
  • Scratch Coat (if needed): Certain plasters may require a scratch coat. Use a scratching tool to create a textured surface for better adhesion.
  • Apply Additional Coats: Allow each coat to dry before applying the next one. Smooth out the surface with each layer, paying attention to even thickness.
  • Final Finish: Once the final coat is applied and dried, use a trowel to achieve the desired finish – smooth or textured.
  • Curing Time: Allow the plaster to cure completely before painting or decorating.


DIY or Professional Plastering

Deciding whether to embark on a plastering project yourself or hire a professional depends on factors such as the scale of the project, your skill level, and the desired outcome. Small, manageable projects may be suitable for a confident DIY enthusiast, while larger or more intricate jobs may benefit from the expertise of a professional plasterer. Consider your comfort level, the complexity of the task, and your timeline before making a decision.

avigating the world of plastering for Auckland homes involves thoughtful consideration of plaster types, costs, and the practicalities of the application process. By understanding the nuances outlined in this guide, homeowners can make informed decisions, ensuring that their plastering projects contribute to their homes’ aesthetics and longevity. Whether you choose to embark on a DIY adventure or enlist the help of professionals, the journey to beautifully plastered walls begins with a comprehensive understanding of the process and costs involved


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