First, a substrate in the form of a grid of lath is nailed perpendicular to the open house studs roughly a finger-width apart from each other. Then a thick layer of wet plaster is hand-troweled onto the lath and allowed to dry, before finish surfaces such as paint or wallpaper are applied.
Although few houses are built from scratch with the lath and plaster technique, countless houses remain with this type of building material. Homeowners can repair plaster walls by themselves quite easily. Also, companies which specialize in finishing drywall may be able to repair plaster walls, as well. Of course, urban areas that have a large quantity of older houses may have tradesmen who specialize only in plaster application and repairs.