Plaster mesh is used to reinforce interior and exterior plaster work. It protects against cracking while increasing strength and forming a skeleton for plaster to grip to. Plasterers’ mesh can be composed of either metal or fibreglass depending on type of use. For example, when plasterwork is liable to encounter extremes of temperature, chicken wire may be the smart choice owing to its structure.
Focus on Fibreglass
Fibreglass is alkali-resistant and lightweight, making it ideal for interior plastering use. Whether you’re using fibreglass for taping plasterboard joins or repairing cracks in existing plaster, fibreglass plasterers’ mesh will not rip or tear and is anti-corrosive. This kind of mesh can also be easily attached to a wall using staples or plaster to hold it in place.
Fibreglass plasterers mesh is easy to cut with a Stanley knife before being applied to the wall and fixed in place with dabs of plaster. Apply a layer of plaster with a plastering trowel, feathering the edges into the rest of the wall if you’re simply doing a spot repair. A finishing coat as required once the reinforcing and stabilising mesh is securely in place.
Stainless Steel for Exterior Use
If you’re plastering on an exterior wall, then you’ll need a stainless steel mesh, which will not corrode and damage the plaster work in years to come. Metal is also the material of choice for plaster bead, which can be used in conjunction with plasterers’ mesh to create strong and stable angles. Choose a galvanised metal mesh for wet plaster finished to ensure that no corrosion can occur or across different substrates to guard against cracking in curves and across ceilings.
You should always use gloves when cutting metal plasterers’ mesh to protect yourself from sharp edges, and make sure that you use the same type of metal for mesh and bead to avoid the formation of rust. Always tie bead and mesh together for best results.
Alternatives to Plasterers’ Mesh
Chicken wire is often used as plasterers’ mesh owing to its strength and structure, but you could also use nylon fishing net for exterior plastering work where the finishing coat will be substantial enough to cover the net. This is a low-cost, strong and robust alternative but not recommended unless you’re a skilled plasterer.
Tips for Using Plasterers’ Mesh
You should always use the right weight for the job, with the basic rule of thumb being the more heavy-duty the job, the heavier the gauge of plasterers’ mesh required. If the thickness of the plaster will be above 3cm, then you’re advised to use metal mesh – chicken wire is often ideal – fixed in place with screws and cut to size with metal snips. A heavy-duty plastic mesh can also be successfully used for exterior plastering and rendering to give a smooth and even result. This type of mesh is extremely lightweight so doesn’t require any special fixing. Buy the right plasterers’ mesh for the job and you’ll be assured of excellent results time after time.