How Much Do Plaster Walls and Ceilings Cost?

Typical Range:

$640 - $3,200

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated September 1, 2022

Reviewed by Andy Kilborn, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

For a 100-square-foot room, plaster walls cost on average $1,920, although it may cost as little as $640 or as much as $3,200. And for an 8-foot ceiling, plaster ceilings cost on average $600, with a low cost of $390 and a high cost of $800. For both plaster walls and ceilings, the total project cost varies according to the type of plaster, finish, and texture you choose.

"Plaster is best used for curved surfaces or when matching the existing materials in a home," says Andy Kilborn, Angi Expert Review Board member and owner of Andy's Handyman Service in Des Moines, IA. "It's not a good DIY project, so make sure you look into professionals in your area."

Average Plastering Prices

Average Cost High Cost Low Cost
$1,920 $3,200 $640

Plaster Cost per Square Foot

Homeowners usually pay between $2 and $10 per square foot for plasterwork. If you need resurfacing work done, you can expect to pay at least $10 per square foot. Without resurfacing, you’ll likely pay between $2 and $5 per square foot.

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Typical Plastering Costs

If you're planning a plaster project, here are the typical prices you can expect. Before diving into these numbers, use our square footage calculator to help you determine the approximate square footage of your walls and ceilings.


Plastering walls costs between $2 and $10 per square foot. If you have high walls, it’ll run you an additional $0.40 to $2 per square foot for scaffolding. For a 10-by-10-foot room with 8-foot ceilings, expect to pay $640 to $3,200.


Plastering a ceiling costs at least $390. Depending on the height of the ceiling, the price can be as much as $800 or more. Rates will dramatically increase in a few different scenarios. For example, your prices will be much higher if you plan on adding ornamental designs. If your wall is also an unconventional shape—such as vaulted or slanted—it'll cost more. 

Note that the cost to repair a plaster ceiling is around $70 to $80 per square foot.

Full Room

Plastering a 10-by-10-foot room with 10-foot high walls will cost anywhere from $800 to $4,000, not including the ceiling. Budget an additional $1,190 to $4,390 for the ceiling. 

Skim Coat Plaster Costs

The cost of skim coating plaster will vary depending on the amount of damage, cracks, flaking, and other issues. The cost to skim coat an entire home can range from around $7,000 to $40,000. Skim coating plaster is one of the ways you can maintain your plaster walls. The process is time-consuming and expensive because you’re applying very thin layers, but it can be well worth it since it helps restore your walls and leave them looking very smooth.

Plaster Wall and Ceiling Cost Factors

The final cost of your project is heavily affected by the plaster type, location, and decorative options you choose. Consider these factors when planning your next plaster project.


There are many types of plaster available, each with its average cost per square foot. Keep reading to learn more in-depth information about each plaster type.

Veneer Plaster 

It costs around $5 to $10 per square foot. It’s a one- or two-coat application of a thin coat of plaster that workers install on top of gypsum panels. The coat is usually 3/32-inch thick and produces very smooth walls that don’t require molding or trim. A highly skilled troweler needs to handle this installation.

Venetian Plaster

Also known as lime plaster, it costs around $10 to $25 per square foot. It’s made with fired limestone and water. After workers apply the plaster to the wall, the plaster interacts with the carbon dioxide in the air. Eventually, the plaster turns into limestone. It has a soft, earthy appearance with depth and texture. Venetian plaster was used as long ago as during ancient Greek and Egyptian times.

Gypsum Plaster

Gypsum plaster costs around $10 to $11 per square foot. It’s made with gypsum, which is a soft sulfate mineral. Often, people install a layer of gypsum plaster on top of cement plaster to give it a smooth finish for painting. You can apply it on brick, blocks, and plasterboards. Unlike other types, gypsum plaster is less likely to shrink and crack and is known for its easy installation.

Cement Plaster

This type of plaster costs around $11 to $12 per square foot. It's applied outdoors, and it's a mix of Portland cement, sand, and water. Usually, workers install cement plaster in three to four coats. You can apply it directly onto masonry, concrete walls, or metal lath.

Acoustic Plaster 

Acoustic plaster runs around $13 to $14 per square foot. Its final appearance can be highly customized and look like marble, stone, or cement. It absorbs sound very well and is popular in high-end residential houses or commercial buildings like museums and auditoriums. If you have a home recording studio or want a practice space for your band, acoustic plaster may be a good choice.

Tadelakt Plaster

Also known as Moroccan plaster, Tadelakt plaster is on the higher end at around $15 to $16 per square foot. It’s waterproof, so it’s ideal for bathrooms. It’s also lime-based and comes in a wide range of colors, and the final result mimics natural stone.

Textures and Finishes

You'll find that certain plaster types work better with different kinds of textures and finishes. The plaster cost depends more on the type of plaster you choose rather than the texture or finish. For example, stucco texture is used on cement plaster on exterior walls. 

