Lighthouses for wall plaster: choice and installation

Plastering with lighthouses is crucial if you want a flawlessly smooth and even wall finish. Known variously as plaster beacons or guides, these guiding instruments are a need for both professional and do-it-yourself builders. They aid in guaranteeing an even application of the plaster layer, producing a perfect surface prepared for painting or wallpapering.

Selecting the appropriate lighthouses for your plastering project can have a big impact. There are several materials used to make lighthouses, such as metal and plastic, and each has advantages of its own. For example, plastic lighthouses are lighter and simpler to trim to the appropriate length, but metal lighthouses are more robust and offer a solid guide. You can choose wisely depending on the nature of your project and your unique requirements if you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

Although installing lighthouses may initially seem difficult, it can be a simple process with the correct strategy and equipment. Making sure they are firmly fastened to the wall and appropriately aligned is crucial. To accomplish this, mark the wall, apply a thin layer of plaster, and then embed the lighthouses into the wet plaster. When the plaster is set, these guides will serve as an ideal point of reference for applying the remaining plaster, guaranteeing a uniform thickness and a polished appearance.

Knowing how to use lighthouses for plastering is an important skill, whether you’re working on new construction or remodeling an existing structure. It improves the general caliber of your wall finishes while also saving time and effort. You can achieve excellent results that make your walls appear expertly crafted and ready for the next stage of decoration with careful selection and proper installation.

What is a plaster lighthouse

Lighthouses have a technique known to all masters: studding walls. Devices made of various materials, known as lighthouses (profiles, guides), act as boundaries for the putty layer. Their purpose is to minimize labor costs and time spent aligning the surfaces by creating a more beautiful and even plaster mixture overlap. All masters used to make their own beacons, but these days you can buy ready-made, disposable, and reusable items.

There are numerous benefits to using lighthouses. They are affordable, flexible, resistant to mechanical exposure, and practical for use in the workplace. Without the beacons, it would be necessary to continuously check the levelness of the plastering to ensure that even the thick layer of finish is even. The builder uses the solution, paying close attention to where the profiles should go so that they are typically positioned throughout the whole plastered surface.

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Types of lighthouses

The material and characteristics of the beacons vary from one another. Each of them has unique qualities and application-specific details.


The most widely used profile option available in building supply stores is this one. The easiest lights to install are those made of metal; no special preparation is required. They are typically left in place after the task is finished. There are several sizes of metal beacons available for purchase; small ones are rarely used, and the middle and large sizes are the most in demand.

A definite benefit for the master is that since a thin profile is utilized in product manufacturing, it is simple to trim with scissors to the appropriate dimensions. One of the metal beacons’ drawbacks is the possibility of rust. These products are composed of common carbon steel, which is corrosive. This occasionally causes unsightly red spots to appear on the decoration. Additionally, you may need to use clips in addition to preparing a special solution to reinforce the structure in order to fill lighthouses that are excessively thin and flexible.


These gadgets are constructed from wooden rails that are rectangular in shape and have a channel-shaped profile. They are taken out once the plaster has solidified. Each lighthouse must be impregnated beforehand with a water-repellent substance to prevent the tree from crumpling and twisting and to ensure an even coating.

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These profiles are composed of sturdy plastic. Although there are other options available, their standard thickness is 3, 6, 9 mm and their standard length is 3 meters. There is no denying the benefits of plastic beacons:

  • small mass, ease in transportation and storage;
  • strength not lower than that of metal products;
  • inappropriateness of deformations, return of the original form after bending;
  • Lack of risk of corrosion destruction, rotting.

There are drawbacks to the plastic guides as well. Compared to metal "brothers," they are not as good shock absorbers. Furthermore, because products weaken in cold temperatures, they are not appropriate for facade finishes. They must be firmly fixed to the surface; otherwise, the kelma will cause them to bend.

Reusable steel

Lighthouses are orders of magnitude more expensive than disposables because, once plastered, they can be removed and reused. They are composed of extremely sturdy metal (typically galvanized or stainless steel), and even after a thick layer of mixture is applied, no one will ever know. Professional builders are the ones who use these beacons most often because of their high cost.

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Masters frequently employ a variety of homemade tools that serve as guides. For instance, self-tapping screws make it simple to attach the appropriate-sized wooden blocks that are used to decorate wooden surfaces. Expert finishes create beacons entirely out of the mixture, applying it with "heaps" of pre-screwed, self-tapping screws or level hats. There’s no need to take them apart because the plaster will cover them up completely.

