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Best sander for plaster walls - advice please?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Pinky, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. KC Cantiaci

    KC Cantiaci pfm Member

    I don't need one. Having been down this road many times, trying different methods and options, trying the latest fad product that promises to fill in cracks and smooth out surfaces but ends out being just a thicker paint, having created a complete mess before and never being completely happy with the results, I learnt to skim plaster myself because it saves time and hassle. If it's one wall and not too bad, I might persevere with filling and sanding, but if its a whole room, I just skim it and have done with it.
  2. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    KC, you are once again entirely missing my point.

    The method I outlined is a simple alternative to skimming. It does not require much skill and it is cheap and it works.

    If you don't want to do it then fine, but the way you describe filling and sanding has little to do with my suggestion.

  3. KC Cantiaci

    KC Cantiaci pfm Member

    Mull - you suggested 'Coat entire wall with a thin skim of Polyfilla or similar, using an Artexing/Caulking board.' and then sand it down. So what isn't as I describe.

    Basically, you are suggesting rough plastering.....but with filler, which is dearer, then sanding the whole thing down which is time consuming. I've done it and it does work after a fashion BUT creates a hell of a mess. And I did say I might do this for one wall, as you did, despite the mess but wouldn't for a whole room. So what am I missing? I doubt if your decorator friend would do a whole room like this, although he might if someone else is paying for it. And the OP said plaster walls....plural.

    All I suggested was to try this technique on the smallest wall first to see how it turns out because it might not look as good painted as expected and it might save the OP from spending a lot of time to end up disappointed.

    Sometimes, people need to work out what it will cost them in their time. What I mean is I have a friend who wanted to do his own plastering/filling/decorating thing. He earns roughly £130 a day when he works at his job as a chippy. But he took 3 days off to do what a plasterer could have done in 1 day. So his room cost him £390 of money he wasn't earning to do it himself when a professional would have charged him £200.....maybe less at mates rates as he is in the building game anyway. Sometimes, it's a false economy.
  4. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    My 'decorator friend' is my brother.
    He frequently employs the technique I have described.
    It is quick, easy and effective.

    I am not suggesting 'rough plastering'.
  5. Pinky

    Pinky In suspense, not compressed

    Yes, it's a complete room I'm doing including ceiling and it measures around 6m x 5m.

    I have filled a few holes and sanded those by hand. There is a bit of a gap in places between top of wall and ceiling which I guess builders caulk could be used for?

    I like the idea of trying one wall first so I think I'll pick the smallest and run with that. In the first instance I'll wash or steam as much old paste off as I can then give it a sand and, if it seems smooth enough, try a mist coat. That will hopefully show me whether the finish is good enough.

    Jumping forward to the subject of final coat, I need to establish which paint is best for sound quality ;)
  6. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Sorting out cracks between walls and ceilings is what Polyfilla and the like are made for. You can get filler in a skeleton gun and just run a bead along the crack, then smooth it with a finger. Top tip to save sanding - once you have the basic shape and all the holes filled give it a quick wipe with a damp cloth or a sponge, and let it dry.
  7. Simonms

    Simonms Registered user

    With a good flexible filling knife the sanding should be minimal as it will take most of the filler away as you flatten it over the cracks. Without seeing the condition of the wall it's hard to tell the nature of these gaps and holes that need filling but if there is loose dust try a coat of pva into the hole crack to bond it up then fill flat. Follow as Steve describes also, good advice.
  8. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    'Decorator's Caulk', which comes in tubes for a gun, is more flexible than polyfilla once 'dry' and works very well for the sort of narrow or hairline cracks you get in corners, around windows, skirtings etc.,as it moves with the substrate. I think this is what you are referring to Ste. Polyfilla or similar is better for holes and 'dings in walls.

    The method I proposed for a whole wall has the advantage that you are putting a very thin coat of filler all over, which tends to mean that the subsequent paint finish is uniform. This is not always the case if you have areas of filler, paint and old paste all over the place.
    Some people seem to have mised the crudial point which is to use an Artexing , or 'Caulking' board for application. (See picture in my OP) Mine is about 6-7 " wide and makes slapping a smooth thin coat of poly on a wall very straightforward.
  9. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    You're right, the caulk is more flexible. It comes in all sorts of flavours though, ranging from acrylic mastic based stuff to the Poundland gunk which is made with who knows what. Recycled string and spit, probably. It does demonstrate that you can stick a house together with almost anything, however.
  10. PhilEOS

    PhilEOS Do you get wafers with it?

    Some of you are clearly missing the point of this procedure.
    Buy a 5 kg bag of Gyproc Easi-fill, about £10, NOT Pollyfilla.
    Mix to a creamy consistency, not to stiff.

