Lath and plaster, common in UK houses built before 1920, consist of thin wooden laths covered in lime-based plaster with animal hair for stability. If you live in a listed property, you will need to consult with your conservation officer before making any changes to your ceiling. 

Breathaplasta Universal can be applied directly to lath and plaster. Universal is a fast setting, bio-based, breathable plaster. It's easy to use and sets within an hour.

Equipment required

Breathaplasta Universal
Clean water and brush or mister
Hawk, trowel and plastering tools

Recommended plaster thickness

Approx. 15-20mm total thickness.

Coverage per 20kg Universal bag

Approx. 5 square metres at 4mm thickness

Setting time per coat

Approximately 45-60 minutes.

Surface preparation

Ensure lath is in good condition and well fastened with drywall screws. The gap between the laths should be around 1/4 of an inch or approx. 6-7mm. Ceilings should have riven (split) lath for improved key, but walls can use sawn lath.

First coat (scratch coat) requires the addition of long-strand, coarse hairs to add strength to the plaster keys.

Mist or wet the wooden laths with water to help control suction.

Recommended plaster application

  1. Mix Universal to approx. 10 litres of clean water per 20kg bag of dry powder used.

  2. Mix the plaster using a paddle mix for approx. 3 minutes.

  3. Apply the scratch coat approx. 8mm from the face of the lath. This should be haired. Force the base coat into the lath, working the plaster into the spaces between the lath to create “keys” that lock the material in place. Use a relatively stiff mix, incorporating long-strand, coarse hairs into the plaster for added strength.

  4. Apply second coat at 6-8mm.

  5. Apply skim finish at 2-3mm. Run a clean trowel over the surface of the plaster for a smooth finish. Use a sponge float for more textured finishes.

Bag calculator

Use this calculator to work out how many bags of Universal to order for your job.

Bags required:

Find a stockist
Get in touch