What is a plaster pan?

 
     
 
A plaster pan holding jointing compound.

 

A plaster pan is a rectangular basin used to contain plaster, jointing compounds and other fillers.  

 

The user can carry the pan in one hand while working with a taping knife to scoop out the plaster or wet compound and apply it to the wall.  

 
     
 
A typical taping or jointing knife
 

A taping or jointing knife is a tool with a large blade used for spreading the compound. 

 
     
 
Scraping excess compound from the knife onto the pan
 

The edge of the pan is also used to scrape off excess compound that builds up on the blade of the knife.  

 

A plaster pan can be used by a professional or a beginner.  

 
     
   

Is a plaster pan the same as a hawk and trowel?

 
 An alternative to the plaster plan is the hawk and trowel 

Wet compound can also be carried around on a hawk, which is a flat metal panel with a handle at the bottom.

 

However, a hawk requires more skill to use correctly and not spill the compound on the floor.

 
     
 A hawk can be used as an alternative to a plaster pan 

A supply of plaster is kept on top of the hawk and the plasterer scoops what he needs with a taping knife or a hand trowel.  

 

A hand  trowel is usually used to apply the top coats of plaster (known as skimming).

 
     
 
A hand trowel is usually used in conjunction with a hawk
 

Because a hand trowel’s handle is on the back of the blade, it is difficult to scoop compound out of a narrow plaster pan.  

 

For this reason, a hawk is usually preferable over a plaster pan for wall skims and finishes.  

 

However, this may differ from person to person and is entirely dependent on what you are most comfortable with.

 
     
   

What is a 'mud' pan?

 
 Now you will need a plaster (mud) pan to repair the hole in the ceiling! 

...a plaster pan!

 

Drywall has mostly replaced plaster for interior wall applications and its joints are sealed together with joint compound or plaster, referred to across the Atlantic as 'mud'.  

 

Plaster or mud pans are ideal for jobs such as jointing and taping drywall, and repairing holes in plaster walls.

 
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