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Traditional Finishes

Smooth trowelled plaster and sand float plaster are the two most common finishes found in older homes today.

Smooth plaster refers to when a thin layer of lime and perhaps gypsum was trowelled over the plaster brown coat. This layer is compacted and smoothed with a trowel while wet and later painted.

Sand float plaster looks like a textured wall with little bits of sand and perhaps some scratch marks and swirls. This is done using a wooden float instead of a trowel, and often it was done to the wet brown coat saving both time and material.

Traditionally, smooth plaster was more expensive because of the additional finish coat required to get that perfect finish. Many times the sand float finish is found on second story walls and ceilings where guests would not be spending much time.

If planning on resurfacing your plaster or repairing a damaged portion, we recommend keeping the finish the same in order to preserve the look of your home. Some customers, however, choose to upgrade their sand float finish to a smooth finish since the walls and ceilings need resurfacing to freshen up and repair their plaster.

Keep in mind that the basic price for smooth resurfacing runs at about $5 per square foot (not including fixing holes or loose plaster).
The sand float finish costs a bit less at $4 per square foot, again, not including major prep.

Our smooth plaster finish will always be free of trowel marks, cat faces, blemishes, and blisters.