Plastering Cost UK : Skimming & Rendering Prices 2022

hand holding plastering tool

Falling ceilings, cracked walls, and burst pipe damages are all too common problems in the UK. While it may be a financial burden, investing in your home can make it more attractive to potential buyers when you finally decide to sell. However, are you going to plaster yourself? Or, paying someone else to do it for you? If doing it yourself, how much time will you waste taping up paper templates, mixing a tin of undercoat, and then mixing your paint?

If your house’s a flat then sure, there’s no problem. But if it’s an odd shape or has loads of windows and doorways, that sounds like a lot of work. Therefore, we have created a detail to compare costs when you finally decide to hire professional plasterers in the UK. On that note, the average cost of plastering a room falls between £15 to £25/hr, or £150 to £200 per day. Alternatively, standard charges of £150 per ceiling, £250 per wall, and £400 to £600 for an average size room are applicable. You should note that while plastering a single wall takes up to 3 to 4 hours, an entire room requires a whole laborious day. Nevertheless, these prices are subject to the size of the room you want to plaster.

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How Much Does Plastering Cost?

The plaster repair cost is dependent on multiple factors. Since we have gathered information from various online resources, we ask you to take all the amounts and prices as approximations. For instance, when you are plastering a house, you will find most plasterers ask for the same time for task completion regardless of the room size. According to them, all these rooms, 5m2, 6m2, and 7m2, require the same amount of time to apply plaster. So, you can have quotations considering exact interior measurements and plastering cost ‘per m2’. However, plasterers often classify rooms as small, medium, or large. 

Hence, your rooms are considered small if you own a three-bedroom terraced house, and plastering a small room costs around £600 to £700 for two to three days. On the other hand, plastering a small ceiling will cost up to £350 with a required time of six to ten hours. Moreover, if you are re-plastering and skimming a small room, it will take much less time. Therefore, it is cheaper than plastering from scratch and costs around £300 to £500, with an application time of one day. Plasterers’ rates vary according to the professional’s skill level and location in the country. Notably, plasterers residing in Southeastern England and London can demand up to 20% compared to other regions. Moreover, you will find that the materials costs depend on the quantity and quality. 

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Scaffold Costs

If you own a bungalow, you need to do scaffolding before initiating plastering. Scaffolding offers a solid platform for plasterers to work at height when external render or internal plaster is under the application. If you have standard-height rooms, having a small footstool for a little elevation will be enough for a plasterer. Moreover, plasterers prefer to use an upside-down beer bottle or plastic milk crate. 

For indoor plastering, beer crates come in handy. It is because a normal-sized room is 2.4m, which an average-height person can easily reach. However, the scaffolding cost of an entire house can be up to £1,000. So, you must ensure to add this cost to your budget.

Estimated Costs

Below we have created a table of estimated costs for different plastering jobs. You can use the stable as a reference for calculating plastering quotes. Also, plastering means eliminating old plaster, applying PVA primer for bare wall preparation, and plastering from the start. Also, skimming refers to applying PVA primer on an existing surface. This helps enhance adhesion when skimming is done by removing old plaster.

Plastering Job Size Estimated Cost
Plastering a Room Small  £600 – £700
  Medium  £650 – £900
  Large  £1,000 – £1,500 (min)
Plastering a Ceiling Small  £200 – £350
  Medium  £250 – £450
  Large  £400 – £750 (min)
Skimming a Wall Small  £100 – £150
  Medium  £150 – £250
  Large  £200 – £400 (min)
Skimming a Ceiling Small  £200 – £280
  Medium  £280 – £380
  Large £400 – £550 (min)
External Rendering Small  £1,900 – £2,500
  Medium  £3,800 – £4,500
  Large £4,500 (min)

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Plastering a Room

It is not about slanting wet plaster onto your room wall and levelling it down hastily. Instead, it requires skills for doing the job with no visible defects. Further, preparation is the key to perfect plastering, similar to all construction projects. 


Applying plaster from scratch for the first time on walls is pretty straightforward, but it requires more skills than drywall installation. All it needs is a damp new wall for substantial adhesion of plaster to it. Nevertheless, if you are planning to plaster over a formerly decorated wall, you will need to work on the wall to offer the required stickiness to plasters. 