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These items also serve as handmade equivalents of beacons that can be bought. To install them, screws are used, and a string or thin wire is pulled between them to ensure that the level is positioned correctly. Plaster is poured into the empty space created beneath the string. The strings must be taken out until the solution has fully frozen. You may obtain a curved surface if you install string beacons incorrectly due to error.

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These "beacons" are laser or level projections made onto walls. Marking lines are created in one plane by similar devices. The laser beam on the floor will outline the line to adjust the finishing layer’s thickness if you install the device and align the vertical plane with respect to the base’s location. You can now install self-tapping screws at a specific height.

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For your painting or wallpapering project to look professional, a smooth and even surface requires the selection and installation of lighthouses for wall plaster. This post will walk you through the process of choosing the appropriate lighthouses, which serve as guides to guarantee that the plaster is applied uniformly, as well as provide detailed instructions on how to install them properly. The quality and longevity of your plasterwork can be greatly increased, whether you’re a professional or a do-it-yourself enthusiast, by realizing the significance of these tools and the right installation technique.

Dimensions and shapes

There are various sized guides available for purchase, ranging from 3 mm to 3 cm. The products’ lengths range from one to six meters. The degree of surface irregularity, or the depths of the hollows and heights of the bulges, must be taken into consideration when selecting them. The limiters should be larger the more of the mixture that must be applied. Devices measuring two to three meters are typically utilized for repairs in apartments and residential buildings. Plastering warehouses, production facilities, and exterior decoration are better suited for six-meter profiles.

Perforated products with a V-shaped protrusion that serves as the guide during operation are called direct guides. The corner beacons are equipped with regiments at right angles and have the same ledge as the other beacons. They are employed to strengthen and equalize the external angles. Because corner profiles are not very rigid, it is important to constantly check that the installation is straight while it is being done.

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Materials and tools for finishing

Depending on the particular product type and technology being used, different tools may be needed to install guides and apply a plaster mixture. Typically, a comprehensive inventory of tools and supplies looks something like this:

  • the construction level (any) and plumb line;
  • strong thread or fishing line;
  • self -tapping screws;
  • dowels;
  • screwdriver;
  • capacity;
  • drill with a mixer nozzle;
  • grater or half at the same time;
  • rule;
  • spatulas;
  • Master OK.

It is also advisable that you buy the beacons themselves, which are chosen based on the purported coating thickness. Regarding length, it is recommended that novices use standard products for a maximum of three meters. In the event that mechanized plaster is used, the application tool (plaster bucket or pistol) is also ready.

Installation of lighthouses

Markings are the first step in stuck work, which then moves on to installing profiles and plastering surfaces.

Wall marking

The base is already ready for marking; it has been thoroughly primed, cleaned of any old dumping coating, and allowed to rot and mold. The simplest way to set the beacons is by hand marking, which is done in the order listed below:

  1. Retreat from the corner by 30 cm. Conduct a strictly vertical line in level, repeat the operation on the second side of the wall.
  2. Measure the distance between the lines, divide it into 1.5 meters, thus calculate the number of the required beacons.
  3. Ready -made accessories are cut so that they are 30 cm shorter than the height of the ceilings.
  1. Holes are drilled at the top and bottom of the lines, self -tapping screws are placed in them. Draw the entire area of ​​the wall with lines every 1.5 meters.
  2. Self -tapping screws are screwed into the holes in the first two lanes, threads are pulled between them. Where the thread will intersect with the rest of the lines, they also put fasteners.
  3. Calculate the level of location of self -tapping screws. To do this, put the indicator of the blockage of the wall, the thickness of the lighthouse and add a small supply (about 0.5 cm). Self -tapping screws are aligned for this value.
  4. They pull the threads diagonally, draw a lighthouse under this plane (it should only touch the thread a bit).

Experts prefer to use a laser level to place beacons. After first pressing the device up against the wall and activating the cross-shaped ray, the surface is located with its assistance. This indicator will provide a recommended thickness for the plaster layer. The vertical lines are drawn on the wall every 1.5 meters using a level, and the lighthouses are then attached to the lines using glue or self-tapping screws.

Installation of lighthouses

While the installation and wall-fastening characteristics of each profile type vary, they are all appropriate for any kind of base.

Installation of metal and wooden lighthouses

These beacons are positioned 120–170 cm apart (a 1.5 meter standard indicator is used). The extreme guides are situated 30 centimeters from the walls; however, this distance may differ by up to 15-20 centimeters based on specific circumstances.

