Plaster mesh is like a skeleton for your walls, reinforcing them and giving the plaster something to adhere to. Certain types of mesh can also withstand heavy loads, making it the ideal material when you’re renovating exterior plasterwork and intricate facades. Plaster mesh can also be used in a wide range of applications, including levelling floors and waterproofing. Mesh is also useful for creating a neat and tidy edge when you’re working around door and window frames and in the junction between the walls and the floor and ceiling.
What Is Plaster Mesh?
Plaster mesh is a fine web that can be manufactured from plastic or metal. Galvanised steel mesh is ideal for use outdoors, whereas a plastic or fibreglass mesh is most suitable for indoor applications. Chicken wire can be used as a plastering mesh if the weave is fine enough, and it is an excellent all-round product.
Different types of mesh will have different types of properties, so always buy from a trusted supplier with a range of options such as plasterers1stopshop mesh.
Best for Interior Walls: Fibreglass
This type of mesh comes in a variety of densities and is usually treated for improved resistance to tearing. Fibreglass mesh has the advantage of being reliable, long-lasting and durable and is suitable for use with quick-drying and finishing mixtures. The heavier the level of reinforcement you require, the denser the mesh you’ll need to apply, though for most internal applications 110 to 160 g/sq.m is more than adequate. Fibreglass mesh is also an excellent material for seamlessly mending cracks in a wall.
Best All-Rounder: Expanded Metal
There’s a reason chicken wire is such a popular plastering mesh – it’s a great all-rounder. The hexagonal-shaped holes allow for maximum plaster grip, making the job simple and straightforward. Chicken wire also possesses excellent flexibility, making it convenient to use where there are angular or curved shapes to be covered.
Best for Facades: Galvanised Metal Mesh
Chain-link-style mesh with a density around 3000 g/m2 is ideal for reinforcing a facade, as it’s strong, durable and highly resistant to corrosion. Welded stucco mesh is another excellent choice, and a plastic mesh can also be used for exterior work as long as its tensile strength is great enough.
Fixing Your Mesh
Whichever type of mesh you choose, you’ll need to fix it to the wall, and it’s an easy job to mount plastering mesh on to brick, concrete and wood. Plastic and fibreglass mesh can be fixed to the target surface using adhesive, a stapler or even a dab of plaster. Metal mesh, on the other hand, will need to be fixed using nails or screws for the best effect.
Plastering Using Plaster Mesh
Once you’ve fixed your plaster mesh, then you can start plastering, using the same technique as you would use to plaster a wall using a scratch and skim coat. Ideally, the mesh will be completely embedded in the plaster, giving strength to the wall and a seamless finish.