Plaster and plaster

I want to patch interior plaster on a brick wall. The original is hard as nails, really tough to sand (by hand, anyway). It is also very fine grain and smooth. I went to the building supply place and was handed a bag of "patching plaster" (50 lbs). It is labeled "for interior use only".
After applying it, I find that it is much softer than the original plaster, and not as smooth.
What is the original plaster called, and where can I get it? Is this a specialty of bricklayers, or something? I've been to two other supply places and no one has anything but the same soft "patching plaster".
Thanks,
--
DaveC
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Use joint compound its easier to work with. Why bother with plaster.
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stucco, not plaster.
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Get 90 minute setting compound at HD. It's as hard as a rock and waterproof. You must put it on in several thin layers and smooth since it can't really be sanded. You might be able to do a tiny bit of wet smoothing with a sponge after 70 minutes. It's best to practice on other peoples homes so yours will look nice.
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Dave,     More than likely you are looking at veneer plaster which is very hard due to the material and the application technique. You would want to do some reading about veneer plaster (www.usg.com do a search for diamond finish for example). Well done veneer plaster is smooth as glass and very very hard. It however is almost impossible to patch with veneer plaster alone. The material doesnt feather out very well so if you have to patch a medium sized area you would need to plaster the area getting right up tight to the old plaster but then you will have to feather the joint out with compound or setting compound.     None of the setting compounds even approach the hardness of plaster, even the 90 minute. Durabond is pretty hard but you will never get it really smooth and its still not as hard as plaster. You will need veneer plaster and a good bit of practice.
Mark
DaveC wrote:

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