    As Mull said, lightly sand the wall to remove anything that could contaminate the filler when applying.

    Now this is the point! Use the flexible board to spread the filler over a small area at a time, and then immediately scrape it off again.
    This fills all the lower lying imperfections and leaves the good parts of the wall with no filler.
    It is then very easy to lightly sand and paint, hence the trade name Easi-fill.

  11. roman

    roman pfm Member

    A few more thoughts,

    Only use caulk in corners where surfaces meet if you know what I mean. ie don't use on flat surfaces and 'tool' it right away, with a wet finger or whatever, and leave it to dry. remember it's not something you sand.

    I leave it longer than the one hour that is sometimes recommended on the tube, ideally overnight and I prime it with some oil paint before painting with water based. It's not always necessary but I've had water based paint craze on caulk before. This seems not to happen on oil based.

    I like to use 'cover stain', again by Zinsser. Its fast drying for an oil paint and is a very good primer/undercoat.

    I haven't used polyfilla in years. I hated it and don't know if it has improved. I prefer tetrion or toupret. Easy fill is as the name suggests and quite cheap, usually only available in builders yards, and if you are going to adopt this approach then it may be the thing to use. However if you are doing all your walls and ceiling too then I recommend you avoid this approach, its really just a way of mimicking plaster but less good .

    Only do it if money is an issue and time and mess is not. If you do go down this route then leave the filler slightly proud, practice on a small area first. You will notice than on all but the smallest holes the filler shrinks a bit when drying so its not worth applying it tight to the wall. After you are done, brush down the walls and wipe lightly with damp cloth (if you rub hard you will begin to wipe off the filler)

    Again if you want to do it all yourself and like a bit of a gimmick, then toupret sell a kit with filler and applicators that might deliver what you want. I don't remember what it is called, nor have I used it (nor would I). Its bound to be pricey but might work, theu make good stuff generally.

    Cant get away from the thought you'd be best off hiring a good plasterer. the best finish of the lot and I think you said the one you like the best. Hire someone friendly and ask if you can have a go.

    Finally paint:

    Dulux trade, johnstones, little green (really good stuff - try the intelligent matt I think), Leyland. Even the wickes trade paint is ok. I was sceptical but have been pleasantly surprised on the two occasions I used it.
  12. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    Well there you have it! My own brother has made a liar out of me!
    FWIW, I can't remember what I used for filling except that it was very easy to sand. I was convinced it was Polyfilla.
    By sheer coincidence, I was clearing out the garage yesterday and found a couple of bags of plaster/filler type stuff I don't even recall buying. All 'gone off', but I think they were all Gyproc stuff of one sort or another. They're all in the local skip now.

    Anyway. The method works. So :p

  13. andrewhockley

    andrewhockley pfm Member

    Its really hard to get a decent sanded finish over a large area. If you have a few small well defined holes, fine then fill them and sand. But sounds like you have rather more than that. In which case I would carefully use a pole sander with an aggressive grit to knock the worst bits off, and then line with the thickest lining paper you can get. Much less dust and mess.
  14. PhilEOS

    PhilEOS Do you get wafers with it?

    Sorry Colin, wasn't calling you a liar, you did use Easi-fill. I was just saying not to use Pollyfilla, it's crap!

    Pinky, you are getting a lot confusing advice, and some very expensive solutions.
    I have been using the Easi-fill method for over 23 years and get excellent results for very little outlay or effort.

    Easi-fill does not sink, not using this method, it is not as suggested by roman, a way of mimicking plaster, it is a very simple blade on blade off technique leaving imperfections flush with filler and very simple to sand with P120 – P150 grit.

    If you do go down the route of a complete plaster re skim, make sure you have seen their work.
    Good plasterers are hard to get hold of for small jobs, the ones who are any good are normally very busy.

  15. roman

    roman pfm Member

    What I meant by mimicking plaster is that we are I think talking about creating a paint ready surface across a wide area ie not just filling the odd hole. If there is only a bit to be done then fair enough but if the surfaces are big, ceiling in particular then I don't think you can beat a GOOD skim.

    The importance of a good plasterer is obvious but can't be overstated. Yes they are usually busy but you never know.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat and we are all giving advice according to what we know and have experience of. Me too.

    I normally take the decorating route too or hire a plasterer as my plastering skills are iffy. Sometimes it works well other times my shoes get an instant coating.

    Generally only plasters plaster really well unless its just a small patch.
  16. Colin Barron

    Colin Barron pfm Member

    If there are outside walls you could fit a sandwich of insulation/plasterboard and plaster it to improve the rooms u value.

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