Skimming over a painted wall or a wall decorated with wallpaper is not a good idea. The new skim coat you apply tends to stick with the paint rather than the surface underneath. If you skim over it, the wallpaper or paint will eventually detach from the wall, leaving you with damaged plaster. To avoid this situation, the labourer or plasterer uses a wire brush to remove flakey and loose paint. Moreover, if the surface has large holes, they will need to fill these holes with cement and sand mortar. Otherwise, they might do scabbling to remove existing paint. Likewise, scabbling refers to detaching paint from walls by making minor indentations. 

So, when the old paint is removed, the new plaster has enough grip to attach firmly to the wall’s surface. The plasterer might prime the walls’ surface with PVA or use water to wet the wall before applying fresh plaster. It depends on the experience and knowledge of the plasterer on what preparation method they use. Since all these tasks take enough time, they affect the total cost of the plastering job. Moreover, other methods of plastering involve putting up pre-formed plaster boards. These sandwich boards can attach to the dry lining such as timber. Later, skim plastering can be performed on the plasterboard. The thickness of the skim coat of plaster on the board should be around 3 to 4mm. Only then will you have a smooth enough surface as a result. Most professional plasterers add cosmetic plaster finish to walls to improve surface smoothness.

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Room Plastering Costs

The typical cost of plastering a small room starts at £600, a medium room £650, and a large room at £1,000. These are the estimated prices, including labour and material costs, but do not include VAT. It will take two to four days to plaster an entire room. The necessary days depend on the required preparation time and room size. Besides, the cost of re-plastering a room varies from £400 to £700. Also, the skimming charges for small and medium rooms can be from £300 to £500. In comparison, the cost of re-plastering a large room shoots from £1,000 to £1,500 while skimming charges can be as much as £700. 

Plastering An Entire House

Plastering an entire house is slightly less expensive than adding up the individual room or plaster walls cost. Moreover, plastering a standard three-bedroom terraced house costs about £600 to £700 per room. Additionally, you will have to add £ 200 to £350 per ceiling. So, here are some reasons why plastering the entire house is cheaper:

  • You have already called a professional plasterer to your home. So, there is no back-and-forth transport of tools and equipment.
  • The plasterer works on opposite walls in a room. It allows them to plaster the other pair of walls while the first pair has cured. So, when they are working in the entire house, they can choose to plaster any other combination of walls. Hence, there is no additional time required for the curing of walls. 
  • When the plasterer works in a different room, the labourer can get rid of the old plaster and prepare other walls. Therefore, both of them can work simultaneously, saving time.
  • Hiring a large skip will cost a few hundred pounds which you can use to hold all the discarded plaster. Otherwise, you can also hire a small-sized skip which will cut the cost.
  • There is a significant difference between the costs of hiring scaffolding for an entire house and scaffolding for individual walls. Also, you can hire a scaffold for a single external wall by spending £300, while scaffolding for the entire house costs up to £1000.

Plastering a Ceiling

The cost of plastering a ceiling can be more than the cost you estimate, considering its area. It would not be wrong to say that plastering a ceiling holds up a substantial proportion of the cost needed for an entire room. Plasterers require something for elevation to reach the ceiling. Standard ceiling heights in the UK are 2.4 mm from the floor. However, former houses might have higher ceilings. So, the plasterer will need something like a beer crate to reach the room ceiling. Instead of a beer crate, many plasterers prefer using adjustable slits for this purpose.  

Before the plasterer skims a ceiling, plasterers tend to overboard the ceiling corners using plasterboard. As a result, the minimum price of plastering a small ceiling starts from £200, medium ceiling from £250, and large ceilings cost £400. The application and curing time for small ceilings can be from 6 to 12 hours. While a medium ceiling takes eight to twelve hours, a large ceiling is completed in two to three days. Moreover, the overboard is included in all-time durations.

Skimming Ceiling and Walls

There is a requirement of initial render for applying new plaster wall on block or brick. In addition to the initial render, a plaster base-coat is best for a top-coat bond. Nevertheless, skimming does not require this step since the surface is already in good condition. Domestic conversions and extensions employ plasterboard for quick erection of walls. Likewise, if you re-skim on existing plaster, only a thin skim will be enough to cover blemishes and holes in old plaster. From the start, you will notice zero difference between a wall with a skim coat over existing plaster and a plastered wall.

When you want to repair plaster or an existing plaster skimming in your home, it would be an easy job for a professional plasterer than redoing drywall. Moreover, it is more economical than plastering. The cost of skimming a room extends from £350 to £500 for a small room. The cost for medium and large rooms will be £400 to £550, and about £800, respectively. Also, the usual duration will be from one to two days according to the room size.

