Though plaster walls aren’t as popular today as they were in the past, if your house is about five or six decades old, you’ve likely got plaster walls. Plaster walls aren’t around as much these days because most people found it a little difficult to work with the plaster. It is capable of molding near perfect walls, though. If you are skilled enough and devoted enough to plaster the walls in your home, you will probably have a beautiful finish to each wall.
Plaster is a very high quality wall compound. Its use was outnumbered by joint compound because joint compound was easier to use than the plaster. You can still find plaster around the paint aisles of different home improvement depots, even though it is rarely used. Most people prefer joint compound because it doesn’t dry as quickly and is easier to shape. The plaster, on the other hand, dries a lot quicker than the joint compound and is harder to mold. Because it hardens so fast, it also makes clean up a bit more of a hassle.
However, if you decide to go with a plaster compound, you will also be privy to a solid and more durable wall than joint compound can provide. This is good news for most homeowners, especially those with children; but is bad news for most other people. The walls made with plaster are more durable and hard, and they look smooth.
However, if you were to try and hang something on the wall, there is a good chance that you will break off chunks of the wall. A plaster wall is almost completely intolerant of having hooks or screws of any kind placed in it. It will rebel and dull the nails or screws that try to penetrate it. In addition, any that may happen to break through will just break the wall. You will find it immensely difficult to get one single tiny hole for a nail in this wall. A drill bit will have to be used to make the hole, but be sure to drill into a stud.
If you are very careful and precise with the plaster compound, it really isn’t that hard to work with it. It always comes down to one of two outcomes for using plaster. If the job is done poorly, your walls will look lumpy and terrible. If the plaster is done correctly, your walls will look smooth and amazing. There really is no middle ground to working with plaster. You will either get it right, or you will mess it up.
There really is little wonder why most people go with joint compound instead. But if you want a smooth finish, a durable wall, and you have a drill bit for hanging things, then the plaster compound is the perfect choice.