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To fancy doing a course to become a plasterer?

(41 Posts)
JulietBravoJuliet Tue 11-Nov-14 11:15:55

I need a new job; a career. I want to work for myself, but have never known really what I want to do. I enjoy decorating, DIY etc., and have noticed a plastering school in a town local to me which runs 5 day plastering courses. I actually really, really fancy having a go at this, but my dad has just laughed and declared it a ridiculous idea!

Is it? I think I'd really enjoy it, and, thinking about it seriously, there must be a call for female plasterers; I would imagine some people would feel more comfortable having a woman in their house doing work, especially the elderly and lone women.

AIBU to seriously consider this?

Turquoisetamborine Tue 11-Nov-14 11:18:05

I think plastering is a dying trade. A lot of new build shops, factories and houses are fabricated instead of properly plastered so it might not be a future proof career.

19lottie82 Tue 11-Nov-14 11:18:32

I don't mean to sound cynical, but plastering is a proper trade. I can't imagine you'd learn all the ins and outs / skills, to start a competitive business in 5 days?

curlyweasel Tue 11-Nov-14 11:20:04

Ignore your dad. Do it. And if it doesn't work out career wise (although I think you could definitely provide a niche service), at least you'd be a PLASTERER. x

curlyweasel Tue 11-Nov-14 11:22:07

But there are also lots of existing houses, shops etc that aren't fabricated that still would require plastering.

JulietBravoJuliet Tue 11-Nov-14 11:26:56

If it doesn't work out as a job, I'm sure it would come in useful anyway! I'm moving into a new house soon, and a few rooms need at least one wall skimming - it would be cheaper to go and learn how to do it myself than to pay someone to do it for me!

frankbough Tue 11-Nov-14 11:27:07

Have a go, if it's not for you at least you'll have tried, it's a mucky physical job but a good clean plasterer is a unique skillset...

pinkdelight Tue 11-Nov-14 11:28:52

My BiL is a plasterer and there's plenty of work about, but it takes a lot longer than 5 days to get skilled at it. He had to do a proper apprenticeships. Presumably the 5 day course is for interested amateurs or just an introduction? Worth trying though if you're serious about pursuing it.

curlyweasel Tue 11-Nov-14 11:29:36

Exactly Juliet.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 11-Nov-14 11:29:42

I think it's an excellent idea, though I see what 19lottie82 says - it's a pretty skilled job and I doubt you'd be employable as a plasterer after such a short time, but it would be a useful skill even at that level and would give you an inkling of whether you like it enough to want to take it further and train properly.

MissYamabuki Tue 11-Nov-14 11:32:44

OP I was quoted £900 to have damp plaster removed in my living room, up to the height of 2 ft, and replaster after a damp course. A 2-day job for 1 person, they said. Do your sums. Do it.

angeltreats Tue 11-Nov-14 11:32:55

Not U at all. It's hard to get a good plasterer and they always seem to be in demand. But like someone said already, five days doesn't seem a long time to learn such a specialist skill. College courses and apprenticeships ending in a qualification would be a lot longer.

I wish I'd been a mechanic actually. And I wish my husband had been a builder or plumber. we'd be a lot better off now.

JulietBravoJuliet Tue 11-Nov-14 11:33:58

This is what the website says you learn on the course:

Fix plasterboard to a ceiling area using drywall screws,scrim tape the joints and skim finish with 2 coats of Thistle Multi-Finish plaster.

Fix plasterboard onto a block wall with adhesive (known as dot and dab) including into a window reveal and onto an external angle,cut board correctly around electrical socket back boxes,correctly cut and fix skim beading around window reveal and onto external angle,scrim tape joints and 2 coat skim finish.

Correctly cut & fix render beading and plaster a block wall with a window reveal and an external angle using Hardwall backing plaster (known as float and set ) then a 2 coat skim finish.
Wall will be set out with flatness guides (grounds) to make levelling out of backing coat easy to do.

Correctly apply PVA/water mix to control suction and skim finish.

You will learn how to make repairs to solid plaster walls,dot and dabbed walls and ceilings/stud walls.

You will be mixing up all your own plasters using power tools.

You will be learning to plaster with the best trowel on the market........a Marshalltown pre-worn.

You wont be just plastering a wall like some other courses I've seen,all students will have their own 6' square bay/area to work will feel like you are plastering a proper room.

Throughout the week,we will also discuss general plastering techniques such as the correct materials to use for preparation of different backgrounds,re-skimming over artex/textured coatings,painted surfaces etc.. as well as 20 odd years of valuable tips of the trade...and you can ask anything you like about plastering and you will be encouraged to take notes and photos for future reference.

