How much does plastering walls cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does plastering walls cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does plastering walls cost?

$2 – $10cost per square foot of wall surface installed
$1,200 – $6,000cost of plastering a 12’x12’ room (walls & ceiling)
$16,000 – $100,000cost to replaster a 2,000 square foot house

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$2 – $10 cost per square foot of wall surface installed

$1,200 – $6,000 cost of plastering a 12’x12’ room (walls & ceiling)

$16,000 – $100,000 cost to replaster a 2,000 square foot house


Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Kristen Cramer
Written by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tom Grupa

Cost of plastering

The cost of plastering is $2 to $10 per square foot on average for walls and $2.50 to $12.00 per square foot for ceilings, depending on the plaster type and technique. The cost to plaster a 12'x'12 room is $1,200 to $6,000, while plastering a 2,000 SF house costs $16,000 to $100,000.

Average cost of plastering a room or whole house
Room Average cost installed*
5x8 Bathroom $600 – $2,800
12x12 Bedroom $1,200 – $6,000
12x20 Master bedroom $1,750 – $8,600
16x20 Living room $2,100 – $10,300
20x20 Garage $2,100 – $11,000
1,000 SF Basement (open floorplan) $4,900 – $24,000
1,000 SF Basement (with rooms) $7,200 – $48,000
1,500 SF Whole house $11,000 – $72,000
2,000 SF Whole house $16,000 – $100,000
2,500 SF Whole house $18,000 – $125,000
3,000 SF Whole house $21,000 – $145,000

*Including walls and ceilings.

  • Plastering estimates are based on the wall surface square footage, not the home's floor square footage.

  • Plasterers charge $30 to $100 per hour, depending on their location and experience.

  • Labor makes up approximately 70% of the total cost of plastering.

Plastering cost calculator

Average cost to plaster a room

The average cost of plastering a room is $700 to $3,600 for a 10' x 10' room with 9'-tall walls, not including the ceiling. Plastering the walls and ceiling costs $1,000 to $4,800. Repairs or resurfacing increase the cost.

Cost to plaster a room
Service Cost per square foot*
Plaster walls $2 – $10
Plaster ceiling $2.50 – $12.00
Skim-coating $1.00 – $1.30
Resurfacing / replastering existing walls or ceiling $10 – $12
Plaster repairs $10 – $100

*Including labor and materials.

Plastering walls cost

Plastering walls costs $2 to $12 per square foot, depending on the existing surface material and condition. Plastering over wood paneling or breeze block costs more than plastering over a drywall or concrete surface due to the extra materials and surface prep required.

Cost to plaster a wall
Wall surface Cost per square foot installed*
Drywall or concrete surface $2 – $10
Wood or breeze block surface $5 – $12

*For standard gypsum, cement, or lime plastering.

  • Plastering directly over wood requires using sheets of mesh called Expanded Metal Lathing (EML) to give the plaster a texture to adhere to.

  • Plastering over breeze block requires installing sheets of plasterboard for the plaster to adhere to.

A contractor applying plaster to a wall.
A contractor applying plaster to a wall.

Cost to plaster a ceiling

The cost to plaster a ceiling is $2.50 to $12.00 per square foot, depending on the plaster type, room size, and ceiling height. Plastering a ceiling typically costs 15% to 20% more than plastering walls. In comparison, a drywall ceiling costs $2 to $4 per square foot.

Ceiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot or between $300 and $1,200 on average.

Skim coat plastering cost

Skim coating costs $1.00 to $1.30 per square foot of surface area. A skim coat is a thin layer of diluted joint compound spread evenly over the entire wall or ceiling with a trowel or skimming blade to create a smooth, flat, uniform surface.

Plaster repair costs

Plaster repair costs $10 to $100 per square foot, depending on the damage type and size. Repairing cracks in plaster costs $4 to $5 per linear foot. Most contractors charge minimum job fees of $150 to $250 to repair plaster walls or ceilings.

Cost to plaster a garage

The cost to plaster a garage is $1,500 to $19,000 on average for the walls and ceiling, depending on the garage size. Plastering a standard 2-car garage costs $2,700 to $13,400. In comparison, drywalling a garage costs $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot or $1,000 to $3,900 for a 2-car garage.

Cost factors to replaster a house

Cost to replaster a house
Job Cost per square foot*
Old wall removal and disposal $2 – $3
Wall repairs $10 – $100
Surface preparation $1 – $3
New plaster installation $2 – $10
Painting $1 – $3

*Based on wall surface square footage instead of floor square footage.

Factors that affect the cost to plaster a house include:

  • Labor cost – Plasterer rates are $30 to $100 per hour, depending on location and experience.

  • Wall / ceiling height – Contractors charge more to plaster walls and ceilings above 10' due to the added safety precautions and equipment required.

  • Ceilings vs. walls – Plastering ceilings costs 15% to 20% more than plastering walls.

  • Accessibility – Plasterers charge more for the added time and labor for areas that are difficult to access.

  • Preparation required – Surface prep costs $1 to $3 per square foot, depending on the existing condition. Surfaces with many small holes, hairline cracks, or uneven areas take longer and cost more to prep.

  • Old plaster removal – Removing old plaster walls and ceilings costs $2 to $3 per square foot, including debris disposal. Removal is not a requirement for every project, as some plaster walls can be skim coated with a new plaster layer instead.

