I've been 'learning' how to plaster in my flat for the past year, I've not been doing full walls, just finishing around any joinery projects I've done (a couple of built in wardrobe type things. To do this I've been using a range of knives 4", 6" & 12" and working from a 14" plastic mud pan. I've just been working with Gyproc Easi-Fill. I mix it in the pan by hand, I add some water then keep adding plaster until I get the right consistency. My problem is that I can't seem to get all the lumps out of my mix, I've been mixing for up to 20 mins and I don't want to encroach too much into my plastering time. What I've been doing is is starting plastering and and basically working the lumps out on the bit I'm trying to plaster (e.g. smear on wall, skim off excess which helps break the lumps. Towards the end of the process I end up with a lovely creamy (but not runny) mixture and I keep thinking why can't it be like this from the offset :(. I've had a look on the DIY forums and they all seem to be full of people getting berated for not being professional plasters (or not getting one in) so naturally I turned to STW.
Thanks in advance!
(oh one more thing, I've tried mixing up with a drill in a plastering bucket - I bought a variable speed thing for £30 of ebay for doing it - but it doesn't seem to fare much better plus I can't help seeming to get annoying chips of plastic in the mix from the bucket!)