Magnetic plaster from British Gypsum has been the topic of conversations throughout the plastering industry for most of 2014, and I am expecting it to continue right through 2015 because it is a cracking product that really grabbed my imagination from day one
I have had the pleasure of use using a massive amount of magnet plaster over the last few months and not only at the British Gypsum head quarters but also in my own property, and so I am pretty handy with it and have got it down to a T on how to finish with it.
However, I am not here today to talk about how to use it but to answer the million and one questions I constantly get asked whenever I mention it on any of the usual social media sites like Facebook or twitter and of course on The Plasterers Forum.
So let’s get this big question out of the way…
What the hell is magnetic plaster?
Magnetic plaster is a plaster that is attractive to magnets in the sense that magnets stick to it.
What is the point to magnetic plaster?
The idea behind it is to eradicate the need for Blu-tack and drawing pins for attaching things to walls and even ceilings. Yes, blu-tack costs pennies but it leaves an oily stain, and if you work in an office, you will find that blu-tack dries out quickly and then falls off…
Will Magnetic Plaster effect electrical goods?
Magnetic plaster will not affect your electrical goods or your Wi-Fi as it is not actually magnetic, it’s just attractive to magnets so your pacemakers and Wi-Fi signal will not be in trouble.
Where can I use Magnetic Plaster?
Magnetic plaster is like having a fridge door in any room and I have personally allocated a wall in every room in my own property so that I can stick photos up, and also in my home office it’s a great way for me to stick notes up and also keep track of projects and what not that I am running.
However, using magnetic plaster in commercial premises or schools and children’s nurseries is where I can see this product going because of its ease of use and also that it is so efficient and it just looks like an ordinary wall.
However don’t think that these are the only places you can use magnetic plaster we are seeing a lot of home owners wanting to have magnetic walls and they absolutely love this product if they knew a plasterer to install it and I think that is a big opportunity for plasterers.
Any wall is in scope for having magnetic plaster applied it does not matter where it is, if you can skim it with Multi finish then you can skim it in magnetic.
Can I paint Magnetic Plaster?
Yes of course, you can paint it, and you can paint it any colour that you like, I am sure you can also wallpaper over it as well, but that will lessen its effectiveness.
You can buy magnetic paint so why bother with plaster?
Magnetic paint comes in only a small selection of colours, and it’s not very strong compared to British Gypsums Magnetic plaster.
How thick does magnetic plaster need to be?
For optimal thickness, you need to try to get it on between 3mm and 6mm thick anything less than that, and it won’t be as effective and any thicker than that and you are not gaining anything other than wasting material and money.
Magnetic Plaster is Black so How easy is it to paint?
Magnetic plaster is as black as coal when it is wet and then goes a grey colour once it is dry, and it is very easy to paint, to be honest I have painted a number of walls that I have skimmed with magnetic plaster, and it is not any harder to cover than Multi finish.
How Durable is Magnetic Plaster?
I have found that in the drying out stages, magnetic plaster marked easily and simply running my hands over it before it had gone that dark grey colour it left marks, but as soon as it went dark it is as hard as multi finish.
What Backgrounds Can Magnetic Plaster Go Over?
Magnetic plaster can go over most backgrounds, and the rule of thumb that I have been using is that if I would skim it with finish then I would use magnetic plaster. I have used it on scabby painted walls and used PVA, and I have also used British Gypsum’s Bond It to treat some walls and skimmed over that with it as well along with plasterboard. So to answer that yes, it can go over most things.
Where Can I Get Magnetic Plaster From?
Magnetic plaster is available from most builder’s merchants, but because it is a specialist product, you will need to order it in in advanced. I know that Travis Perkins will supply it and with a bit of arm bending do quite a good price on it.
Do I have to buy a whole pallet of magnetic plaster?
No you don’t have to order a whole pallet and if your builder’s merchant says you do, then they are having you on. British Gypsum will supply it to them a bag at a time so make sure you put your foot down if needs be.
Do I need any special tools to apply it?
You will need what you would normally use to skim with, but British Gypsum does recommend using a SpeedSkim which I would normally use anyway.
How Far does a bag of magnetic plaster go?
A Bag of Magnetic plaster will do 5m2 according to British Gypsum, but I got some good distance out of a few of the bags I used and still managed to keep the depth between 3mm and 6mm. I did a wall that was 2.5 metres high by 4 meters long I used just under a bag to first coat and just under half to top it out.
How much does magnetic plaster cost?
This is a question that is asked a million times, and most plasterers fall over when I tell them it’s priced between £65 and £99 a bag. However, before you go off and compare it to the price of Multi-Finish just don’t… there is no point there is no comparison….
Magnetic plaster is a specialist plaster and as plasterers we need to target it to the right people and get the product in front of the people that will want to spend the money in having this unique feature in their homes and work places.
I know for sure that I could sell this product all day long and make a business out of it and I also know that people are willing to pay for it to be done. However, whatever you don’t compare it to multi finish otherwise, you will feel bitter about it and there is no point in that.
What has been stuck to magnetic walls in the past?
- You can hang pictures and picture frames
- Christmas decorations?
- Dart boards?
- A book shelf?