  • Plaster type ­– Gypsum and cement plaster cost the least, while lime and Venetian plaster cost more due to more expensive ingredients.

  • Plastering technique – Contractors charge extra for Venetian or Tadelakt plastering because the techniques require extensive experience and special skills.

  • Old homes – Homes built before 1986 may have asbestos, and homes built before 1978 may have lead paint.

    • Asbestos removal costs $20 to $65 per square foot. Asbestos testing costs $250 to $750.

    • Lead paint removal costs $8 to $15 per square foot. Lead paint testing costs $300 to $600.

  • Related repairs – When replastering, the open walls offer an opportunity to address other common problems like faulty wiring, leaks, mold, or pests.

Plasterer hourly rates

Plasterers charge $30 to $100 per hour on average. Plasterers' labor rates depend on the location and project type, with higher rates typically charged for difficult-to-access walls or ceilings. Complex plaster techniques like Venetian or Tadelakt require special skills, increasing labor costs.

Plaster material prices

Plaster cost by type and material
Plaster type Average price per square foot installed
Acoustic $6 – $14
Cement $4 – $10
Gypsum $2 – $10
Lime $5 – $10
Tadelakt $15 – $20
Veneer $5 – $10
Venetian $5 – $15

  • Tadelakt is a Moroccan plastering technique that uses a lime-based plaster aggregate sealed with olive oil soap.

  • Veneer plaster is typically applied over blueboard or gypsum-based panels.

  • Installers use a special steel burnishing trowel to give Venetian plaster its traditional marble-like glossy surface.

Cost to paint and finish plaster walls

Plaster can be finished with a texture or painted like drywall:

  • Finish level or texture – Plaster is an ideal surface for decorative textures and finishes. Wall texturing costs $0.80 to $2.00 per square foot of surface area.

  • PaintInterior painting costs $1 to $3 per square foot of surface area. Plaster is porous and absorbs paint. Use paint made specifically for plaster or seal the surface with a watered-down emulsion—also called a mist coat—before painting.

A drywall contractor adding a skim coat to a wall.
A drywall contractor adding a skim coat to a wall.

Plaster vs. drywall cost

Drywall installation costs $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot installed. Plaster costs more and takes longer to install than drywall but lasts longer, is more durable and fire-resistant, and provides a more polished, high-end look.

Plaster vs. drywall cost
Factor Plaster Drywall
Cost per square foot $2.00 – $10.00 $1.50 – $3.50
Lifespan 100+ years 30 – 75 years
Pros
  • Harder and more durable
  • More resistant to nicks and dentsLasts longer
  • More fire-resistant
  • Better soundproofing
  • Can be used on curved walls
  • Faster and less expensive to install
  • Easy to repair
  • Better temperature insulation
  • Easier to hang items on the wall
Cons
  • More expensive to install or repair
  • Can cause echoes
  • Difficult to hang items on plaster walls
  • Harder for wi-fi signal to penetrate
  • Not DIY friendly
  • Less soundproofing
  • Less fire-resistant
  • Dents and scuffs easily
  • Can't be used on curved walls

Frequently asked questions

What is plaster?

Plaster is a mix of water, sand or cement, and lime or gypsum that hardens into a strong, durable surface when dry. Plaster was the most common wall surfacing material before the invention of drywall and is still used in many homes today.

Plaster pros and cons
Pros Cons
  • Strong and durable
  • Resists nicks and dents
  • Can last for centuriesEnergy-efficient
  • Better insulation and soundproofing
  • More fire-resistant than drywall or wood
  • More expensive to install or repair
  • Can cause echoesHarder for wi-fi signal to penetrate
  • Difficult to hang items on plaster walls
  • Not DIY friendly

How long does it take to plaster a room?

Plastering a room takes 2 to 5 days, and the plastered surface takes an additional 2 to 5+ days on average to fully dry and harden, depending on the plaster type and material. Lime plastering takes up to 2 to 4 weeks to dry.

Do plaster walls crack over time?

Hairline cracks in plaster walls are normal and occur over time as the plaster expands and contracts due to temperature or humidity changes. Contact a professional for plaster repairs if you notice:

  • Cracks over 5mm wide

  • Jagged cracks running diagonally

  • Cracks that look like a set of stairs moving up the wall

  • Multiple cracks converging in one direction

  • Discolored or bubbling plaster

Can you put new plaster over old plaster?

Yes, you can put new plaster over old plaster as long as the existing plaster is in good condition and properly prepped. The contractor must remove any loose, crumbling, or damaged plaster then clean and prime the surface with an adhesive bonding solution before applying new plaster.

Getting quotes from plasterers

Before hiring a plasterer near you, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.

  • Read at their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Ask for references and browse their portfolio of recent projects.

  • Select companies that are licensed, bonded, insured, and have been in business for 5+ years.

  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before work begins.

  • Avoid choosing the lowest quote as quality may suffer.

  • Never pay in full before the project starts.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Do you have any plaster certifications?

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • Will your company work on the project, or will you subcontract the job?

  • How long will the project take?

  • How long should I wait before painting?

  • Does the estimate include cleanup costs?

  • What other costs should I expect?

  • What permits do I need, and will you obtain them?

  • What will I need to do to prepare my home before the project begins?

  • How do you handle damages that happen on the job?