If the marking was performed correctly, then further actions of complexity do not represent. Once again check whether self -tapping screws are located correctly, using the level. If necessary, adjust their location. Then they plant profiles or wooden rails on the hats of self -tapping screws so that they rest over the entire length, fix it with the solution. The latter is prepared in advance, and after the lighthouses they press a long rule to the self -tapping screw hat. Excess solution will immediately perform through perforation. After the initial setting of the solution, the profiles with dowels are fixed or the cement mixture is added so that it reliably holds them on the wall.

Installation of lighthouses from the solution

If the solution layer is thin, this approach works well. It works well with mixtures of gypsum. Following the completion of the preliminary step (marking), the work order will look like this:

  • knead the solution, apply in heaps directly to the hats of self -tapping screws;
  • After a slight setting of the solution, excesses protruding by the hats are removed;
  • As the labels hardened, the rule is vertically put to them, the solution is thrown into the space between it and the wall;
  • They tap the rule with a hammer in order to leve a strip of solution, then carefully remove the device;
  • When voids appear, pits, potholes, all defects are wiped with a small half;
  • repeat such actions throughout the marking.

Installation of string beacons

An even simpler method than the one previously described is this one. The steel wire, also known as thread or fishing line, is pulled right away after marking on the leveled beacons; this will act as a guide for aligning the wall. Once the putty has been applied and protrudes slightly by the wire, the excess is scraped off.

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Preparation of a working solution

The manufacturer’s instructions, which are always available on the package, are followed when making the plaster mix. After adding dry powder to clean water and thoroughly mixing it with a construction mixer for five minutes, the mass’s consistency should be uniform. The product is re-mixed after five more minutes, at which point it is ready to use.

Applying the solution by lighthouses

Using a cell, spatula, or trowel, the prepared mixture is applied in between the installed beacons. Using a bucket is highly practical for this purpose, but if one is not available, you can simply toss the product using a spatula. The completed layer should extend slightly past the profiles’ vertices.

Next, apply the zigzag rule to stretch the solution from below to above. Once the task is finished and the beacon coating is in place, they either remove it or, if it is feasible, depart. A thicker consistency plaster is used to fill in the product’s indentations.

Arrangement of slopes and angles

An angular spatula is formed by the internal corners. They are leveled, ironed, and brought to perfect evenness. Window and door slopes are constructed with internal expansion. A wooden rail is used to smooth out dumb corners, or a slope-specific profile is used to form them.

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Finish alignment

The last step in the finish is to make the ground. Only after the solution has dried completely are any operations completed. It calls for a similar mixture with a more fluid consistency. The steps are as follows:

  • a little spray the base with water;
  • Apply a liquid solution to a grater, smeared with a thin layer;
  • put a tool at an angle of 45 degrees, thoroughly wipe the surface literally 1-2 square meters;
  • A grater accumulated excess solution is removed.

If tiles are intended to be used for the cladding, grouting is not required. Only irregularities will strengthen the ceramic’s adherence to the base.

Topic Lighthouses for Wall Plaster: Choice and Installation
Choosing Lighthouses Select metal or plastic lighthouses. Metal is more durable, while plastic is easier to cut.
Installation Preparation Clean the wall and mark vertical lines where lighthouses will be placed.
Fixing Lighthouses Attach lighthouses using plaster dabs along the marked lines. Ensure they are vertical using a level.
Adjusting Height Set the lighthouses at the desired plaster thickness by pressing them into the plaster dabs.
Final Check After drying, check the alignment again to ensure a flat and even surface.

A smooth and even finish on wall plaster depends on selecting the appropriate lighthouses. Plaster guides, also known as lighthouses, are crucial in ensuring that plaster is applied consistently and produces a level surface that is both visually appealing and structurally sound. You can significantly improve the caliber of your plastering work by carefully choosing the right kind of lighthouses, taking into account elements like material and size.

Lighthouse installation must be done correctly. The procedure entails firmly fastening the guides to the wall at predetermined intervals to guarantee their precise verticality and alignment. This stage establishes the framework for applying plaster, directing your instruments and assisting in preserving thickness uniformity. In the long run, paying attention to lighthouse alignment and placement can save time and effort by preventing problems like uneven surfaces and excessive material use.

To sum up, the careful selection and accurate installation of lighthouses are critical components that greatly impact the outcome of any plastering project. By taking the time to complete these preliminary actions, you create the conditions for a superior finish that is long-lasting and attractive. Learning how to use lighthouses effectively will greatly enhance your plastering results, regardless of your level of experience or do-it-yourself enthusiasm.

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Daria Yakovlev

Interior designer, author of online color design courses. I will help you create a harmonious interior using color.

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