how long does it take to dry plastering

How long does plastering take to dry? | UK Plastering Guide

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Importance of Patience in Plastering: Plastering involves the application of a wet material that needs time to dry and harden. Rushing the process can lead to issues such as peeling lining paper and ruined paint. Patience is crucial during the drying period, which typically takes 3-5 days.
  2. Accelerating Plaster Drying: To expedite the drying of plaster, using an electric heater on a medium setting can help remove moisture. Proper air circulation is essential, achieved by placing the heater a couple of feet away from the wall and opening windows.
  3. Avoiding Premature Finishing: Prematurely painting or applying wallpaper before plaster is thoroughly dry can lead to disaster. It is recommended to wait 3-4 weeks in optimally ventilated rooms with new plaster.

When you want to give your home a long overdue facelift and get all of your finishes looking their best, plastering is often on your to-do list.

It’s messy, time-consuming and can make you feel like you’re having to take several steps back before you can resume going forwards.

Put those frustrations to one side for the time being and remind yourself that by having a plasterer in, you’re getting one giant step closer to having the interior decor you’ve been waiting for.

The only problem is that it’s something of a waiting game…

Why does plastering need to dry?

Watch a plasterer mix up the material of their craft and you’ll see they use several buckets of water to get the powder moving. This allows them to spread it evenly and with the precision you’re paying for, but all the liquid has to go somewhere.

Plaster, like any type of material that bonds to another surface, needs time to dry out and harden. The problem here is that no one really likes the look of those bare patchy walls for all that long. 

The key is to be patient because if you just plough on regardless, you’ll regret it sooner rather than later.

Lining paper will continually peel off because the glue won’t dry and paint will also run and spoil because it can’t dry out properly either. You don’t want either of these two things, so give the plaster the time to dry and bide your time. 

Also read; Rendering Vs Plastering – Know the differences

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What can help plastering dry faster?

drying up the wet plaster

The faster you can get the water to leave the body of the plaster, the faster it will dry out.

You don’t want to try and rush it though because then you run the risk of the materials expanding and cracking, leaving you with gaps that need to be filled and reworked by your plasterer. 

Something as simple as having an electric heater on a medium setting throughout the day will really work wonders here.

Have it set back a couple of feet from the wall, leaving plenty of room for the air to circulate.

And speaking of air; make sure to crack the window open while you heat the plaster so that plenty of the moisture can simply drift away down the street. 

You’re still going to want to be patient here because plaster typically takes 3-5 days to dry. In some cases where you’ve had to plaster a confined space or onto stone walls, this can extend to anywhere up to 4 weeks.

If in doubt, take a photo a day of the same spot on the wall and flick through the images to see the dark patches gradually disappear. This is evidence that the water is finally on its way out of the room for good. 

What happens if you paint or hang paper too soon?

Disaster will soon follow! Charging ahead may make you feel good in the short term because you feel like you’re making progress, but all it will do is waste a whole heap of your precious time and money.

Even in an optimally ventilated room with new plaster, we recommend leaving anywhere from 3-4 weeks before painting or lining your walls. This may sound like overkill, but the last thing you want is to wake up the next morning with piles of ruined wallpaper slumped lifelessly on the floor. 

If you’re unsure about how long you need to wait to apply a specific finish, our experts are always ready and waiting to lend an expert helping hand.  

What can speed up plastering drying?

Heaters will force more water out of the plaster and dehumidifiers and open windows will drive the expelled water out of the room.

If you start heating your new walls and see the dark patches retreat, only to then see condensation running down your windows, it’s a sign that you need to improve your ventilation strategy.

The simplest approach would be to knock the heater off for half a day, open a window, and let nature run its course. Often this will be all you need to catch up with the excess water the drying plaster has pushed out into the air.

Once the windows are clear again, leave the ventilation side of things as it now is and resume using the heater. You’ll strike the right balance with nothing more than a little trial and error. 

Also read; Why Is My Plaster Bubbling? How to fix bubbling plaster

Get A FREE Quote Now

Get a no obligation FREE quote now. Our team is here to help. Take the first step towards a guaranteed solution by filling out our form below. 

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Will damp be caused by drying out your new plastering?

While damp arises from excess water in the air that has nowhere to go, it’s highly unlikely that the amount of water given off during the drying process will lead to damp.

We may be talking about nothing more than several large cups of water a day being given off during drying, which is something that can easily be combatted by opening a couple of windows.

If the time of year or the weather makes this impractical, consider using a portable dehumidifier to dry out the ambient air while you heat and dry the plaster. 

Heat and ventilation really are the only two variables at play here folks, so have a go at playing them off against one another and your plastering will be ready to go in no time. 

How long does plastering take to dry?- Final thoughts 

The pros here at Advanced Damp are always ready and waiting to take your call and get straight down to work. We’re homeowners and family people ourselves, which means we know just how frustrating it can be to have to pay for a job twice purely because it wasn’t done right the first time. 

To make sure nothing is left to chance, our experts will accurately gauge and measure the water content of the plaster, providing the peace of mind that makes all the difference.

We’ll also help combat any buildups of moisture and condensation that can trigger damp, and give you the reassurance that a team of professionals have signed off your plaster ready for lining or painting. 

When you come to the experts, life always becomes that little bit easier. 

Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Surveyor of Timber & Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB) & ( MRICS ) Chartered Quantity Surveyor

Jake is a qualified chartered quantity surveyor and experienced damp specialist with a unique skill set in thermal imaging. With a focus on effective solutions, Jake combines his expertise in quantity surveying and thermal imaging to accurately assess and address damp-related issues. He utilises advanced technology to identify hidden moisture sources and develop targeted strategies, ensuring comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for his clients. With a commitment to open communication and client satisfaction, Jake delivers cutting-edge solutions that tackle damp challenges head-on.

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