Breaking out a fireplace part III – Plastering done!

This was meant to be separate posts but my progress was so slow I thought it may as well be one. Now keep in mind I have no training in plastering or rendering, all I know I learnt by trial and error.

To start off with I bought two 25 kilogram bags of river sand and five kilograms of cement. I ran out of cement in no time at all.

Moreover, the cement I bought was some ultra fast setting cement, so I had very little time to work the plaster before it would start setting. This was a pain and led to a really bad finish.

The fact that I have not plastered in years also did not help. Here you can see the results of my efforts. It does not look good at all.

I ran out of that cement pretty quickly, so asked my wife to buy more, this time a 25 kilogram bag. The hardware store unfortunately sold her refractory cement. I noticed as I was taking it out of the car, my wife did not as someone else helped her and put the bag into the car for her.

Well, the city is not exactly close, so I decided to work with what I had, if it did not work then I would have to just buy another bag. My haste stems from the fact that I am doing the bulk of the work after hours, so any delay basically sets me back a day.

As you can see in the above 2 photo’s it seemed to actually work pretty well.

It was still not great and I put that down to the sand. I managed to work through the 2 bags I had bought earlier. Again my wife went to buy the supplies for me whilst I was at work. The sand she bought from a local hardware supplier had a much finer aggregate. More sand and less pebbles.

With the new sand and the darker cement I finally managed a finish that I felt was good enough. I had enough time to work it, and still go back and integrate the multiple batches that I had applied.

Nearing the end, getting the new cement and the old to match has proven difficult as the old plaster is quite uneven and rough. I blended it as best I can.

There are still some ugly patches, these will be hidden by the stove though. If it is really bad once painted I will make an attempt at fixing it though.

A few closer pictures of the wall. What remains now is to paint and patch some tiles in the gap left by the fireplace. I will take a photo of the tiles and try get a box that at least matches the existing tiles closely.

At least the bulk of the hard work has been done. I am looking forward to slapping some paint on it, once the plaster has had a few days to dry though.

About the author: Shaun Morrow
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