Monday, July 22, 2024

The 4 Finest Plastering Trowels For Beginners

Searching for the best plastering trowel can be like looking for the holy grail, especially if you’re a beginner. 

If you’re ready to give plastering a go and you’re looking for a great finishing trowel or a basic rendering trowel, keep reading. I am about to share the best plastering trowels for beginners currently on the market.

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As an ex-tradie, plastering has always been a hobby of mine.

There are a lot of different trowels out there, but when starting out, you can get bogged down in the best trowel size, material, weight, and grip, but the vital thing to consider is your personal preference.

I’ve detailed my top four plastering and finishing trowels below to help aid your decision and get you the best possible start in your plastering journey.

Distinguishing Between a Plastering Trowel and a Finishing Trowel 

A plastering trowel has a robust blade for correctly applying and smoothing plaster or render onto walls. The trowel’s breaking in takes time since it rounds out the edges, resulting in a perfectly uniform surface. 

You can buy some trowels pre-worn, which helps remove any line or ripple traces from the start and makes them ready for instant usage.

A flexible or medium-flex trowel has a thinner blade, making it easier to finish or smooth your plaster.

These usually have a lightweight construction, making them easier to man-require and require less effort. Using a flexible trowel can dramatically simplify the work.

It is recommended that you use a regular plastering trowel and a flexible or medium-flexible finishing trowel to attain the best results for your plastering projects, giving you the best of both worlds.

The Best Plastering Trowels For Beginners

Take a look at the trowels below to give yourself the best chance when having a dabble at plastering. I have included my top two plastering trowels and top two finishing trowels.

Straight out of the box, I was impressed by the lightness compared to other stainless steel trowels.

Despite some sharp corners, which were a bit bothersome with scrim tape, this plastering trowel applied plaster exceptionally well.

Although the cold weather affected the plaster’s setting time when I tried this out, I noticed that the Marshalltown trowel applied the plaster smoothly and comfortably while also flattening it seamlessly.

The trowel’s slightly stiffer blade was advantageous during the later stages of my plastering job.

Being stainless steel, you can expect no rust, and the handle is super soft, which makes it feel very natural in my hand. This is another perfect plastering trowel for beginners.

plastering trowels for beginners

First off, I can’t praise the quality of this trowel enough. The comfortable leather handle mounted on an aluminium bracket is a game-changer, offering unparalleled ease of use and comfort, even during long work hours.

The trowel is lightweight and rust-resistant, making it stand out from traditional steel alternatives.

I like the trowel’s flexibility and ability to spread mud smoothly, resulting in a smooth finish every time. The rounded corners add to the trowel’s functionality, making it a pleasure to work with.

Another standout feature is the trowel’s minimalist design with minimal rivets, making it incredibly easy to clean.

I’m using this trowel to plaster my garage, and it has quickly become my preferred tool. It feels comfortable in my hand, and I’d highly recommend it to any beginner.

plastering trowels for beginners

I was recently kindly gifted the 16-inch OX Pro Finishing Trowel, and I was super keen to give it a whirl in my finishing. It’s available in multiple sizes and is accompanied by a protective sleeve for its sharp edge, which is excellent for safe transport.

I was thoroughly impressed with its performance. The rounded corners proved invaluable in preventing unsightly lines on walls, while the soft handle, perfectly sized for comfort, made the task a breeze.

What truly stood out was the flexibility of the blade, which significantly reduced strain on my arms and elbows during prolonged use.

After plastering a wall with this trowel, I can confidently attest to its exceptional flexibility, comfortable grip, and overall quality. It made the job efficient and enjoyable, even during extended work periods.

Without hesitation, This is a tremendous finishing trowel for beginners, experts, and professionals!

plastering trowels for beginners

First, I was struck by its flexibility, sturdy construction, and stylish design, boasting a black cork handle and a gold stainless steel blade.

I found it comparable to the OX Ultraflex, and I aimed to thoroughly evaluate its performance on plaster walls.

During testing, I found the trowel to excel in actual working conditions. The cork handle provided an excellent grip, aided by internal ridges, enhancing control and comfort.