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Plastering Cost Factors

As you might have noticed, many factors dictate the overall plastering costs. We have already explained the small, medium, and large room size classification. So, the plasterers will use this cost estimation method and other pointers. It may include plaster types, existing plaster condition, number of plaster coats, etc. The different plaster types include gypsum plaster, lime plaster, and veneer plaster. Out of all, lime plaster costs more than other types.

  • Room Dimensions

Plastering a small room is as challenging as plastering a large room. It is because the tradesman needs room for tools to work effectively. A skilled plasterer uses broad arm sweeps while smoothing plaster. So, they need enough room to carry out the process. A large room has more surface area. Thus, it requires more hours for plastering, which increases its cost. Likewise, if there is plasterboard on the walls, skimming over it will need boards, stud work, and labour. So, it costs even more.

  • Difficulty Comparing Quotes

It would be in your best interest to ask the plasterer for a price per square foot or metre. This information will help you in comparing plastering costs from several contractors. 

  • Existing Plaster Condition

If the condition of your existing plaster is good and the surface is not covered with paint, the plasterer can plaster over old plaster. Depending on the state of the walls, the plasterer will need preparation time and materials.

  • If there is paint on existing plaster, the labourer will use a scabbling gun to scabble the surface. Plasterers can easily hire a scabbling gun and an air compressor from a hire shop. Then, you can add the cost to the quotation.
  • The plasterer will knock loose lumps of plaster from the scabbled wall. They will use a bolster chisel and hammer for doing so. However, if the surface is flaky, using a wire brush will be enough to remove loose particles.
  • In the case of damp walls, you will have to fix the problem and cure it before proceeding to plaster it. If not, one can tank the wall, using bitumen paint as a water-resistant barrier. After applying a bitumen tanking coat, throw sharp sand on the surface. So, the sand offers an essential feature for smooth plaster skim when the paint dries up. 
  • Concrete, brick, or block surfaces require either plaster base-coat or render for a nice skim. Moreover, the plasterer can decide which one will be the best. If the existing wall surface is in poor condition, it might be cost-effective to put plasterboard on it and then skim.
  • Accessibility

Plasterers need to have substantial access to the walls and ceilings. They can use slits or beer crates in houses with standard roofs. However, scaffolding is a must for old-fashioned homes due to high ceilings. Typically, the scaffold hire is determined separately. So, you will have to see how much it costs and add it to the final estimation.

  • Company Size

Since large companies have a more workload, it is customary to think they will charge less. Unfortunately, large companies have high overheads as they have to pay office staff or for premises. However, considering a small company can quickly lower the costs of claiming the job. In addition, single contractors and small companies are often ready to undertake minor tasks such as skimming or repairing an entire wall. If you go to a large company asking for a quotation for repairing a wall or two, they will probably decline the job.

  • Location in the Country

If your house is in London and Southeast England, you will have to pay 20% more to the contractors. Also, the labourers in some regions of the country charge more than in other areas. Since hiring a contractor from a different part won’t benefit you, it would be better to compare prices online.

  • Additional Hire Costs

Apart from scabbling guns and scaffolding, the other hire costs you might face are:

  • On-site toilet, handwashing, and changing facilities
  • Waste skips

According to Health and Safety laws, it is the right of all construction workers to access these facilities. Therefore, large contractors sometimes have welfare huts. They bring these huts to the site for labourers to eat food or have a hot drink. 

  • VAT

Generally, quotations are exclusive of VAT. You need to understand this as neglecting this might leave you with a bill more than what you expected, including VAT. Thus, always ask your contractor to include VAT in the quotation. 

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Hiring a Professional Plasterer: Hiring Checklist

Attempting to plaster your own home is a difficult task. Experts know how to plaster your house, so you don’t have to.

  • After finding a plasterer and hiring them for your project, ensure to take enough time to know them. Since you will be allowing a stranger to enter your home, you should know who the man is actually like.
  • It would be best if you asked for a written quotation that specifies the scope and total costs of the job. Sometimes, it might show a deposit that you need to pay the plasterer before proceeding.
  • Don’t forget to research how many years the plasterer has been offering his service. Asking for some references from his previous job will be useful. You can also ask them for contact details to ensure their work.
  • Ensure that the plasterer has Personal Accident Insurance, Employer Liability Insurance, and Public Liability Insurance.  

