How to Plaster Over Cement Board

Cement board, also known as Wonderboard or Hardiebacker, is a material commonly used in tiling projects. Some people prefer to cover their cement board with plaster; others choose drywall instead. If you are looking for the correct plastering technique, consider several factors before beginning this project.

How to Plaster Over Cement Board

Read on to learn about these factors and how they can affect your final results. For example, a cement board is typically applied over wood or metal studs nailed on a building’s frame structure wall.

It provides an attractive surface where tiles can be laid for bathroom walls, kitchen backsplashes, and other rooms where water may present a risk of damage if it seeps through grout lines or behind tile surfaces. So, this article is for you. You will learn how to plaster over cement board with just one simple trick!

Step to Follow on How to Plaster Over Cement Board

Step One: Determine

First, you need to determine if the cement board is smooth or has an embossed surface. If it’s smooth, you can apply a traditional tile mortar over the top of the paneling to create the base for your plaster. But if it has an embossed surface, like Hardie Backer does not Sure Back, then there are steps you will need to take for things to work out alright.

Determining the Cement Board

Then, if the cement board has an embossed surface, you need to tape off those areas on your wall where the paper covering is located so that you can create a smooth top for yourself. Next, you will want to apply a joint compound over these areas and then allow it to dry before continuing with your project.

Step Two: Prepare

Once you have passed the first step, you need to prepare your wall for plaster by removing any excess compound or debris on the paneling. You will then want to apply a thin coat of drywall primer over all areas that will receive plaster.

When you have completed this task, you may then thin down some plaster with water until it reaches the consistency of sour cream. At this point, you will want to hold off on adding sand to the mix since this will do so after you have applied the mixture to your cement board surfaces.

Step Three: Apply the First Coat

You need to apply the first coat of your thin plaster mixture similarly to how you applied the drywall primer. You will want to hold your trowel at an angle of forty-five degrees and place it on top of your wall. After you have done this, make sure that you pull the trowel towards you by making a sweeping motion away from yourself.

Applying the First Coat of Thin Plaster Mixture

When you are ready to apply your next coat, you must wait for the first one to dry. Wait until it has dried before applying another coat, and don’t worry about rushing this process since it will depend on how many layers of plaster you put over the cement board.

Step Four: Add Texture

If you want to add texture to your plaster, this is the step where you will do so. First, apply a layer over the area where you would like to add texture, and then use a drywall knife or trowel to push it against itself to give the appearance of texture in your plaster.

Then, you will want to let this layer dry for a couple of hours before applying another coat. Just make sure that you wait until the first one is arid before proceeding with the next step. After waiting for this first coat to dry, you will want to apply another one over the top of your texture area.

Step Five: Sand

After the first two coats have dried, you will want to apply a coat of joint compound over the entire surface. Once this has been completed, you are ready to sand. Again, it would help if you used a medium-grit sanding block or pole sander to smooth out all areas that look rough after having applied your plaster mixture.

Then, you will want to vacuum up the debris from your sanding job and wipe any dust off the surface with a damp cloth. You should then apply a joint compound layer over all areas you have smoothed out using your sanding machine. Finally, if you use the steps outlined above for how to plaster over cement board, you can do it yourself.

Step Six: Maintain

Now that you have finished applying your plaster mixture over the cement board, you must regularly maintain it. You will want to do this by filling in any cracks or fissures that may appear over time with more of the same mixture. To do this, apply some water to the area and then add some mix if necessary.

Applying of Thin Plaster Mixture

After the mixture dries, you will need to sand it with medium-grit sandpaper before applying another coat. Be sure that you always clean up any messes or spills with water so that they don’t interfere with the appearance of your wall. Take care to maintain your plaster, and it can last for many years without any problems.

Step Seven: Finishing Touches

Now that you have finished the entire process, it is time to apply a coat of primer before painting. Again, it would help to achieve the best results possible with your paint job. When you are ready to begin priming, be sure to use either an aerosol can or a brush-on version, depending on which you prefer.

And, if you want to add any molding or baseboards to help the plaster blend into your room better, this is also a great time to do so. If you are adding molding, be sure that your joints are nice and smooth to look at one solid piece.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can Plaster Be Applied to Cement Board?

As plaster must be carefully placed in order to avoid any damage. If you have experience with plastering, then you may be able to apply it more efficiently than a professional plasterer would. However, if you are not experienced and do not have the proper tools or equipment, then hiring a professional could be the best option for you.

Can You Skim Coat Cement Board?

It depends on the type of coat cement board that you are dealing with. However, most coat cement boards can be skimmed if the surface is clean and the cement has hardened. Skimming can help to remove any dust, dirt, or other debris that may be embedded in the cement.

Can You Finish Cement Board Like Drywall?

If you’re thinking of using cement board-like drywall in your next home renovation, be sure to read the instructions carefully. While this product is similar to drywall in terms of construction and function, there are a few important differences that you should aware of.

Cement board, like drywall, is not as durable as traditional wooden boards and may need more maintenance over time. Additionally, it can be easier to damage when installed incorrectly because its surface is less smooth than wood. Make sure that the seams are neatly finished and level before installing cement board like drywall so that it looks uniform from wall to wall. And lastly, use proper safety precautions when working with this product: wear gloves, use a ladder for high ceilings or steep surfaces if needed, work during daylight hours only if possible, etc.

Do You Need a Scratch Coat on Cement Board?

Some people choose to apply a scratch coat on cement board, while others simply clean the surface with water and soap. Ultimately, it is best to consult with a contractor or home inspector who can give you specific instructions for your particular situation.


Once you’ve got the cement board up, it should be smooth and easy to paint. However, it can take many coats of plaster before your walls are ready for painting. Also, if the coating is too thin, there will be visible seams between each coat.

When plastered over properly, a wall feels much smoother than any other surface because water molecules seep into tiny cracks in the surface that would otherwise show through with paint or stain alone. The conclusion paragraph is informative and provides information on how to plaster over cement board.

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