Cost of having a Wall Plastered/Skimmed

All you need to know about having a wall plastered or skimmed including costs of materials, costs of labour and time frames.

wall plastering

What the job entails

Plastering provides a smooth, flat surface to internal walls and ceilings, ready for decorating with paint or wall paper. Plastering also adds some sound and heat insulation, and it is fire-proof too. The two main methods are wet-plastering or by dry lining using plasterboard. Wet plastering is the traditional plastering method but it is a difficult technique to master for the DIY enthusiast. A professional plasterer may be expensive but will acheive the sort of smooth flat surface an amateur could only dream of!

If you are serious about plastering you may want to think about going on a short plastering course just to pick up the basics, but allow plenty of time for practice before attempting to plaster a wall in your home! The key to good plastering is to divide tackle walls and ceilings just one section at a time and to preapre the work areas well. Before starting the area should be clean and primed with a bonding agent if required. Screeds are needed to ensure that the plaster stays level, these wooden battens are nailed to the wall and removed after plastering.

Dry-lining is a lot easier and requires less skill, using large flat plasterboards which are fixed to wall. But both dry lining and wet plastering are usually finished with a skim of plaster with a very smooth durable finish around 2-3mm thick. Plastering jobs vary a great deal in complexity and so it is difficult to quote exact prices for specific jobs, some plasterers charge a day or hourly rate and others will quote a fixed price for the job.

Plastering is a messy job that will require at least some decorating (plus a lot of cleaning) to finish off, so it makes perfect sense to have any painting or decorating done at this time. The walls/ceilings will need painting or wallpapered after plastering, so having the skirting boards, door and window frames painted at the same time will finish the rooms nicely.

If old plaster is being removed remember to budget for the cost of a skip for waste disposal. External plastering or rendering will also often require scaffolding which is expensive. If gathering quotes make sure you ask if scaffolding and skip hire is included in the price. Plasterers should always include protective sheeting and cleaning up in their estimates, but remember that it’s much easier for them to work in unfurnished rooms, so if the rooms are not empty it’s likely that the job will cost more.

If you are looking to repair a small area of damage to a wall then you might be able to have a patch repair done on the plaster, especially if you intend to wallpaper over the wall. But if you looking for a professional smooth finish to paint over, then it might be best to plaster the entire wall. If there is a requirement to move plug sockets then electrician will need to come in which will add more cost. If you live in London then the prices can be considerably more than areas in the North too.

Wall Plastering/Skimming Cost

Plastering prices tend to be fairly standard but like a lot of small jobs there is an expected minimum price you'll have to pay. With this in mind it's quite often best to wait until you've got a decent sized job that needs doing before hiring a plasterer.

Most plasterers tend to charge around £150-£200 per day and for a single wall it shouldn't take any longer than 4 hours to complete the work.

Here are a few average costs for hiring a tradesman to do some skimming/plastering:

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Small Patch Repair work £150 2-3 hours
Whole wall needs plastering £200 3-4 hours
Whole room needs plastering £350 6-8 hours
2 rooms need plastering £500 1-1.5 days

Cost Breakdown

Individual costs for hiring a tradesman to plaster a small bedroom - Total Cost: £300






Waste Removal


Yes of course you can buy the materials yourself although it's probably best you ask the plasterer beforehand to find out exactly what and how much are needed. For a single wall you're probably looking at around £20-£25.
Yes indeed, it can be very messy. If you've got any furniture nearby it's best to move them to a different location although you're plasterer should cover any and all furniture/carpet with a sheet before they start working.
This will depend on the size of the job but for a single wall you're looking at 3-4 hours, and for a whole room it usually takes a full day for a plasterer to finish the job. Please note that the wall will take up to a week to dry depending on the thickness of the plastering, so make sure you don't try to paint it before then.