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What Is the Process of Plastering?

BS EN 9981-1 Specification for mortar and masonry is the criteria for plaster types in the UK. However, this information is vital for professionals, manufacturers, and retailers. The information on the NHBC website is more understandable, and you can read it to understand the standard. The site offers excellent knowledge to readers on guidelines for mixing and applying plasters to several surfaces. 

How to Plaster Walls

  1. You must ensure that the target surface is rough enough to bond with plaster. Wipe out loose pieces, grease, and oil from the surface.
  2. Wet the target surface with water for up to six hours. After that, you can apply plaster. However, you can also use a PVA coat to seal the surface and a bonding coat later.
  3. Firstly, you need to apply a base coat of cement and sand mortar to a thickness of 10 to 15 mm. When the base coat is partially dry, you need to scratch the surface using a trowel. It will provide a finishing coat for better bonding.
  4. After spreading the finishing coat to a thickness of 3 mm, level the coat using a wooden float. Then, give a smooth finish with a metal trowel.
  5. When you have finished the top coat, let it cure without heating. For the plaster to be hard enough, you must keep the walls wet for almost seven days. Clean splashes from doors and skirting boards before plaster cures.

How to Plaster the Ceiling?

  1. Use a calculated size of plasterboard sheets on ceiling joints.
  2. Make plaster slurry and trowel the slurry in between board grooves. 
  3. Use plasterboard jointing tape across board joints before the plaster dries up. Smooth the slurry on the tape for even coverage.
  4. Apply a finishing coat or board plaster over the plasterboard and the surface level. Use a metal trowel for surfacing and start from the middle, then move to the edges.
  5. Do not forget to clean splashes from the floor and wall before the curing of plaster.

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Benefits of Plastering

The benefits of plaster are many. Some of them are:

  • The plaster acts as a fire-proof barrier.
  • It provides acoustic and thermal insulation.
  • Professional plasterers can make decorative mouldings using plaster.
  • It is excellent for repairing holes and cracks.
  • It seals rough stonework and brickwork, avoiding dust accumulation.
  • Smooth plaster offers a hygienic base for painting.

Planning Permission and Building Regulations

You won’t have to apply for planning permission when you plan to plaster an existing wall. However, planning permission is necessary when doing major internal and external work. New plastering work falls under the Building Regulations if you are going to work on certain features of an internal wall. 

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Plastering FAQS

  • Is PVA compulsory before plastering?

Not really. You can apply a PVA coat to the surface if you are plastering over existing plaster or old brickwork. Apply the first coat to seal the surface, then let it dry. After that, use another coat for finishing purposes.

  • Are there different types of plasters?

There are different types of plaster for different applications. These are one-coat plaster, bonding plaster, browning plaster, finishing plaster, multi-finish plaster, and board finish.

  • What is the cost of plastering a three-bedroom house?

The cost of plastering a three-bedroom house depends on wall size and wall condition. Therefore, you can have a starting budget of £600 to £700 per room for plastering a three-bedroom terraced house. 

  • How much do plasterers charge per day in the UK?

Generally, plasterers in the UK charge from £150 to £200 daily. However, you must ensure that you have a plastering task enough for one day since you will be paying a minimum fee of £100. Besides, their hourly rate ranges from £15/hr to £25/hr.

  • What should be the ideal thickness of plaster on my walls?

The first coat of browning or bonding plaster should be from 10 mm to 15 mm. Additionally, the finishing coat should be almost 3 mm deep.

  • Does plaster have any substitutes?

Most likely, the cheapest alternative to plaster is plasterboard without plaster skim.

Find a Local Plasterer

A home extension or a damaged wall or ceiling can cause damage to the rest of your house. Plastering is a delicate job; you need to get it right first. Therefore, choosing the right team is vital. has been building homes and plastering for decades, so they know how to do it correctly. Their friendly team will expertly prepare your walls, then apply jointing compound and plaster to create a smooth surface before sanding and finishing – all with minimal disruption. Furthermore, the company has been featured on Cosmopolitan, Bazar, Daily Mail, The Guardian, and BBC, which speaks of its professionalism. Whether you need the plastering of your bedroom or the entire house, you confide in to find skilled plasterers at affordable rates.

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Disclaimer: This article contains sponsored marketing content. It is intended for promotional purposes and should not be considered as an endorsement or recommendation by our website. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and exercise their own judgment before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.


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