Accelerators: Used to prevent plaster from setting too slowly, to avoid dry out in hot dry weather and ensure normal strength when it does it.
Base Coat: This term is used for two-coat plaster. It is a doubled-up coat. Although it is relatively thin, it is extremely strong. Fills in voids and imperfections
Blueboard: Sheetrock covered with special paper to chemically bond to plaster.
Bonding Agent: Applied to a surface (like concrete) to improve the quality of the bond between it and the plaster application.
Brown Coat: The second coat applied over the scratch coat of conventional plaster.
Cement Board: Strong, stable, heavy sheets made of aggregated and reinforced Portland cement. Typically used as a backing board for tile, but also as a substrate for veneer plaster for improved impact strength and abrasion resistance (e.g., schools or high-traffic retain locations). Can be nailed or screwed to wood or steel studs. Highly resistant to moisture.
Corner Bead: Used on outside corner edges to build out the depth of plaster to correct bows or dips in a wall, and provide a reinforced, durable corner.
Cracks: Usually hairline, caused by poor materials, settling, workmanship, faulty construction (usually the source of large cracks), or plaster that dries too quickly.
Double Coat: A second layer of plaster. Sometimes referred to as greasing or sweetening. It leaves the surface without voids or trowel marks.
Durabond: A setting type joint compound, that is mixed from powder, hardens quickly and sticks well. It contains Plaster of Paris.
Dryout: Soft, weak surface caused when the plaster dries so quickly from dry heat (e.g., from weather or hot air from a furnace) it doesn’t have time to set hard. It is prevented by covering openings so direct wind doesn’t strike the wet plaster.
Drywall: Generic term for Sheetrock.
Feather: to thin joint compound from the thickness over the joint to the outer edge of a coat.
Field Cracking: Cracks extending from corners of doors and window openings.
Finish Coat: The final layer of plaster applied over a basecoat or other substrate. It can be burnished with a specialized trowel to a smooth, glass-like sheen.
Joint Compound: A white substance like plaster used to seal joints (e.g., between sheets of drywall) – sometimes referred to as “mud”.
Joint Tape: Special paper, fabric or glass mesh used with joint compound to reinforce joints between drywall.
Lath: Narrow wooden strips, usually white pine, spruce, fir, redwood or other soft, straight grained materials usually 5/16” x 1.4” x 4”, and nailed to studs or joists. Today may be metal or gypsum. Part of a structure used as a base for plaster.
Lime Plaster: A mixture of calcium hydroxide and sand (or other fillers).
Plastering: The art or skill of applying various materials over surfaces producing both exterior and interior walls, ceilings and other surfaces in the construction or remodeling of buildings, homes and other structures.
Mud: Slang for joint compound.
One Coat: Where one coat of finish plaster goes right on the Blueboard.
Patching: Repairs and alterations to existing plaster. Use of a well-aged putty and enough gauging plaster results in a hard, well-bonded patch. Patching requires as much workmanship as new plastering, and a careful workman can restore it to excellent condition.
Sand: Must be washed and screened before adding it to plaster. Too much sand in a mix can cause problems.
Scratch Coat: the first layer or application of plaster.
Sheetrock™: Gypsum board or plasterboard, used for interior walls and ceilings. A USG brand name for drywall. It is made of a paper liner wrapped around the gypsum plaster.
Skim Coat: A loosely used term where joint bond, spackle or Durabond ™ or plaster is smoothed over the surface.
Texture Finish: A decorative finish that can provide interest and cover minor defects in the base surface.
Trowel: Special flat stainless steel finishing tool that is rigid but has just the right flex. Trowels are used to apply, spread, shape and smooth materials.
Trowel Finish: A smooth, easily maintained surface, often a base for paint or wall coverings.
Two-Coat System: A finish coat of plaster over a base coat. Can also be used over a masonry base like brick.
Water Damage: Caused by repeated wetting and rotting of plaster. If a roof leaks or water pipe breaks and the affected plaster dries out rapidly, there is usually no damage.
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