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How Much Does Plastering Cost?

Last Updated Apr 8, 2016 · Written by

Plastering|Renovation Costs

Whether you need drywall plastering, solid wall plastering, plaster repairs, partitioning or any other plastering task, a local plasterer can take care of it for you. But how much does plastering cost? And do plastering rates depend on the service provided?

This article will help you figure out:

  • the different types of plaster
  • what to look for when hiring a plasterer
  • what they might charge

Detail of a ceiling rose. (iStock)

Which type of plaster for my job?

Depending on what your project involves, there are a few different types of plaster you need to know about, including:

Drywall plaster is used extensively in the building trade to line the walls of our homes. It is also used to create partitions, when more space or rooms are required in a home. Plasterboard or Gyprock® are used to create walls, with a timber or steel frame for structural support. Plasterboard is manufactured in sheets from a layer of gypsum plaster between two thick sheets of paper. You can also get drywall that has fire resistant or acoustic properties, for specifications when you need those features. 

Wet plaster is what most people think of when they think of plastering, and is a mixture of lime, cement or gypsum and water, typically applied whilst wet using a trowel.

Ornamental plaster is a specialised task used to create intricate, decorative effects in or out the home, specifically ceiling roses, cornices, friezes and other designs.

Read: What is ornamental plaster?



Hiring a plasterer

When it comes time to hiring a plasterer, take time to make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask then include:

  • Are you licensed or qualified?
  • Are you insured to work in my home?
  • How long will my job take?
  • Can you provide a written quote?
  • Do you have references I can follow up?
  • Can I see examples of your work?

Does my plasterer need to be licensed?

It depends where you live.

Although plastering is not a structural element of a building, some states - NSW for example, have separate licensing requirements for dry and wet plastering. Other licensing authorities consider both types of plastering as part of the same trade. Plastering is also covered by a builders licence in some states.


Installing plasterboard walls in a home. (iStock)

How much does plastering cost?

So how much will your plastering job cost?

When you get quotes from plasterers, they’ll typically work out a rate based on the area being plastered.

In terms of a per square metre rate, expect:
  • hard plaster rates to range from $20 to $70 per square metre
  • wet plaster rates to be range from $45 to $90 per square metre
You can expect to be quoted a flat fee for a room or house - a figure which does not include removal of existing plaster and does not take into account difficult access.

If you’re renovating the entire home, the plasterer will probably charge a flat fee for the whole space. A 3 bedroom home could cost between $10,000 and $15,000, while to plaster an ornate Victorian home, the rate could be in excess of $20,000.

According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), benchmark rates for a variety of plastering jobs are:

  • $8 to $16 per square metre for plasterboard (install only)
  • $15 to $20 per square metre for plasterboard (supply and install)
Plasterers will work out a rate based on the area being plastered

How much does ornamental plaster cost?


The cost of an ornamental plastering projects depends on its size and complexity.

For cornices, expect to pay:

  • $4 to $16 per linear metre for cornice installation (mid-range)
  • $5 to $10 per linear metre for supply and installation of cornices (mid-range)
  • $7.50 per linear metre for a simple colonial cove cornice with top and bottom steps
  • $15 per linear metre for a larger, more ornate Victorian cornice
If you're looking for an elegant fireplace surround that would take pride of place in a Victorian mansion, you might be surprised to find you can buy its plaster equivalent for well under $1,000.


Applying wet plaster with a long trowel. (iStock)

Also remember to consider


On top of their rate, a plasterer may also charge to remove the existing plaster. They may also have to add an extra charge if the area is hard to access and requires scaffolding. If you require more creative plaster work, such as mould cornices or elaborate patterns, you’ll need to pay more. This is because the plasterer will need to be highly skilled and take time to achieve the look and finish you want.

When comparing quotes from plasterers, check that materials are included. Often the plasterer will provide the plaster and tools, outlining these costs in the quote. Remember that the cheapest quote isn’t necessarily the best. It’s the plasterers skills you’ll want to consider, as the finish is everything. So ask for samples of their work or recommendations from friends and family.

The best way of finding out the cost of your painting job is to get quotes from local plasterers. This will give you a sense of what market rates currently are. 

* All the costs and prices quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are indicative, may vary locally, are subject to market forces and should only be used as a guide.

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