Plastering Courses – Learning to Plaster Myths Exploded

Before learning to plaster or purchasing any kind of plastering course, it is essential to explore some of the long held myths that are banded around about plastering courses.

Plastering Myth 1. You Cannot Achieve a Good Finish with DIY Plastering

You’re most likely to hear this particular myth from people in the building trade and, of course, from many plasterers themselves. It’s true that most general builders who can turn their hand to anything won’t touch plastering. I’ve known builders who can do brickwork, joinery, roofing, plumbing and even build an entire house who won’t do their own plastering. Why? Precisely because they can turn their hand to anything they rarely need to learn how to do anything text book style – and plastering MUST be done text book style. Here are 2 important golden rules about plastering that we should understand right now…

Golden Rule 1: Plastering is 100% about following a set recipe and set of techniques and you should follow them to the letter.

Golden Rule 2:. Plastering cannot be improvised. You should not try and improve or simplify the processes of plastering demonstrated in your plastering course (at least until you are a true master of the trade).

So, if you are the kind of person who can turn your hand to anything, then you have most likely already discovered that whilst most jobs can be done successfully without knowledge or experience providing you approach them sensibly, plastering is not one of those kinds of jobs and needs to be learnt properly.

Providing you follow a quality plastering course, then plastering can be learnt and you can get truly excellent results only when you follow the time honoured methods.

Plastering Myth 2. It Takes Years to Learn to Plaster to a Professional Level

You’re most likely to hear this particular myth from time-served plasterers and in a sense they are right but it’s mainly a misunderstanding. Yes, it can take many years to make plastering effortless and 100% bang on every time, but to learn to plaster to a competent professional level can be learnt in just a few days of practice providing you have been given the correct instructions and follow a precise formula.

What does take years to develop are techniques that bring you greater speed and efficiency. A relative novice using the correct techniques can achieve a perfectly flat and smooth wall under normal conditions.
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But the ability to complete the same wall to the same level in half the time to “max-out” your daily rate and allow early retirement takes more practice.

Also, although most new plasterers can plaster over plasterboard very well they may encounter some problems when dealing with more irregular real world jobs such as plastering over less ideal surfaces or conditions such as plastering in a heat wave.

The fact remains, that most plasterers are taught on 3 or 5 day courses, so please don’t just take my word for it that you can indeed learn to plaster to a competent pro level in less than a lifetime.

Of course people don’t spend years learning to plaster before doing it for a living because there are no courses in plastering that last for years.

In other words, plastering takes days to learn from a plastering course but like any skill takes years to master fully.

Plastering Myth 3. Getting a Smooth Plastering Finish Requires Sanding or Heavy Manual Labour

This particular myth is both hilarious and utterly untrue. I have even seen some of the better DIY books teach this. Trust me please, if you feel your plastering requires sanding then you need to re-watch your plastering DVD and ask yourself which part of the plastering stages you have overlooked. Do not ever sand plaster, it is futile and does not give a good finish. The sheer amount of dust will swamp your home, destroy carpets and furniture, damage your health and take longer than fully plastering the room properly.

In Summary

You can learn to plaster by studying a plastering DVD or attending a good plastering course providing that you follow the advice exactly and practice skimming plasterboard a few times. When we developed our own plastering course on DVD and book we understood that laying out a very prescriptive and easy to follow formula of plastering steps, timings and stages would be the real key to learner success. Whatever plastering course you choose, ensure that its clear, easy to follow and includes a very weighty take home manual and better still a DVD.

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