A Guide to Buying Trowels for Plastering Beginners


Buying a trowel is simple and straightforward. However, there are some considerations you need to make so you don’t end up with a tool you won’t be able to use all the time. Beginners in wall plastering may feel confused due to the number of choices available in the market today. It is not easy to narrow-down options if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for.

A comprehensive guide to buying a plastering trowel can prove to be extremely helpful especially for beginners. You probably have a lot of questions such as: What type of trowel to buy? Is buying pre-worn trowels better than buying brand new?

Wearing-in a trowel

Experts advise that all trowels work best when worn-in. Even brand-new trowels need to be worn to ensure a better finish. A brand-new trowel is perfect for adding the first layer of plaster but will be difficult if used to achieve a smooth finish. You can buy pre-worn trowels or buy a brand new one such as a Nela trowel and wear it in yourself.

Long and short trowels

The size of the trowel is a primary consideration. Longer trowels require greater skill and technique. You will need to control the trowel more to achieve consistency. For beginners, it is best to start with a short trowel that matches your ability. Later on, when you have honed your skills, you can gradually start using longer trowels.

Type of wall or surface to be finished

Smaller walls require smaller trowels for better control. Naturally, using a long trowel on a low wall would be difficult and inconvenient. Instead of efficiency, you may end up taking longer to finish the job.

Professional or DIY?

Do you intend to become a professional plasterer? If so, it will be worth it to invest in a good quality trowel. There are many good brands available in the market currently. Nela trowels, for example, are some of the most commonly available online. If you intend to use your trowel for a one-time renovation or DIY project, a standard tool can work just fine. You can buy a DIY plaster trowel from any hardware store.

Durability of material

Trowels are made from different types of material. Trowels made of stainless steel are favoured for being rustproof. Carbon steel trowels are said to be more durable but require consistent maintenance such as sanding and oiling to prevent rust. Nela plastering trowels also come in different types of material. These days, you can even find plastic trowels. Plastic is more lightweight and durable as well.

Once you have narrowed down your options, take the time to read user reviews and input from other professional plasterers. Be an informed buyer to get the most value out of your investment.