DIY Tips: How to Remove Plaster to Expose Brickwork

Architectural style – plenty of glass, stripped back walls, concrete or wooden floors and lots and lots of steel is fast becoming one of the most popular interior design trends out there. Unsurprisingly, really, as it’s easy to maintain and is pretty much effortless – just hang a few pieces of abstract art and you’re good to go. Exposed brickwork also looks stunning in period properties. So how do you go about removing plaster and exposing the brickwork underneath? This tutorial will show you how.

Things You’ll Need:

  • plastic sheets
  • acrylic sealant
  • gloves, goggles and mask
  • hammer
  • refuse sacks
  • strong wire brush
  • metal bolster
  • cold chisel


Finding Out if You Have Brickwork Beneath Your Plaster

It’s easy enough! If your house dates back to before the 1950s, there is probably brickwork beneath the plaster. If you don’t know, simply chisel a bit of plaster away in an inconspicuous area – underneath a radiator or behind a sofa. Keep in mind though that not all brickwork is pretty – in fact, some is downright ugly. As a rule of thumb, the older your house, the better quality the brick will be. Modern homes are often built with concrete breeze blocks which aren’t particularly pretty so you’ll need to check before you get started!

Preparing the Room

Exposing the brickwork isn’t particularly difficult, although it is pretty messy – so you’ll need to properly prepare the room. Box up and remove furniture and objects that you don’t need, then use plastic sheeting to cover anything you can’t remove. It’s also a good idea to tape up doors so that dust doesn’t end up blowing all the way through your house.

Getting Started

It’s much better to do this by hand rather than with a power tool – using a power tool means that you risk damaging the wall. If it’s 100 years old, you really need to try to preserve it!

First, create a hole in the top corner of the area of brickwork that you want to expose using your hammer and chisel. Work downwards, chipping away just a little bit at a time. It’s time consuming, but it’s definitely worth it. If the walls are particularly old, they’ll be rough and uneven which means that you will meet resistance as you go – so you might need to go at the brick in a couple of different directions.

Take a spirit level and mark a straight line – if you want to make a straight edge. Mark a sharp line in the plaster using the spirit level to make sure that it’s straight (use a scalpel for this), then chip up to that line using your chisel. If bits of plaster are sticking to the wall and you can’t get them off, spritz with water to soften and then try again.

Cleaning the Bricks

Vacuum the bricks to get rid of dirt, then wash using soap, salt and a wire brush. Be gentle – you don’t want to damage the brick. Wash with water then dry with a towel.

If that all sounds like too much hard work, not to worry – you can now buy “fake brick” that looks surprisingly realistic – not at all like the fake brick wallpaper that was popular in the 70s.

Source: UKTV Home

DIY Tips: How to Plaster a Wall

Plastering takes a lot of practice but with a good technique, you can plaster small areas at home with better-than-expected results. Leave ceilings to the professionals, though! Check out this link for plastering tools.wallplaster

Things You’ll Need:

  • multi-finish and plastering trowel
  • hawk
  • bucket
  • paddle accessory and power drill
  • large mixing bucket
  • scrim tape
  • angle beading
  • paint brush
  1. Clear the Room

    To start, clear the room of furniture that you can move and cover the rest of the furniture with plastic sheeting. Bring chunky furniture out into the middle of the room away from the walls. If plastering over new plasterboard, use scrim tape over the joints and screw metal reinforcing angle beads into the external corners.

  2. Mix the Plaster

    Mix the plaster up according to packet instructions using the paddle accessory, only mixing up as much plaster as you can use, as it can set very quickly.plastermix

  3. Apply the First Coat

    Use your trowel to scrape a lump of plaster onto the hawk. Scrape half of the plaster onto your trowel, keeping the wrist that the trowel is in straight, using a flicking motion with the hand holding the hawk to transfer the plaster to the trowel. Working from the bottom up press the plaster onto the wall in smooth strokes. Keep the trowel at a slight angle from the wall at the end of each stroke to ensure that you don’t pull any new plaster away from the wall. Apply the base coat without worrying about uneven patches at this stage.

  4. Smooth Out the Plaster

    Use a wet paintbrush to move around the wall, removing lumps of plaster on adjacent walls or on the ceiling. Smooth the surface of the walls when the plaster has hardened slightly, but is still pliable, by angling your trowel to the wall and smoothing out imperfections. Add another thin skim of plaster if you need to.

  5. Polish the Plaster

    Leave the plaster to completely dry before polishing. Wet the trowel and flick water onto the wall using the paintbrush. Work the trowel over the wall in smooth, sweeping strokes to smooth out imperfections.polishplaster

Source: 4Homes