You should budget an additional $1 to $3 per square foot for unique textures and finishes, such as the following:

  • Dash: Rough texture that’s either fine, heavy, or knockdown

  • Lace: Delicate texture that comes in fine, medium, and coarse

  • Two-tone: Offers two different hues

  • Sand: Pleasing to look at and comes in fine, medium, or coarse

  • Stucco: Highly textured with swirled or looped patterns

  • Grooved: Mimics bricks and grout

In addition to different textures, you can change the look and feel of your plaster wall with various finishes, such as the following:

  • Pebble dash: Features small pebbles and stones in the plaster

  • Spatter dash: Plaster that’s thrown onto the wall and a brush or broom is used to make patterns

  • Depeter: Gravel is added to wet plaster by hand 

  • Smooth: Smoothed-out plaster without texture or roughness

  • Sand: Two coats with a sponged-on final application

  • Cement: A mixture of cement, sand, and water with a smooth or rough finish

Interior vs. Exterior

Generally speaking, the best plaster option for the exterior of your home is cement. This costs approximately $11 to $12 per square foot. You can also consider adding stucco for a very durable exterior.

You have more flexibility for the interior of your house. You can even opt for cement plaster indoors, depending on the aesthetic you’re going for. Interior plaster can range from $2 to $16 per square foot.

Decorative Moldings

The cost of decorative moldings can vary widely, depending on the project scope and whether you have a plasterer on-site or use premade items.

Premade plaster crown molding costs around $9 to $20 per linear foot for the materials, plus the cost of installation. This is the most common option, as the traditional on-site plasterwork typically costs so much that most people don’t use it. For example, repairing an old traditional plaster molding can cost approximately $2,000 to $3,000 per linear foot.

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Plaster Repair Cost

Plaster repair prices range from $10 to $100 per square foot. While this might seem pricey, remember that most repairs don't even take up a square foot. Some professionals charge by the type of repair, such as $20 per crack.

Plaster wall repair costs vary. For example, small holes cost less to repair at around $10 to $80 per square foot, while larger holes are more expensive at about $70 to $100 per square foot. Overall, it costs most homeowners $750 to repair plaster. This is comparable with the cost to repair a wall, which is $700 on average.

Plaster Prices

Plaster itself is relatively inexpensive and typically runs between $10 to $60 for different sizes, types, or styles. A 5-gallon bucket of lime plaster costs around $60, whereas a 25-pound bag of gypsum powder (to mix with water to make plaster) is less than $20. However, certain luxury types might cost up to $410 or more for a 5-gallon bucket.

Plaster of Paris 

Plaster of Paris is made from gypsum and comes in powder form. When mixed with water, it sets quickly. Professionals commonly use it for decorative plasterwork such as for ceilings, but it’s also found in medical offices for making molds or sometimes even creating casts. A 25-pound bag of plaster of Paris ranges from $10 to $30. You can find smaller sizes such as a 4-pound box for around $10, but you’ll get the best deal when buying in bulk.

Plaster vs. Drywall Cost

The average cost of drywall and sheetrock is around $0.40 to $0.65 per square foot, while installing drywall costs between $1.50 and $3 per square foot. On the other hand, plastering costs anywhere from $2 to $10 per square foot. Plastering is often more expensive because it takes more time and requires more expertise.

One thing to keep in mind is if you want to paint your new plaster wall, the process is much different than painting drywall. You'll need to prepare the wall by applying a mist coat and then applying the topcoat. Hiring painters costs from $2 to $6 per square foot.

DIY vs. Hiring Plasterers

When it comes to plastering, it's a good idea to hand the job off to a pro, even if you're typically the type to DIY home improvement projects. The installation has to be done correctly. Otherwise, you risk damaging your walls or devaluing your home with uneven, plastered walls.

Whether you're going for ornamental designs or a clean and smooth look, consider paying for the cost of a plasterer near you for the best results.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you apply plaster?

To apply plaster, pros first prep the area and then mix the dry material with water. They wet their tools so the material doesn't stick and then apply it onto the wall. Next, a plasterer smooths out the first coat before applying a thinner second coat. They'll continue smoothing out the wall until it's even.

When do you need to plaster a wall?

It’s a good idea to plaster a wall if your existing wall needs repairs or you’re looking for a high-end alternative to drywall. Plaster also works better on curved walls than trying to hang drywall. Plaster is an excellent option if you need superior sound insulation and want to install walls that can last a lifetime.

Can you put new plaster over old plaster?

You can plaster or skim coat over old plaster if the existing material is still in good condition. Applying a new coat over the old one works best for small cracks or other minor repairs. However, if your plaster is in poor shape, consider removing the old plaster before installing the new plaster.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of plaster?

Some of the advantages of plaster are:

  • Excellent sound and air barriers

  • Can last for centuries if installed and maintained properly

  • Mold-resistant and nontoxic

Some of the disadvantages that may dissuade you from using plaster are:

  • Installation can be costly both time-wise and budget-wise

  • Potential to crack if incorrectly installed

  • Thicker walls hinder Wi-Fi signals

Does plaster crack over time?

Yes, plaster can crack over time. If you see a crack—even a tiny one—get it repaired by a local plaster repair pro as soon as possible. These cracks can happen as your house settles, especially around your fireplace and chimney. Sometimes, cracks can indicate a bigger problem with your home’s foundation.