At the end of the course,you will receive a very nice Certificate of Completion which you can proudly display on your bedroom wall and there will be no time wasted stripping down your work at the end of the courses either.....all your time will be spent learning how to plaster.

Idontseeanysontarans Tue 11-Nov-14 11:34:05

My BIL is a plasterer and is always busy. There's a female decorator who seems to have a thriving business locally as well, she uses the fact that she's female as part of her advertising. She seems to have a good business going.
I would go for it, one course could lead to another one so who knows where it could take you!

Hereward1332 Tue 11-Nov-14 11:37:04

You can't learn to be a master plasterer in 5 days, but you will at least be on the way. It sounds like a great way to start.

curlyweasel Tue 11-Nov-14 11:38:33

A Marshalltown pre-worn you say? wink

JulietBravoJuliet Tue 11-Nov-14 11:39:38

Curlyweasel I have no idea what that means!! grin

Sidge Tue 11-Nov-14 11:41:01

Well everyone's got to start somewhere and 5 days is a good start. I mean, you can learn to drive in 5 days so why not plastering?

Ignore your dad and go for it. Plastering is quite a skill, my friend is a general builder/plumber/electrician/handyman and can earn good money just for plastering. I don't think it's a dying trade at all as many people now can't afford to move house and are doing extensions, conversions, DIY and redecorating.

curlyweasel Tue 11-Nov-14 11:43:17

Don't you? It's only the best trowel on the market!


I like the way the marketing bumpf has been written actually. Feels honest iyswim.

sparechange Tue 11-Nov-14 11:45:54

My brother is a property developer who has taught himself a lot of building skills. He learned plastering by getting a proper plastering to teach him the basics, and then buying a bit of plasterboard and plaster, and practicing at home as much as he could. He learnt tiling the same way.

So no, you won't be expert after 5 days, but you'll definitely know enough that you can perfect your skills at home and then see if you can find a job with someone who can help teach you as you go before you are able to branch out on your own if you want to

Viviennemary Tue 11-Nov-14 11:47:25

Why not. It does seem one of those things you can learn in a relatively short time. And maybe tiling as well. If your prices are reasonable I think you will do OK. Good luck!

JulietBravoJuliet Tue 11-Nov-14 11:58:44

Yes tiling is also something I fancy learning how to do properly. I tiled a fireplace with those little mosaic tiles a few years ago, and was very pleased with the result, but it was bloody fiddly and I'm sure ther was an easier way to do it than how I did!

velourvoyageur Tue 11-Nov-14 12:32:28

I think learning a practical trade is a really excellent idea.

I'm currently in 3rd year at uni (4 y. course) and seriously considering training as a joiner after I leave.
1. You're not sitting down all day- you move around, get dirty, don't have a chance to waste time fidgeting and watching the clock
2. If you make good connections and have a certain amount of spare cash you can work on improving your skills constantly, taking courses here and there to break into niche areas, so you will have opportunities to stretch yourself just like in an office type workplace
3. Most SAHPs are women, and it'll often be SAHPs looking in the yellow pages or wherever to find tradespeople won't it- I would hope that women would be less prejudiced about hiring not-men.....and to be honest if the SAHPs are men, they'll already be open minded enough about gender roles I should think (my wishy washy idealist side emerging)
4. My landlord's handyman last year told me quite often he thought he had the best job ever- he worked for himself, had a great network of clients so was never worried about being out of work and could choose when he wanted to take a day off. (I know some of it would be really tiring and maybe cold and nasty outside, but no job is perfect!)
5. You could move abroad and not have to fuss redoing qualifications like say lawyers might have to. I mean, there's always work for tradespeople isn't there.

I did some office work in a big modern air conditioned building this summer & also spent time on a farm doing dirty heavy work outside in wet weather and I know which one I prefer....not the one where I have to log on a computer to earn my living (no offense if anyone likes that) and make someone else at the top, who works as hard as me and my colleagues, even richer.

blackeyedsusie Tue 11-Nov-14 12:40:58

great idea. so what if you can't learn it all in five days. you can learn enough to know if you like it and want to learn more. you will have your own house to practise on.

squoosh Tue 11-Nov-14 12:49:58

No way is plastering a dying trade. I'm sure it takes a lot longer than 5 days to become a proper plasterer but you will definitely pick up some good skills and find out if you think it will suit you as a career.

I think being a female plasterer/plumber/joiner would be a great USP. Lots of people would feel more confident having a woman in their home. (obviously there would also be a fair amount of dinosaurs who would be horrified at the the thought of a female plasterer).

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