Cost Guide To Plastering For New Zealand Homes

Is your house starting to show signs of wear and tear? Have you tried a DIY plastering project only to find it didn’t meet your expectations? Plastering is a delicate task, and any imperfections are often quite noticeable. Fortunately, you can hire a professional Auckland Plasterer to handle the plastering of your walls, leaving you free to manage the painting afterward. Plastering is a preferred alternative to wallpaper due to its ease of maintenance over time.

When planning to have your home plastered by a professional, one of your primary considerations will be the cost, which largely depends on the size of the wall space and the type of plastering required, such as plasterboard, wet plaster, or plaster repairs.

It’s essential to understand that the cost of plastering can vary significantly based on the condition of your walls and the type of finish you desire. Additional expenses might include removing old plaster or wallpaper and applying special finishes. Companies, including house painters, usually provide quotes based on the plastering cost per square meter, factoring in material costs, labor, and the duration of the job. Accurate cost estimates enable you to compare different quotes effectively and select the best service for your needs.

What is plaster? 

Plaster is a mix of lime or gypsum, water, and sand, which hardens upon drying. It’s an excellent material for wall coatings and partitions, boasting a history of use that dates back to ancient civilizations. Notably, the plaster in Egypt’s pyramids, applied over 4000 years ago, remains durable and intact today.

You might wonder why you should opt for plaster. It offers numerous benefits, primarily its durability and aesthetic appeal. When combined with its components, it forms a robust wall finish that resists impacts and damage.

Which type of plaster should I choose? 

There is a wide variety of plasters available, but here are some of the most commonly used types:

Dry Plaster

This type is popular among builders for its fire-resistant and acoustic properties, making it ideal for creating partitions.

Lime Plaster

Composed of lime and sand, lime plaster works well as an undercoat and provides a perfect finish to walls.

Cement Plaster

Cement plaster, with a mix ratio of 1:3 cement to sand, is excellent for preventing bugs and parasites from affecting your walls.

Ornamental Plaster

Used to enhance the visual appeal of walls, ornamental plaster is perfect for designing intricate ceiling decorations.

Gypsum Plaster

Known for reducing shrinkage and cracks, gypsum plaster is versatile, serving as both a casting material and a finish.

Wet Plaster 

A blend of lime, water, and cement, wet plaster is applied using a trowel while still wet.

Ornamental Plastering 

This type of plastering is the most expensive due to its delicate nature and the complexity of installation.

Plastering Costs 

Plastering costs are mainly influenced by the area to be plastered, typically ranging from $35 to $55 per square meter.

Additional costs to consider include:

  • Removing existing plaster or wallpaper
  • The time required to complete the job
  • Complexity or creativity fees
  • Fees for difficult access
  • Materials

Plastering Price List 

Here’s a detailed plastering price list for reference:

Size of HousePriceTime to Complete
Re-plaster Small Room$800-$15002 – 3 days
Re-plaster Medium Room$900-$17002-4 days
Re-Plaster Large Room$1,000 – $1,8503 – 5 days
Plaster a Small Room$1,110 – $2,0002 – 3 days
Plaster a Medium Room$1,600 – $2,4003 – 4 days
Plaster a Large Room$1,900 – $3,2003 – 5 days
Plaster Small Ceiling$800 – $1,1002 – 3 days
Plaster Medium Ceiling$800 – $1,5002 – 4 days
Plaster Large Ceiling$800 – $1,9003 – 5 days


Factors Affecting Plastering Prices 

Several factors influence plastering costs, including:

  • Wall size: Understanding the dimensions of the wall is crucial for obtaining an accurate quote.
  • Job complexity: Removing old plaster can be time-consuming and material-intensive.
  • Decorations and finishes: Higher levels of wall decoration will increase the cost.
  • Existing plaster or wallpaper removal: This is a task you could do yourself to save money, but it can be challenging depending on the age and condition of the materials.

How do I plaster a wall? 

Plastering is a highly skilled profession best left to experts. However, if you’re determined to tackle it yourself, be prepared for a labour-intensive project that requires patience and the right plastering tools. Here’s a step-by-step guide to plastering your walls.

Here’s what should be on your shopping list:

  • Dust sheets and dust masks
  • Cutting knife
  • Scrim tape to cover joints
  • Plasterer’s trowel and hawk
  • Devilling float
  • Plasterer’s float
  • PVA glue, emulsion roller, and tray
  • Clout nails
  • Corner beading
  • Board finish plaster
  • Stirring rod or mixer
  • Two buckets (one for plaster, one for water)
  • Cloth/rags and spray gun for misting


Step-by-Step Guide to Plastering a Wall

Preparation – Start by laying down a dust sheet to protect the area from plaster spills. Ensure the wall is clean and free from dust. Fill any cracks and holes with scrim tape.

Apply PVA to Walls – For the best results, dilute PVA glue with water at a 1:4 ratio and use a roller to apply it to the wall.

Mix Plaster Wear a dust mask before opening the plaster bag. Mix the plaster with cold water until it reaches the consistency of thick custard, ensuring there are no lumps.

Practice Plaster Application – Before applying plaster to your walls, practice on a separate plasterboard to master the technique. Load plaster onto a hawk board, then use a float to transfer it to the wall. Spread the plaster upward, starting from the bottom left corner, using small amounts of plaster with significant force.

Skim & Smooth – Allow the first coat to dry for at least 20 minutes. Use a trowel to smooth out any bumps or lumps.

Scrape – Scraping the first coat before applying the second helps the layers adhere better. Use a devilling float or an old fork to scratch the surface. If you choose not to scrape, ensure the first coat remains wet before applying the second.

Apply Second Coat – Apply the second, thinner coat (about 2mm) after scraping. This coat should be mixed with more water to achieve the right consistency.

Finishing Touches – After the second coat dries, add finishing touches by spraying water on the wall and smoothing it with a trowel. Use a wet brush around the edges. Once fully dry, use sandpaper to remove excess plaster.

Painting and Wallpapering – Once plastering is complete, prime the surface before painting or applying wallpaper. Use wallpaper adhesive for better results, applying one or two coats as needed.

Remember, hiring a professional interior painter or decorator is often worth the investment to ensure a flawless finish and avoid costly mistakes.

Tips and Advice:

  • Removing Wallpaper: If there is wallpaper, it must be removed before plastering, which can incur additional costs. Removing it yourself can save money.
  • Big Holes: Replace gib first for large holes before plastering to save on costs.
  • Repair Work: Use 5-10 minute plaster for small repairs and 20-45 minute dry plaster for full wall skimming.


For more information about our services or to get a free quote, contact us at Auckland Painters today!

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