Why Do People Use Plaster On Walls?

Plaster has been an important material in the construction and interior design industries for centuries. It provides a versatile alternative for completing walls that has both aesthetic appeal and functional benefits. In this article, we investigate the reasons why people use plaster on walls. We delve into its history, qualities, and the different applications that make it a favourite choice in architectural and design projects. 

Plaster is a material widely used in the construction industry. Plaster continues to be an essential component of both conventional and contemporary building practices. Its capacity to create a surface that is both smooth and long-lasting, as well as its role in improving acoustics and thermal insulation, makes it a material that is highly valued for its classic allure and several practical benefits.

Why Do People Use Plaster On Walls?

People use plaster on walls for several reasons:

  • Smooth and Even Finish: Plaster creates a smooth and uniform surface on walls, hiding imperfections and providing a clean canvas for painting or wallpapering.
  • Durability: Plaster is a durable material that can withstand everyday wear and tear, making it suitable for high-traffic areas in homes and buildings.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Plaster offers a timeless and elegant look, adding character and charm to interior spaces. It can be customized with various textures and finishes to suit different design preferences.
  • Versatility: Plaster can be moulded and shaped to create decorative elements such as cornices, ceiling roses, and ornamental features, enhancing the architectural beauty of a space.
  • Soundproofing and Acoustic Benefits: Plaster helps to absorb sound, reducing noise transmission between rooms and improving acoustics within a space.
  • Fire Resistance: Plaster is inherently fire-resistant, providing an added layer of safety in buildings by slowing down the spread of flames.
  • Moisture Regulation: Plaster can absorb and release moisture, helping to regulate humidity levels in indoor environments and preventing issues such as mould and mildew growth.
  • Thermal Insulation: Plaster can contribute to the thermal insulation of a building, helping to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures and reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling.

The use of plaster on walls combines practicality with aesthetic appeal, making it a popular choice in both traditional and modern architecture and interior design.

What Are The Purposes Of Plastering?

Plastering serves several purposes in construction and interior design:

  • Surface Preparation: Plastering is often used to prepare surfaces for further decoration or finishing. It helps to create a smooth and uniform base, hiding imperfections such as cracks, unevenness, or rough patches on walls and ceilings.
  • Protection: Plaster provides a protective layer over building surfaces, shielding them from damage due to moisture, weathering, or physical wear and tear. It can help to extend the lifespan of walls and ceilings by preventing deterioration.
  • Aesthetic Enhancement: Plastering allows for the creation of visually appealing surfaces with different textures, finishes, and decorative effects. It can be used to add architectural details, ornamental features, or artistic elements to interior spaces, enhancing their beauty and character.
  • Soundproofing and Acoustic Control: Plastering helps to improve the acoustics of a room by absorbing sound and reducing noise transmission between spaces. It can contribute to creating a quieter and more comfortable environment, particularly in residential, commercial, or entertainment settings.
  • Fire Resistance: Plaster is inherently fire-resistant, and plastering walls and ceilings can help to improve the fire safety of a building. It acts as a barrier that slows down the spread of flames and reduces the risk of fire damage.
  • Thermal Insulation: Plastering can contribute to the thermal insulation of a building by adding a layer of material that helps to regulate indoor temperatures. It can help to retain heat during colder months and keep interiors cooler in hot weather, leading to energy savings and improved comfort.
  • Moisture Regulation: Plaster can absorb and release moisture, helping to regulate humidity levels in indoor environments. It can prevent issues such as mould and mildew growth by controlling moisture accumulation on walls and ceilings.

Plastering serves both practical and aesthetic purposes, contributing to the functionality, durability, and visual appeal of buildings and interior spaces.

What Happens If You Plaster Over Paint?

Plastering over paint can lead to several potential issues, including:

  • Poor Adhesion: Plaster may not adhere well to painted surfaces, especially if the paint is glossy or has a smooth finish. This can result in the plaster not bonding properly to the substrate, leading to a weak and unstable surface.
  • Cracking and Peeling: Plaster applied over paint may crack or peel over time, particularly if there are underlying issues such as moisture or movement in the substrate. The plaster may separate from the painted surface, causing unsightly blemishes and compromising the integrity of the finish.
  • Uneven Texture: Painted surfaces may have variations in texture and porosity, which can affect the consistency and appearance of the plaster when applied over them. This can result in an uneven or blotchy finish, detracting from the overall aesthetic appeal of the wall or ceiling.
  • Moisture Trapping: Plaster applied over paint can trap moisture between the layers, leading to problems such as mould, mildew, or water damage. The presence of moisture can cause the plaster to deteriorate prematurely and compromise the structural integrity of the wall or ceiling.
  • Surface Contamination: Painted surfaces may contain contaminants such as dirt, grease, or other substances that can interfere with the adhesion and curing of the plaster. This can result in a poor-quality finish and may require additional surface preparation to ensure proper bonding.

It is not recommended to plaster directly over paint without first addressing any potential issues with adhesion, surface preparation, and compatibility between the two materials. Proper surface preparation, including cleaning, sanding, and priming, may be necessary to promote adhesion and ensure a successful plastering application.

Alternatively, removing the existing paint or applying a bonding agent before plastering may be required to achieve the desired results without compromising the integrity of the finish.


If you plaster over paint, you run the risk of adhesion problems, cracking, uneven texture, moisture entrapment, and surface contamination, among other problems. To avoid these problems, it is important to prepare the surface and evaluate compatibility before applying plaster directly over painted surfaces.

A successful plastering application and a durable, long-lasting finish can be achieved by appropriately preparing the surface, which may involve cleaning, sanding, and priming as needed.

If you want perfect adhesion and won’t want any issues later on, you might have to remove the old paint or use a bonding agent. To preserve the integrity of the finish while plastering over paint, it is crucial to pay close attention to detail and follow recommended procedures.

Although it could be tempting to just plaster over the paint, doing so usually results in less-than-desirable results and lowers the finish quality. Surface structural integrity and aesthetic appeal can be compromised by issues such as poor adhesion, cracking, and moisture entrapment. If you want your plaster to stick properly to your painted substrate and avoid these issues, you need to prepare the surface properly by cleaning, sanding, and priming.

To increase the likelihood of a successful plastering application, it is advisable to remove any existing paint or use a bonding agent. Individuals can accomplish long-lasting plaster finishes that improve the aesthetics and practicality of their rooms by emphasizing careful preparation and material compatibility.

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