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Cost of Plastering & Skimming a Wall

A guide of the process of hiring a plaster to skim a wall, including the costs of labour and materials.

1-5 days
Avg price:


When plastering walls, it is important that the job is done properly. Not only for the aesthetics, but also to avoid chipping, cracking, or dampness from forming below the surface. If air bubbles are present, or if the plaster isn’t properly packed, you are going to notice how shoddy the workmanship is.

You don’t want poor quality work performed in your home. Therefore, when plastering walls, it is best to hire a tradesperson to perform this service. They have the appropriate equipment, will level the walls prior to applying plaster and will use the best, most durable plastering materials, to ensure the job is properly completed.

What the job entails

Prior to plastering any surface, a good contractor will “sheet up” the surfaces. Basically, they will level it, ensure it is smooth, and even, prior to working on the surface. They will also sheet the floors, furniture, and surrounding areas, to avoid damaging your possessions.

In the event rendering is required, on an exterior surface, a scaffold will typically be required. In doing these jobs, the contractor will level the walls they are going to skim, apply any covers to soften/smooth out the surfaces, then will render the walls with the plastering material.

If simply replastering walls inside the home, the contractor will simply sheet the room, cover floorboards, and apply protective barriers surrounding furniture, prior to beginning the replastering process.

Potential issues you'll encounter

Unlevel/even walls are often an issue with replastering. It is best to flatten the surface as much as possible prior to applying the plaster. If this isn’t done, air bubbles or deviations in the finishes of the walls will be visible once the work is completed.

If you opt for a “cheaper” contractor, based on price alone, you will pay for it in the long run. Not only is their workmanship probably poor, but they might not sheet up your property. Therefore, you’ll have plaster on furniture, carpets, and other surfaces, which can render certain items useless. You will end up having to replace these items if you can’t clean or remove the dried-on plaster.

Poor or weaker cement/bases being used, can also result in lackluster workmanship. This will instantly be seen on the walls after they are skimmed. So, take your time in comparing contractors, recommendations, and reviews, so you don’t end up dealing with such issues. It is worth paying a little more up front, rather than paying higher costs later down the road.

Other tasks to perform

Rendering outdoor surfaces is a job some homeowners will undertake when plastering indoor surfaces. If there are major defects, or if there are noticeable problems with outdoor surfaces, you can hire one contractor to do indoor and outdoor work. You will typically pay a lower price for all services when done by one contractor.

If you plan on painting, decorating, or installing photos/decorations throughout your home, this is the time to do these tasks as well. Since the contractor will cover up the surface, you have a new, smooth canvas to work upon. After thy complete the skimming process, your walls will look brand new.

Additional touch-ups throughout the home, filling gaps, or applying caulking around open surfaces, are small projects you can complete, which will make a huge difference in terms of the appearance of your home. A contractor can perform all of these projects and will do them for a reasonably low price.

Costs & Duration

In most homes, a small-large sized room (up to 6 x 10 sq. metres) will take anywhere from 1-5 days. This depends on if they are simply applying plaster or replastering surfaces in need of repair. Pricing can range from £200-£1000. The contractor hired, services they will perform, and the state of the walls prior to skimming (how bad the walls are), will help them determine the quoted price for the services they are going to perform in your home.

Again, doing more than one room or wall at the same time will usually result in a discounted price. So, if you plan on doing more than one room, get a quote for all plastering services with one contractor, in order to receive the best-discounted price for the services they are going to perform in your home.

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Sam J

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