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How to use a darby?

 How to use a darby

Shop for Darbies

Wonkee Donkee darby tool The way to use a darby is not set in stone – there is much variation and disagreement between professionals. It also takes a lot of practice to master the art of using a darby to create a smooth wall or floor. However, here’s a basic guide to how it’s done.
exclamation mark on orange circle, prepare wall for darby use first

Prepare wall or floor coating

A darby is a finishing tool, and so the application of the product (plaster) should be carried out according to the guidelines or instructions before using the tool.

grip darby tool with both hands for best control

Step 1 – Grip darby

Hold the darby in both hands, by the handles.

Place darby tool at slight angle to use

Step 2 – Place darby

The darby is not held flat against the surface being smoothed, as this can cause the product to pull away. Instead hold the darby at a shallow angle from the bottom for upwards sweeps and from the top for downward sweeps.

move darby in either upwards or downwards sweeps, smoothing plaster

Step 3 – Move darby

Make your darby sweep by applying slight pressure and maintaining the angle.

repeat sweeps with darby tool until whole area smoothed and covered

Step 4 – Repeat

Repeat sweeps over whole area, until it is even.

It is recommended that you keep your sweeps going in one direction.
bucket of water and stiff brush


It can be helpful to clean off your darby between sweeps, using a bucket of water and stiff brush.

For more informations, see: Darby maintenance and care

Wonkee Donkee Tools