Architecture and Construction > Lathers > Overview

Lathers - Overview

Plasterers prepare and apply coats of plaster or stucco to walls and other building surfaces.

Plasterers study building designs and plans to find out where to apply plaster. They apply it to walls, ceilings, or partitions of buildings. Plasterers erect scaffolds and ladders at building sites. Plasterers mix mortar to the right consistency. The type of mortar used by plasterers depends on the surface being finished, on which coat is being applied, and how the finished surface should look.

Plaster or stucco is applied over lath, wire mesh, or cinder blocks. Plasterers use trowels to apply coats of plaster or stucco to surfaces. Plasterers add texture by moving a brush or trowel in a circular motion to create swirls in the surface. Sometimes plasterers embed pebbles in stucco for a decorative finish. On large projects, plasterers apply mortar using pumps and sprayers instead of trowels.

Plasterers also apply insulation to the outside of buildings. To do this, plasterers install insulation boards and mesh and apply special coatings. They install similar insulation inside buildings for soundproofing.

Plasterers sometimes form and cast molds used for decoration on walls and ceilings. They pour or spray plaster into the mold. Once molds have set, plasterers attach them in place on the wall or ceiling.

Most plasters work on new construction sites. Some work to repair or renovate older buildings.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.