Today we successfully completed the finish plaster on one section of wall!
Here's what we learned from our first foray into the art of finish plastering:
We have to hustle. Andrew warned that if we let any part of the plaster dry before the whole wall is done, it will create ugly "cold joints," or visible lines where one section of plaster ends and another begins. There are cold joints in our first two coats, but they get covered up by the finish plaster, so they don't matter.
We are fast enough. There's certainly no time for photos, no time to change the music or stop for snacks, and it is not going to be possible for me to do any solo plastering, but with two pairs of hands, and cleanly divided sections of wall (yay timber framing) it will be manageable.
A technique called "scratch and double" works well for us. This means that our finish coat is made up of two thin, wet coats applied in relatively quick succession. The first goes on sloppily, the second goes on much more smoothly, covering prior ugliness.
Thank heavens for burnishing: after our two coats are done, we burnish the wall with neoprene floats. This smooths out the sins of our novice plastering.
The very best part of applying the finish coat? When a section of wall is done, it's DONE!!