I appreciated the balance between stiffness and flexibility, which set it apart from standard trowels while offering manoeuvrability.

How Do I Choose a New Trowel?

Weight & Comfort

An effective plastering trowel should be lightweight and super comfortable in your hand. You will be holding this for a while, and heavy trowels can cause joint stress and reduce plaster quality. 

I would always choose a trowel with a comfortable grip and plenty of knuckle clearance between the handle and the blade. All the best plastering trowels offer this.

Some trowel handles also have a finger guard, which provides a cushioned finish where your index finger presses against it, increasing comfort during extended use.

The Size

Plastering trowels come in various sizes, and choosing the ideal one depends on what you’re plastering and your personal preference.

 Larger trowels allow for faster application over a larger surface area but require more skill. 

As we are beginners, smaller trowels provide more control and a better chance of maintaining consistent contact between the plaster and trowel surface. 

A 14-16-inch size usually achieves a balance and should suit most of your plastering projects.

Robust Construction

Make sure your trowel is made of long-lasting materials. Stainless steel trowels often balance durability and flexibility, as they are rust-resistant, ensuring longevity. 

Plastic trowels require less maintenance and are easier to handle but are more susceptible to breakage than their more durable metal counterparts.

What Trowel Size Should I Look For?

When you decide to buy your first trowel, the size must be considered. The size of your plastering trowel impacts plastering control, speed, and pressure.

A 16-inch trowel will allow you to apply much more plaster to your walls than a 13-inch trowel. Conversely, an 18-inch plastering trowel may handle a lot more plaster, but a 12-inch trowel offers more control.

Which is, therefore, the best? Which is preferable, a smaller trowel that gives you more control but less plaster or a longer trowel that holds more plaster? It’s obvious. Get both.

I’ve used several different trowels of various sizes, but I like to return to my reliable 14′′.

This is the ideal trowel size for plaster of all kinds. It is simple to work with, works well for render and finish plaster, and is convenient for use with more complex plaster forms.

How Do I Look After My Trowel?

Maintaining your trowel is quite easy. After using it, simply wipe it down to prevent plaster from setting on it and store it in a dry place.

If it has a crust of dried plaster on it because you’ve left it there, don’t worry. To restore the blade to its original appearance, submerge it in water for the entire night.

If the plaster is tough, combine bicarbonate of soda and cold water in a bucket or sink and let the trowel soak for about one hour.

Scrape off any loose plaster fragments, and if extra time is needed, simply let it soak for a little longer.


A smaller trowel, usually between 14 and 16 inches long, is recommended for beginners by myself. This size allows for greater control and agility, making it easier for beginners to wield and achieve smoother wall finishes.

Plastering trowel, hawk, mixing bucket, joint knife, sanding sponge, and corner trowel are all necessary tools for first-time plasterers. These tools allow beginners to efficiently apply and smooth plaster onto surfaces, resulting in expert results.

Professional plasterers often use trowels ranging in size from 14 to 16 inches. This size strikes a compromise between coverage and control, allowing experts to paint larger areas with more precision and quality. The 4 plastering trowels for beginners I have recommended, fall into this size.

Absolutely! Plastering is a skill that may be acquired through practice and patience. Beginners can begin by familiarising themselves with basic techniques and tools, working in tiny areas, and progressively increasing their confidence and expertise.

For more information on learning how to plaster, go check out this video.

While plastering may appear scary initially, it is easy to learn with proper instruction and practice. Mastering plastering, like any other skill, involves perseverance, attention to detail, and a willingness to learn from failures. With time and practice, beginners can become skilled plasterers capable of producing professional-quality results.

The Finest 4 Plastering Trowels For Beginners

Thank you for reading our article on the finest 4 plastering trowels for beginners. We hope you enjoyed it. For further handydad advice and tips around the house, go check out our blog HERE.



I'm Chris, and my life revolves around two profound passions: embracing the joys of fatherhood with my energetic 2-year-old son and channelling my skills into transforming every nook and cranny of our home.
Dads tool shed

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