- flat screen tv?
Yes, all of these have been hung on walls that have been plastered using magnetic plaster… let your imagination run wild and have a think about how you can use this material in your home or workplace.
As you can probably start to see the skies are the limits when you are using magnetic plaster and the more you think about where it can be used and for what it can be used for and how it can change a room and who may be interested in using it, you will suddenly get a warm feeling of excitedness.
I am that confident in magnetic plaster that I think there is a whole market out there for this plaster that you could build a business out of, and I am sure if you went to your local kitchen show room, they would be very interested in talking to you.
British Gypsum have a lot of information on their website and also on their youtube channel so please head over there and really let your imagination run away.
British Gypsum Magnetic Plaster
Rooms Made For You Magnetic Plaster
British Gypsum Youtube Channel
If you do have any more questions about magnetic plaster then, please do comment below, and I will do my best to answer you as best I can.
Trent Olsen/St.louis plastering Company says
Please help us with information regarding purchasing Thistle magnet plaster here in the United States .
Thank you , we appreciate your help.
I dont know anyone that supplies it yet in he United states… I will make a few calls in the week and ask 🙂
QUANTITY CONSTRAINTS ARE IMPOSED DUE TO TRANSPORTATION QUANTITIES NOT MINIMUM QUANTITIES SO IF YOUR MERCHANT TELLS YOU YOU CANT HAVE ONE BAG THEN THAT IS BECAUSE THE SUPPLIER WONT DELIVER ONE BAG!
IF YOU WERE RUNNING A BUSINESS WOULD YOU STAND THE COST OF RUNNING A VEHICLE AND THE DRIVERS WAGE FOR A SINGLE 25KG BAG OF PLASTER? PROBABLY NOT!
IF YOU REALLY WANT ONE BAG THEN EXPECT A LARGE HAULAGE COST ON TOP OF THE PRICE (FROM THE SUPPLIER NOT THE MERCHANT)!
MERCHANTS AREN’T IN BUSINESS TO NOT SUPPLY BUILDING MATERIALS!
you can get one bag of magnetic no issues 🙂 It will no doubt come on the next delivery 😀
I’d like to use thistle on a wall where there will also be electrical light switches and wiring. Has this any bearing on the electrics or magnetic pull of the plaster?
Its just like normal plaster… its does not conduct electricity 🙂
I noticed a comment you can’t polish this – how do you get a smooth finish and can you send it – also does an open bag go off?
you can polish it… but why you would want to polish it is the bigger question.
I was brought up as part of the matt and flatt plasterer…
i would like to buy one of your polo t shirts please
Drop me an email buddy [email protected]
Trent Olsen says
Really would like to try this product , have customers interested.
Is there any where in the US where I can buy this product?
British Gypsum should have been in contact with you now 😀
Hiya , say if I was to Polish it . Would it affect the strength of the magnetic plaster? Also I heard you shouldn’t use much water if any , is that true ? If so how would you do it ?
Paul Thornton says
Can I get this in Australia, or would I have to get it sent over from the uk.
You will need to contact British Gypsum to see if they have an distributors in Oz 😀 I have a lot of walls in my own home in it 😀
Can you mix it with multi finish for the first coat if your running a bit short on it
We as a company have been asked to plaster 74 units throuout whole houses and on tender sheet for the decoration side they have asked us will the paint 3 coats make the magnetic quality any less does any body have an answer
Trent Olsen says
314 -799-7923 The St.louis Plastering Company offers Thistle magnetic plaster, along with complete array of services . Including Stucco and Venetian plaster.
Magnetic plaster creates a wall that is easily redecorated with use of magnet attached to picture frames and light shelving. Magnetic plaster can be painted with white board paint to offer multiple uses for both educators and designers.
Can magnetic plaster be applied straight to plasterboard or should it be skimmed first
Yes you would use it in teh exact same way you would multi finish
Do you know anyone that has wallpapered over it and what effect it has on the magnetic effect?
I have an idea to plaster a wall with magnetic plaster then paper a wall mural map over the top and then use magnetics to stick markers on the map. Do you think that would work?
To be honest it should be ok… but if the magnets you use are not up to scratch and the plaster is not on thick enough it may struggle.
I have magnetic all over my house and have allsorts stuck on walls… but my walls are painted
I’d like to use uncovered magnetic plaster to get a concrete effect, like this: http://blog.making-spaces.net/2016/03/27/my-concrete-wall/
Would you recommend this for use in a kitchen Or are there other sealers or precautions I could take?
You would need to seal it I would think as although it is black it would stain. I would look at some of the sealers that the marble/venetian plasterers use.
meghan cummings says
Hello and thank you in advance ✨
I am interested in using your magnetic plaster, as a plaster-of-Paris.
For art work.
ie mostly flat ( internal chicken wire structure).
I am wondering your thoughts.
Thank you for ur interest/guidance.
May this product be used with extra water added, like a liquid plaster of Paris. Dry like/look cement?
When you’ve painted over the magnetic plaster, did you apply paint straight on top? Or did you prime over the magnetic plaster first then paint? Any adhesion issues?
I just treated it like normal plaster… mist/miss coat and off you go 😀